Knowing what to do when you’re falsely accused of inappropriate touching can be difficult. The accused don’t often have malicious intentions, or intend to cause harm or distress — but the world is changing, and so is the way that we view physical contact.
There are a number of reasons why a person would accuse someone else of inappropriate touching, but the fact is, whether you didn’t do it, or you didn’t mean to do it, behaviors that were once known as harmless or silly are now often considered unacceptable. And if you’ve been accused of inappropriate touching, even if you didn’t do it, you could be facing serious consequences.
The criminal defense experts at Westfall Sellers know the ways in which these serious accusations can ruin a life. They take pride in giving thoughtful and compassionate defense to the falsely accused, and are here to tell you what to do if you’re falsely accused of inappropriate touching.
What is inappropriate touching, legally?
Never assume what another person will be comfortable with. What is inappropriate is defined 100% by the accuser, what one person might consider playful another person may consider a violation of their space or body. Inappropriate, non-sexual touching can even constitute assault or sexual assault in many cases.
Inappropriate touching can be filed under two categories:
- Sexual: Inappropriate touching is deemed sexual if it involves sensitive body parts like the mouth, genitals, or buttocks, and was unwanted and unsolicited by the other person. Touching of a non-sexual body part can still be considered sexual by your accuser, including stroking someone’s leg, or even grabbing their hands.
- Physical: Inappropriate touching not sexual in nature is considered physical touching. A charge frequently incurred by minors, inappropriate physical touching includes actions like light punches, shoves, slaps, or any other unsolicited action that results in physical harm. Because inappropriate physical touching can leave marks, it is easier to verify with concrete evidence.
Sexually inappropriate contact rarely leaves a mark, so a false allegation of sexual touching is easy to make and difficult to prove or disprove. Any unwanted physical contact, anywhere on the body, can be ruled inappropriate sexual or physical touching, especially if you are an adult and your accuser is a child.
The best way to avoid charges for inappropriate touching is to limit unrequested physical contact to simple gestures like handshakes or high fives, and if someone ever seems uncomfortable, take a step back. Inappropriate touching charges can carry heavy consequences when children are involved, but the same can be said for physical contact with adults.
Make sure that all contact is consensual, no matter how well you know a person or how benign a gesture may seem. Even if you are in a consensual relationship, you should make sure that both you and your partner are above the age of consent in Texas.
Continue reading: Romeo and Juliet laws in Texas
Laws on inappropriate touching
Inappropriate touching itself is not a crime, but is commonly used as corroborating evidence meant to back up the case of individuals accused of:
- Statutory rape
- Child abuse
- Aggravated assault
- Sexual assault
- Indecency with a child
The penalty for inappropriate touching depends on the crime it is being used to corroborate, but usually leads to a felony in Texas. Inappropriate touching of a sexual nature, like most sex crimes, can even land the accused with a lifetime sex offender registration.
How can I prove my innocence when falsely accused?
Disproving false allegations is incredibly difficult. To better determine how to disprove guilt, your attorney will take a close look into why you were accused. False accusations can come from misinterpretation of actions or misunderstandings on the part of the accuser or even a third party (most often in the case of children). Some scenarios in which false accusations of inappropriate behavior can happen include:
- Custody battles
- Teacher/student relationships
Someone can of course falsely accuse you out of anger or as an act of revenge, but can face serious consequences for lying to law enforcement if they are caught doing so. The penalty for false accusations, however, pales in comparison to the possible penalties incurred for inappropriate touching.
Going into court without a skilled defense attorney, no matter how preposterous the accusations may seem, can get you convicted of a crime you did not commit. If you have been accused of any crime involving inappropriate touching, you need to remain silent and hire an experienced lawyer.
What to do if you’re falsely accused of inappropriate touching
If you have been falsely accused of inappropriate touching, you need to call the Fort Worth sex crimes attorneys at Westfall Sellers today. They have experience handling sensitive cases with compassion and strategy, and know what it takes to prove to the court that you are innocent, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Someone has decided to put your life in jeopardy, now you need to do what it takes to get it back. Call Westfall Sellers today at 817-928-4222 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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