What is the “Me Too” Campaign?
The #MeToo hashtag has taken social media by storm. It has brought to light secrets that many thought were safely buried. According to Twitter, nearly 2 million have used the hashtag. Perhaps most notably, Harvey Weinstein’s name is heavily associated with the Me Too Movement. Fueled by both men and women around the world who claim they have suffered sexual harassment at the hands of some of Hollywood’s most powerful and well-known individuals, the Me Too Movement encourages those who feel they have been sexually harassed to come forward and share their stories. The movement pushes for Constitutional protections against sexual discrimination. The Me Too Movement suggests that society suffers from a weeping wound compounded by unequal power and the unwillingness of alleged victims to share their stories of sexual harassment. For years, this has been a taboo topic. Many are embarrassed to come forward after being sexually harassed, and many are hushed by their elite abusers. Some significantly powerful men have been caught in the Me Too wake – including: Kevin Spacey, James Toback, Ben Affleck, as well as countless other politicians, CEO’s and producers in Hollywood.
How Does This Affect the General Public?
With the attention that the Meet Too Campaign has drawn, it encourages women of all walks of life to stand up and voice their concerns in situations where sexual harassment may be prevalent. Although the Me Too Campaign was not created with nefarious underpinnings, there are always drawbacks and individuals ready and willing to take advantage of any situation. As defense attorneys, we have defended countless men and women who are victims of domestic violence accusations which simply are not true. When our clients are involved in relationships and breakups where intense feelings are involved, logical decisions are not always made. It is not uncommon for a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, employee, etc., to use accusations of sexual harassment as revenge. Our attorneys often see spouses throwing around accusations for purposes of gaining custody of children, as well as disgruntled employees after being fired - accusing their bosses of inappropriate behavior. The reason this is so often used is because cases of domestic violence and sexual harassment are almost always a “he said, she said” case. Law enforcement is required to take these allegations seriously, and often proceed with investigations and even case filings absent any physical evidence. Our defense attorneys have helped hundreds of wrongfully accused escape criminal convictions after revenge accusations.
What Are Some Defenses?
With such a taboo topic, and with law enforcement inherently believing the complaining party nine out of ten times, how does one defend against such awful accusations? Here are just a few of the ways our experienced attorneys have won domestic violence and sexual harassment cases:
More often than not, a thorough investigation will reveal that the accuser has some motive to see the accused obtain a criminal conviction. Our investigations often reveal custody battles, a jealous ex, or simply an impulsive lover, blinded by anger. Our investigations often reveal third-party witnesses who will willingly vouch for our clients, and other facts that significantly weaken the prosecution’s case. It is not uncommon for charged to be reduced or dropped completely once exculpatory evidence is uncovered.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in domestic violence cases can be tricky. Technically, the statute of limitations for this offense is three years. This means that the accuser (and the DA) have three years from the last occurrence of alleged abuse to pursue charges against the alleged. However, if the accuser alleges that the abuse occurred over a long period of time, and the last occurrence falls within the three-year statute of limitations, then all occurrences may be alleged in court. This means that a defendant may face several counts of domestic violence, one for each alleged occurrence.
One way that our defense attorneys have successfully defended against this type of case is to disprove the allegation that the last occurrence is within the statute of limitations. This can be done by discovering whether or not the police were called on that last occurrence, whether there were any witnesses, and whether or not the couple reconciled thereafter. Again, in-depth investigation is necessary in a defense using the statute of limitations, as well.