What to Do if Falsely Accused of Elder Sex Abuse
Have you or a family member been falsely accused of a sex offense against a senior?
If so, you need an experienced sex abuse lawyer to protect your legal rights. For residents of Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Houston and the rest of Harris County, a veteran sex crimes attorney at Neal Davis Law Firm can help.
An elder sex abuse crime occurs when certain physical contact or sexual contact is made with an elderly person — by legal definition, someone who is over 65 years old — without that person’s consent. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 10 percent of American elderly persons or “seniors” are abused each year, ranging from physical abuse and sex abuse to psychological, emotional, and financial abuse.
What is Elder Sex Abuse?
As for what elder sex abuse is, it can involve many things — including rape and sexual assault. Unwanted touching also can be considered elder sex abuse, as can forced nudity, sexual photography, and sexual violence and battery.
According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, elder abuse, among other things, can include sexual harassment, sexual coercion, and sexual assault. Under Texas law, such crimes are taken very seriously.
Elder Sex Abuse Statistics
Research has revealed that most elder sex abuse occurs in nursing homes — up to 70 percent of reported cases, in fact. It’s also estimated that less than a third of elder sex abuse victims report the crime to police.
Studies show that the perpetrator or accused perpetrator of elder sex abuse is a primary caregiver in more than four out of every five reported cases. These persons can include at-home professional caregivers, as well as friends and family members.
With elder sex abuse, it’s estimated that six times more women than men are victims. Also, the older the person is, the more vulnerable they are to a sex abuse crime.
Misunderstandings Can Cause False Accusations
While many cases of elder sex abuse are real crimes, the very nature of some elderly people can lead to misunderstandings of the actions of caregivers, who then become falsely accused. Such persons may simply be trying to help an elderly loved one — perhaps with bathing or other personal needs — and then can wind up being accused of a sex crime.
An elderly person suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s or other mental health conditions can suffer from confusion and be susceptible to making a false accusation about perceived sex abuse.
Severe Penalties for Elder Sex Abuse
Even when false accusations are made, a serious legal defense is needed for charges of elder sex abuse. Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and members of society at large tend to overreact when it comes to possible sex crimes against vulnerable people, such as elderly persons or young children.
Indeed, criminal charges for sex abuse of the elderly can lead to severe penalties. Civil lawsuits also may be waged against accused persons in order to claim financial compensation.
How tough are Texas laws on elder sex abuse? Very tough. In fact, a criminal charge for sex abuse can be magnified when it involves an elderly person.
Under Texas sexual assault law, a sexual offense is a second degree felony with punishment of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000.
But when the sex assault involves an elderly person, the charge is automatically upgraded to the next highest charge, which is aggravated sexual assault. The penalties for aggravated sexual assault include five to 99 years in a state prison and a fine of as much as $10,000.
Were You Falsely Accused of Elderly Sex Abuse?
Many innocent persons have been falsely accused of elderly sex abuse. These include family members who have been entrusted with the physical care of their elderly relative — a person whose advanced age can make them more prone to injury and confusion.
Such physical vulnerability may not be the only problem. An elderly person also may be in a delicate mental or emotional state — a state which tends to magnify injuries and cause them to perceive innocent actions as abuse.
Get an Elder Sex Abuse Defense Lawyer
If you or a family member face a false accusation of elder sex abuse, rest assured that you can get an experienced elder sex abuse defense lawyer by contacting the Neal Davis Law Firm. Contact us today and you will receive a legal review of your case. It will be confidential and at no obligation to you.
We’ll advise you of your legal rights and, if you choose to engage our law firm, we’ll provide you with a knowledgeable sex crime lawyer to take care of your case.
Our law firm is skilled and experienced in handling sex assault legal defense. We can fight for reducing or even dismissing a charge against you. We can do so by evaluating the evidence and determining if, perhaps, the elderly person who falsely accused you was mentally impaired due to a pre-existing condition.
Please keep in mind that hiring a lawyer when facing a sex crime charge is not an admission of guilt. Rather, it shows police and prosecutors that you are serious about defending your innocence by engaging an attorney to make sure your legal rights are protected.
Contact us today for your case review, and let’s get started preparing your legal defense after you have been falsely accused of elder sex abuse.