“In the morning, I was a blameless man, supporting my children, my wife and a mortgage. By the end of the day, I was in a police cell, under arrest, facing the possibility of imprisonment and financial ruin. All of this, because of a lie.”
This is the account of a man who found himself falsely accused of a sexual offence, only for the case to be dropped a year later. In between time though he endured an investigation that left him feeling shamed and alienated, and with his reputation in tatters.
There are many circumstances under which someone can find themselves the subject of a false allegation of a sexual offence – a misunderstanding as to the nature of a sexual encounter, the complainant’s need to absolve themselves of blame or shame for such an encounter, revenge for a relationship gone bad, to ‘get even’ for some wrong they feel they have been done. But while the complainant remains anonymous during the investigation, and often during any subsequent trial, the identity of the accused is not protected.
Being accused of a sexual offence, such as rape or child abuse, is a very serious matter and one requiring specialist and expert legal representation. One of the first things anyone facing an allegation of a sexual nature should do is contact a firm of solicitors with extensive experience and proven success in defending such cases. However, while the best legal team may be working on your case, you will be facing other life-changing challenges.
A person falsely accused of a sexual offence, regardless of how minor, faces a ream of consequences, some of which they may never recover from:
- financial difficulties and debt from funding a strong legal defence or from being suspended from work and in some cases losing their job
- marital breakdown, possibly divorce
- broken families
- ruined friendships
- tarnished reputation
“I have to live with the fact that a woman set out to ruin me, in a manner so low and loathsome I still can’t quite believe that it happened, and she pretty much succeeded,” said one victim of a false allegation. “And that’s what it’s like being falsely accused of a sexual assault.”
Even when the accusations are proven false, the falsely accused person can face a lifetime of repercussions.
Kayode Modupe-Ojo, a businessman who went to prison for three weeks following false accusations of rape, saw both his reputation and his business destroyed as a result. Although Mr Modupe-Ojo was acquitted when his trial at Newcastle Crown Court collapsed last year due to glaring discrepancies in the prosecution case, he said that by then the damage had already been done. “The judge directed the jury to acquit me, but my reputation was left in tatters,’ he says. ‘There are people out there who think there’s ‘no smoke without fire’.”
Leading UK law firm Edward Hayes LLP has a successful track-record in defeating false allegations in criminal, family and civil proceedings. Our experienced lawyers will advise you every step of the way to achieve the best outcome possible. Contact our team in the South East on 0800 085 9684 or for the rest of the UK on 0845 602 3043.