Facing false allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate contact? Know your legal options in Texas.
Many Americans have been falsely accused of inappropriate touching, which is to say, they’ve been accused of what can be a sex crime. Veteran Houston sex crime lawyer Neal Davis knows how to defend against charges of inappropriate touching and how to protect your legal rights.
What’s Considered Inappropriate Touching?
In legal terms, inappropriate touching refers to touching a person in one of two ways:
- Sexual. One form of inappropriate touching is contact or touching that is sexual in nature and also is unwanted or unsolicited. Such inappropriate sexual touching may involve the buttocks, the mouth, the genitals or other private parts of a person’s body.
Some persons may construe touching as sexual in nature even if it does not involve these parts of the body, but rather perhaps the legs, feet, hands, arms, shoulders, neck or face. Evidence of such touching is less concrete if no visible harm exists and no harm can be verified by solid medical evidence.
- Physical. Another form of inappropriate touching is contact or touching that is physical in nature, is unwanted or unsolicited and involves injury or physical harm. For this form of inappropriate touching, signs of cuts, bruises or other visible indicators of harm can give concrete evidence of inappropriate contact.
Other touching which is physical but not sexual in nature can be construed as inappropriate in terms of its context.
Perhaps two colleagues have a brief hug when meeting or when celebrating a triumph at work. That could be deemed appropriate, especially if the hug does not linger. But if one person who hardly knows another hugs that person without good reason, that could be deemed inappropriate, especially when such touching occurs in private, rather than in public, and when the contact is sustained.
In the workplace, inappropriate touching also is more sensitive when the person doing the touching has authority or power over the other person. In today’s climate of increased sensitivity toward sexual harassment, more and more businesses and employers are adopting strict codes of what kind of behavior is acceptable and what is not, so that everyone is aware of the guidelines. Contact your employer’s human resources department for more information on this.
Not Everyone is Touchy Feely
Also, keep in mind that some people are more tactile than others. That means they may be more prone to the kind of brief and relatively innocent contact that’s often deemed “touchy feely,” such as an arm around the shoulders or a pat on the back.
Not everyone is so inclined. Persons who are less prone to touch others or be touched in this way may find it inappropriate. But, as it’s said of beauty, inappropriateness may lie in the eyes of the beholder.
Inappropriate Touching of Children
When it comes to children, inappropriate touching becomes an even more serious legal claim.
By definition, child sexual abuse includes inappropriately subjecting or exposing a child to sexual contact (touching), behavior or activity. In other words, inappropriately touching a child that is sexual in nature can be considered a serious sex crime.
Unfortunately, some touching of children that’s merely physical in nature and not necessarily sexual can be construed by some as being sexually inappropriate. Thus, adults must be careful in which ways they touch children, because perceived child sexual abuse can occur and that’s a very serious charge.
Why Were You Falsely Accused of Sexual Contact?
If you did not engage in inappropriate touching of a sexual or physical nature, yet you face a false allegation of such, why are you being falsely accused of inappropriate touching?
This can happen for a variety of reasons, many of which involve rocky or even combative interpersonal relationships.
An ex-spouse or a soon-to-be ex-spouse, for example, may falsely accuse another person of some form of inappropriate touching—perhaps extra-marital—in order to gain leverage for being awarded additional child support or child custody.
Or a child may accuse a relative or teacher of inappropriate touching without fully understanding the nature or consequences of such a claim, while also perhaps making the claim as a means of getting attention.
Or a rival co-worker may accuse a person of inappropriate touching in order to gain the upper hand in a work situation. In such instances, the claim can take the form of sexual harassment, an increasingly common claim in today’s climate of rising reports of women being sexually harassed in the workplace.
Just because so many such claims are truthful does not mean that false accusations can’t occur.
Get a Legal Defense for Inappropriate Touching
Whatever the case, if you have been falsely accused of inappropriate touching, it’s time for you to take action—legal action. It’s time to engage a knowledgeable Houston criminal defense attorney such as Neal Davis.
Neal Davis has years of experience handling the investigative work that’s needed to combat a false accusation or false allegation of sexual abuse or assault, which can include inappropriate touching. He’s succeeded in getting charges reduced or dismissed for many clients before trial. And he can help you, too.
For legal help in Harris County, Montgomery County or Fort Bend County, Texas, contact The Neal Davis Law Firm today to receive a free and confidential legal review of your case. We can advise you on how to proceed, and then you can decide if you want to engage our help.