International General Counsel Awards
Modern Law Awards 204
TACDL ...wherever justice demands
Tennessee Bar Association

Sexual Assault Defenses

Nashville Attorney Representing Defendants in Sex Crime Cases

Putting forth a defense to allegations of sexual battery, rape, or other sex crimes takes careful preparation and legal knowledge. Nashville sex crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy recognizes the challenges faced by individuals who have been accused of these crimes. He can examine the facts to formulate an appropriate defense strategy in a felony or misdemeanor sex offense case. If you have been arrested in Davidson or Williamson County, Bernie McEvoy can assist you in evaluating potential sexual assault defenses.

Defenses to Tennessee Sexual Assault Offenses

Whether a particular sexual assault defense may be available will depend on the details of case. In some sexual assault cases, the defense may argue multiple defense theories to contest the charges. In addition, although the defense is not required to rebut the prosecution’s case, it may offer its own evidence and witnesses to discredit the allegations. Below are some defenses to criminal sexual assault offenses.

Insufficient Evidence for Conviction

The prosecution has a heavy burden to prove each element of a sexual assault offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to present evidence of every element at trial, your defense attorney may argue for a directed verdict in your favor. The defense may also object to evidence improperly submitted to the jury. For example, if the prosecution fails to establish the chain of custody for a DNA testing sample that passed through multiple hands for analysis, the defense may argue that the results are unreliable and therefore inadmissible. If there is insufficient evidence that you committed a crime, the charge should be dismissed.

Consent or Reasonable Belief of Consent

Consent may be a defense to some types of sexual assault offenses. In general, no crime is committed when sound-minded adults engage in consensual sex acts. If the defendant and the accuser willingly agreed to the alleged sexual contact, for example, the defendant has not committed sexual battery. Prostitution and solicitation are among the few exceptions, and consent is typically unavailable as a defense to most sex crimes involving minor or incapacitated victims. In some cases, the defense may apply if the defendant had an honest and reasonable belief that the accuser consented. It may also cover situations in which the defendant reasonably did not know that the alleged victim could not give consent, or did not give consent.

Mistaken Identity

If the defendant did not commit the sexual assault, the defense may argue that he was mistakenly identified by the accuser or another witness. Lineups, photo arrays, and in-court identifications are often used to find the perpetrator of a sexual assault crime. However, mistakes can be, and are, made by eyewitnesses. Further, identifications that are inherently suggestive and unreliable may constitute a due process violation and be thrown out by the court.

False Accusations

Individuals who have been falsely accused of sexual assault may feel helpless and angry. In some cases, the truth becomes evident through evidence of text messages, email or audio recordings, testimony of friends and family members, and other witnesses. The opinion of a medical expert who has reviewed the case could also cast doubt on the allegations. If the defense can raise a reasonable doubt with evidence that the defendant was falsely accused, the sexual assault case should be dismissed.

Statute of Limitations

Some Tennessee criminal sex offenses may be subject to a statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations is applicable and the defendant is charged with a sex crime after it has expired, the defense may argue for dismissal. The limitations period, if any, varies depending on the punishment, the type of criminal offense, and possibly other circumstances required by the law. Determining whether this defense may be used in a particular case involves a number of considerations, which may be further explained by a sex crimes attorney.

Consult with a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in the Nashville Area

Nashville attorney Bernie McEvoy can provide experienced legal representation to people accused of sexual assault and other serious crimes. He has represented defendants throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, including Franklin and Nashville. Request an appointment by calling (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 after hours and on weekends, or by submitting our contact form online.

Client Reviews
“Bernie McEvoy was very focused on learning all the facts of the case I brought to him. He represented me with the highest of professionalism. He is a great listener who knows how to formulate a plan of action and seek the best possible solution.” Larry M.
“From the moment I met Mr. McEvoy, he welcomed me as a client and provided excellent representation. He has compassion for each person and works diligently to provided the best possible results.” Lawrence E.
“We hired Bernie for a criminal defense case. Overall we were pleased with the outcome. I would recommend Mr. McEvoy. He is very pleasant to work with and works “for” you, not the system. Thanks Bernie!” Taffney H.