People are arrested on allegations of child molestation every day. Often, there is little to no physical evidence in child molestation cases. An arrest for child molestation can be based solely on the allegations of the alleged victim child. The law in many jurisdictions does not require there to be any showing of physical evidence in addition to the word of the accuser in order for a person to be arrested or even convicted of child molestation. For example, in the state of Georgia, the law is specifically worded to indicate that the testimony of one witness, if believed, can be enough to establish a fact.
In many child molestation cases, the allegation are only touching of the child’s private area. This is not the type of act that would typically cause physical injury or leave behind any physical evidence. Physical evidence in child molestation cases of this type is rare almost to the point of being non-existent.
It is also common for alleged victims of child sexual abuse to allege that the sexual conduct occurred months or even years prior to the point at which the person comes forward with the allegations. In cases such as these, one would also not expect to see any physical evidence. The prosecutor will often argue that physical evidence in child molestation cases of this type may have existed at one point, but was erased by the passage of time.
It is a common misconception that a female child who is alleging penetrative sexual intercourse can be “checked to see if see if she is still a virgin”. This is not the case. Physical evidence in child molestation cases where sexual intercourse is alleged in not a given. The female hymen, even in a child, is not a seal that can be broken. It is possible for sexual intercourse to occur and result in no physical injury to the hymen, thus leaving no physical evidence behind. Thus, it can be very difficult to disprove allegations of child molestation just because there is not physical evidence. The prosecution may be allowed to go forward even if there is no physical evidence in child molestation cases
However, some acts of child molestation can result in physical injury to the child or the presence of other physical evidence such as an STD or DNA. If a child has cuts, swelling or bruising to his or her private areas, this will often be attributed to the abuse being alleged. It is important that your Decatur criminal lawyer work with experts to determine if there is any alternate explanation for the physical evidence in your case.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into child molestation cases.