What To Expect From a DC Sex Abuse Investigation

The following is information on what you should expect from a sex abuse investigation if accused in Washington, DC. If you believe you may be under investigation, even if you have yet to be arrested, it is important you consult with a DC sex abuse lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

What Types of Evidence Will Law Enforcement Be Looking For In a Sex Abuse Investigation?

In a sex abuse case, the investigation is oftentimes complete or near completion before the arrest even occurs. However, in the instances where an arrest happens relatively quickly after an alleged offense, an investigation will entail the government trying to find any and all evidence that establishes that the defendant committed the act against the complainant. This will include talking to witnesses and trying to find video or any other evidence. This is very common in Washington, DC when the allegations are that someone took advantage of another person because they were too intoxicated to consent.

In this instance law enforcement would go to the apartment building to see if they could get footage from the lobby camera showing one person is clearly intoxicated while the other is not. Additionally, they’ll try to get video footage from the restaurant, bar, or wherever the individuals were earlier, in order to establish that one person clearly appears to be impaired while the other does not.

If it’s a situation where forcible rape by a stranger is alleged, law enforcement will want to get any kind of video evidence they can from any source at all including:

  • Public or private businesses
  • Buildings nearby
  • Streetlight cameras
  • Intersection cameras
  • Or anything else that could potentially capture the events or the perpetrator

Video evidence is probably the strongest evidence that the government will get besides a confession from the defendant.

Other Types of Evidence Used In Sex Abuse Cases

In addition to video evidence, the government will also attempt to complete DNA testing if applicable. This type of evidence is helpful if the complainant went to police or the hospital quickly enough that they could take clothing or actual evidence directly from the body. In this instance, there would be biological samples taken and DNA swabs done to test that. Additionally they would look for any kind of phone messages, text messages, or other records particularly if the individuals knew each other and there was any kind of history between them. They want to get all those records to see if there is any acknowledgement or evidence that the alleged sexual abuse occurred that can be substantiated using these records.

What is the Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney After a Sex Abuse Investigation and Arrest?

If you have been arrested by the government then it is important you have an attorney to make sure your rights were protected throughout the arrest and investigation process, that your defense is being properly prepared, and that the government is not going to walk all over you.

Being arrested means they believe that they’re going to at least initially file charges against you, so you need to have an attorney to make sure that you are not doing anything that’s going to harm your defense and that everything that can be done is being done. It is critical that you have an attorney jump into the process as early as possible to discuss your case.

What Are The Biggest Mistakes To Avoid When Being Investigated For Sexual Abuse?

The number one mistake is failing to consult with an attorney, if an individual knows they’re being investigated, which typically happens because the detective leaves them a message, knocks on the door, or leaves a card. Failure to contact an attorney is a critical mistake because oftentimes the police will invite you down to the police station and ask you to talk to them. They will tell you that you’re not being arrested, and this is not custodial.

Its important for them to say that it’s not custodial, because that means they don’t have to read you the Miranda rights, which means everything you say to them can be used against you because you’re not technically in custody. Initially, they want to engage you in friendly conversation and get you to admit things that they otherwise would have to prove. They will do so without ever telling you exactly what the allegations are against you. You are setting yourself up for major problems later if you don’t hire an attorney once you find out that you’re being investigated for a crime, particularly a serious one, like sexual abuse.