Statutory rape charges can be life-altering and could lead to sex offender registry if convicted. Statutory rape in Kentucky is usually charged as either Rape in the Third Degree or Rape in the Second Degree, depending on the age of the defendant and the age of the accuser.
Fortunately, there are ways to defend yourself. We take a look at them below:
1. Proving Your Accuser Has Made Untruthful Allegations
A key to fighting statutory rape accusations in Lexington, Kentucky, is proving that the accuser lied to you about their age or is now lying to prosecutors and police.
Kentucky is one of only a few states that allows a mistake of age defense in statutory rape cases. Mistakes of age are usually established by showing the accuser lied about their age. However, this is not a valid defense if your mistake was not a reasonable mistake. The age of the accuser, fake ID use, and other factors will influence whether the mistake was reasonable.
Proving the accuser lied to you is a risky defense; it usually involves admitting that a sexual encounter occurred. You do not want to try to build this defense by yourself. This defense should only be pursued with the help of experienced legal counsel due to the risk of incriminating yourself.
The other defense strategy is proving the accuser is lying to investigators. This can be done through contradictory witness statements or by proving an alibi. For example, if you weren’t with the accuser at the time of the alleged conduct, you might have an alibi.
2. Proving the Entrapment Defense in Lexington
Many statutory rape cases begin with police stings. These police investigations often begin on social media or dating apps. A police officer will pose as an underage female and try to induce an older man to meet them for a sexual encounter.
Under Kentucky law, you cannot be prosecuted for a crime if you were induced or encouraged to break the law by law enforcement and were not “otherwise disposed” to commit the crime. This is known as the Entrapment Defense.
If police put pressure on you to break the law when you otherwise would not have, this could be a strong defense strategy for you.
3. Challenging Evidence Seized in Violation of Your Constitutional Rights
Whenever police investigate a crime, they are subject to thousands of pages of statutes and case law that dictate what they can and cannot do under the law. These rules exist to protect us from unlawful police conduct.
The exclusionary rule is a tool used by courts to check unlawful police actions. This rule says that evidence taken by police in violation of your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights must be excluded from court proceedings.
When your defense lawyer identifies an illegal police action during a search, arrest, or interrogation, they will file a motion to suppress evidence with the court. The court will then have a hearing on the issue, with witnesses testifying about what happened.
If the hearing is successful, evidence seized in violation of your rights will be thrown out of court and cannot be used against you. Frequently this can make or break a case.
4. Challenging Forensic Evidence
Statutory rape cases in Lexington, Kentucky, often involve forensic evidence such as sperm, hair, or even blood samples taken from the crime scene or accuser. Forensic evidence can be challenged in two main ways.
First, the evidence could be challenged with a suppression motion, as discussed above. The other way to challenge forensic evidence is to prove that it is tainted and unreliable — that it cannot be trusted.
Sometimes, police mishandle evidence and ruin its value. For instance, did the same cop who questioned you then return to the crime scene? That could explain why your hair fiber was present. Tiny details like this are incredibly important, and a lawyer can help you find them.
Contact a Lexington Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
If you are facing charges for statutory rape, you could become a registered sex offender if convicted. You need to fight for your future. Get in touch with an attorney right away to protect your rights.