A Houston man, who was accused of felony sexual assault in Aspen, CO in the spring of 2021, now faces no criminal prosecution since the charge was dismissed.
The dismissal came after the Aspen District Attorney’s Office filed a motion with the court to drop the charge, and the motion for dismissal was granted by the court.
According to the Aspen Daily News, the DA’s motion stated that “after consultation with the victim and in consideration of her requests, and upon review of the available evidence” the DA’s office moved to dismiss the action “without prejudice and in the interests of justice.”
One of the accused man’s attorneys said the charge lacked foundation. She said the claims of the alleged victim were not credible and were, in fact, false allegations.
The accused man’s legal team also said it had learned of “chillingly similar” allegations made by the alleged victim against a man in the United Kingdom.
The accuser’s attorney said the woman still might take legal action in civil court.
What to do when you face false allegations
Serving Houston and elsewhere in Harris County, Montgomery County and Fort Bend County, the award-winning Neal Davis Law Firm has years of experience handling such cases.
Your skilled defense attorney can investigate to determine if a claim is false or if there is little evidence to support it beyond a “he said, she said” situation, where it is one person’s word against the other. Such a claim also may be a matter of mistaken identity.
Other factors can also sway legal procedures. The story of the accuser may have inconsistencies, or it could be discovered that the accuser had a motive for making the claim, such as revenge or gaining leverage in a legal battle involving divorce or child custody.
Charges may be dismissed or reduced
Depending on the case, it may be possible to get a charge dropped or dismissed before trial, as was the case with the Houston man who’d been accused in Colorado. In other cases, a charge may be reduced, perhaps from a felony to a misdemeanor charge.
However, keep in mind that only prosecutors can move to dismiss a charge. If the accuser has a change of heart and decides not to proceed, that person cannot drop the charge. Once an accusation has been made and a charge has been filed, it is up to prosecutors to decide if there are reasons to move for dismissal of the charge.
Meanwhile, defendants should be advised by their defense attorneys not to say anything online, on social media, in emails or elsewhere involving the case. A defendant should not confront their accuser in any way. In addition, an accused person should not speak to the police without consulting an attorney.
All of this is important because conviction of a sex crime in Texas can bring severe punishments, including fines of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 20 years. When the sex crime involves a child, penalties can be even more severe. Also, a convicted person may have to register as a sex offender.