In the following section we will be touching on three surprising facts about sexual assault charges, which can be seen from wrongful convictions cannot be ignored, a portion of complainants are not telling the whole truth and the various stringent limits criminal defense lawyers face in trial.
1) It is no question that sexual assault charges are very serious and do exist within society, however we must also be aware that the defendant in a sexual assault change can also be innocent and wrongly convicted. False convictions occur more than one may think due to a number of factors. For example, political agendas, systematic racism, eyewitness misidentification, false testimonies, unreliable scientific-based evidence and so on. The Canadian criminal justice system is not perfect and sometimes the result is susceptible to human-based error that leads to false convictions or even not guilty verdicts when the defendant was in fact guilty. We will briefly touch on some facts relating to sexual assault charges to base our insight from. It is true that some individuals decide not to report sexual assault charges, it is also true that individuals can be falsely accused of sexual assault charges. It is true that a victim experiencing a sexual assault will go through brutal emotional and physical stresses, it is also true that a sexual assault charge can ruin a defendant’s life who is innocent. We must understand that the justice system is not absolute and does possess flaws, however we also must be aware that the justice system holds itself to very high standards of law to ensure proper proceedings and an utmost fair trial.
2) Although a sexual assault is a highly emotional topic of discussion based on an individual’s past or present experiences, we must also understand that some complainants are not telling the whole truth. No matter what the motivation is to lie about a sexual assault encounter, there is no disputing the fact that it happens, therefore it is essential we identify when this is occurring and help stop it, so true sexual assault cases can be focused towards and dealt with proper justice. Individuals may decide to not tell the truth in regards to a sexual assault based on a number of motives such as gaining attention, financial benefits, and revenge for an unrelated matter between the victim and defendant. The important thing is to be aware of when this is happening and deter it in future cases.
3) A criminal defense lawyer faces restrictions on what they can ask a complainant. The reason for this is to ensure questions to the complainant are not irrelevant or prejudicial in nature, instead a criminal defense lawyer must base their questions in good faith. For instance, a good faith based set of questions aim for accuracy and avoids framing false suggestions within the questions. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, unrelated past sexual activity-based questions are not sanctioned in trial and questions should be relevant and not abusive in nature. We begin to see that certain questions are not authorized, to ensure a standard of neutrality and fairness within the justice system, which demonstrates one of the high ranking standards of the justice system. It is important to be aware of the facts that may not be apart of common knowledge, this will ensure viable steps are taken to uphold proper justice-based principles and remove ones that damage the standard of law.