The definition of the word “Allegation” is “a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof.”
The news is filled to overflowing with allegations of sexual misconduct. The list of well known people whose lives are immediately and often irreparably derailed has increased dramatically in just a few weeks. Actors Kevin Spacey, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck, and Dustin Hoffman are accused of decades old allegations of sexual misconduct. Powerful people such as Amazon executive Roy Price, former Alabama Chief Justice and Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore, Congressman John Conyers, and Senator Al Franken have all been accused of alleged misconduct. The allegations have spread to National Public Radio Chief Michael Oreskes and long time writer and host of A Prairie Home Companion Garrison Keillor. TV hosts Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer have been fired over allegations.
As a criminal defense lawyer in Tennessee, I can tell you that the allegations aren’t limited to Hollywood, the power halls of Washington, or the studios of New York. Main Street America is not immune from allegations of sexual misconduct. The common thread of allegations made against the powerful and elite to those made against the common citizen is that the effects of a simple allegation has life changing effects on everyone accused.
Some face criminal indictment, doors are kicked in, they could be handcuffed in front of their family, and taken to jail immediately facing bail bonds they can’t afford. Some are fired from jobs they’ve held for years, many are forced to leave their home and children in the face of threats from child protective agencies. Administrative allegations lead to firings from jobs related to children. The allegations are particularly harmful to those in the teaching and child care professions. While some allegations come soon after an alleged incident, some can come decades later. In the face of allegations carrying harsh penalties, perhaps even life sentences, deals are forced on citizens regulating where they can live, what children they can be in the presence of ,and even if they can be outside of their home on Halloween as a result of being placed on the Tennessee Sexual Offender’s Registry.
I am a criminal defense attorney and my job is to defend those accused of crimes. Often my clients are also facing administrative sanctions, attacks to remove their children, being forced from their home, and being fired from their job – all based on allegations, not proven fact.
Some accused citizens may have done what they are accused of or parts of the story may be true but other parts are very false. Very often the allegations are completely fabricated. In future articles, I will explain the different and life altering effects of sexual misconduct allegations, the effects on peoples lives, and what we as defenders of those accused can do to prevent your life from being derailed from allegations.
In Defense of the Citizen Accused,