False Sexual Assault Accusations


False sexual assault accusations are real. Every day, in police stations and courtrooms throughout the United States, someone faces false rape accusations, a false sexual assault allegation, and many other false allegations involving sexual violence. While our criminal justice system works on the presumption that an alleged victim is telling the truth, unfortunately, not all allegations of sexual violence are real. 

An accuser sharing a story of rape or sexual assault is generally accepted without significant investigation. Sexual offense charges are then brought forth against a defendant. In Rhode Island, cases that allege any form of penetration are charged as first-degree sexual assault or child molestation, depending upon the complainant’s age. Defendants facing a sex crime accusation are routinely held for two weeks without bail, despite the credibility of the charges. A person’s job, ability to parent, or ability to attend school is completely upended as they await the results of a bail hearing.

It’s common for a student to make a false accusation throughout college or high school. We live in a day and age where a complaining witness would rather be a victim of a crime than a person who made a questionable decision to engage in sex.


An accuser that engaged in sexual intercourse while intoxicated may be quick to state that they never consented or simply don’t remember consenting. Of course, the defendant may have been intoxicated as well, but that is not a defense, at least in terms of the initial sex crime charges.

As a defense attorney, I’ve found that the only effective form of representation is aggressively fighting the false sexual assault or rape accusation. It starts with working all channels to attempt to secure bail at the arraignment. If the client is still held, then all preparations must go into a bail hearing where there can be an opportunity to confront and cross-examine an accuser at a very early stage and gauge precisely what took place. An investigation should also begin immediately, including visiting the alleged crime scene and interviewing all potential witnesses.

If the matter is awaiting grand jury, a decision should be made as to whether or not the client should testify at the grand jury in an attempt to convince a grand jury that probable cause does not exist to charge the case. A seasoned grand jury can be an excellent opportunity to end a case early and avoid the necessity of going to trial.

Just because false sexual assault and rape allegations happen every day, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Fortunately, the Rhode Island Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys at the Law Office of John E. MacDonald is here to help if you, a family member, or a friend are ever the victim of a false sexual assault or false rape accusation. 

FAQs Regarding False Sexual Assault Accusations

Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers that can help you move forward after facing a false sexual assault accusation: 

What do you do if you are falsely accused of sexual assault?

Being falsely accused of rape or any other form of sexual abuse can present a highly threatening situation. Rhode Island and most states see sex crimes as a grave offense, so this shouldn’t be taken lightly. When people face false accusations, they may not take them seriously, blame the accuser, or pretend nothing happened. Doing nothing and assuming the problem will go away is one of the biggest mistakes someone can make in these circumstances. 

If you’re the victim of a false sexual assault accusation, follow these three steps:

  • Contact a sex crimes defense attorney immediately. The sooner you contact a defense attorney, the better your outcome will be. Your defense attorney can immediately begin an investigation into your case, interview witnesses, visit the crime scene, and take other necessary steps to start designing your defense strategy. 
  • Don’t talk to anyone. Remember that anything you say to the police, the accuser, or a friend can be used against you. It’s important to stay silent after you’re charged and only speak to your defense attorney regarding the false allegation. 
  • Collect as much information as possible. To help your defense attorney begin their investigation into your case, collect as much information as possible about the false sex crime. For instance, where was the alleged crime scene, who are potential witnesses, and what is the timeline? The more information your defense attorney has, the stronger your case will be. 

At the Law Office of John E. MacDonald, we understand that facing a false sex crime allegation is one of the scariest experiences a person can have. As long as you work closely with a skilled sex crime defense attorney, refrain from talking to others about your case, and diligently collect information regarding the alleged crime, you’re taking the appropriate initial steps. 

Why do people falsely make rape accusations?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why people make false rape accusations, false sexual assault allegations, and other accusations concerning sexual violence. Someone might make a false accusation to threaten an employer, gain a sense of control over an ex-spouse, or avoid taking accountability for poor sexual choices. Regardless of why someone makes a false accusation, the important thing to know is that you don’t have to go down without a fight. A defense attorney from our law firm can help pave a path towards a solution and aggressively fight for your right of innocence until proven guilty. 

Will I go to jail if someone makes a false rape claim against me? 

Jail time is a penalty for rape, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and other sex crimes. However, when you work with a seasoned, knowledgeable, and determined Rhode Island defense attorney, the chances of facing a jail sentence for a false accusation are dramatically reduced. We work tirelessly to ensure that those falsely accused do not face a jail sentence or other harsh penalties. 

What are possible defenses for false sexual assault or rape accusations? 

The defense strategy that we build for each client will depend on their case’s specific circumstances, but there are various paths to defend a false accusation. Your defense lawyer may be able to prove that there was indeed consent. There may be a case of mistaken identity, tainted evidence, or a witness may have damaging information that can hurt the accuser’s case. To hear more about how we can defend you in a false sex allegation case, contact our law office as soon as possible. 

What can a defense attorney do for me if I’m falsely accused of sexual assault?

A skilled defense attorney may be the only person that can resolve something as terrifying as a false rape or false sexual assault allegation. Remember that you cannot speak to the accuser, or anyone else for that matter, once an investigation has begun. This makes it almost impossible to resolve this legal issue on your own. You can’t ignore it, try to talk your way out of it, or sufficiently defend yourself in court.

A defense attorney specializing in false accusations can dive into your case from different perspectives to find the right approach. Your defense attorney will conduct a comprehensive analysis of accuser and witness statements, explore your timeline, identify faulty evidence, and provide you with the best possible defense strategy. Your defense attorney will work relentlessly to discover any facts that can prove this is a false accusation. Most of all, your defense attorney can help you avoid severe penalties, such as years in prison. 
Remember that you don’t want to go through this alone, but you also can’t go through a false sexual assault allegation alone. Contact the Law Office of John E. MacDonald today to learn more about how we can help you overcome this complex legal challenge.