I was searching for something yesterday and opened on pages of this law firm’s website (http://www.premierdefensegroup.com/). I began to read the pages and blog posts and found some very salient points that seemed to be speaking about Jacob’s case. Sexual abuse accusations are indeed very different from any other type of criminal accusation, and the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is often thrown out the window. This firm’s pages should be read by anyone accused of these crimes. I say that not as an endorsement of this firm, because I know nothing about them, but because I have experience in such a case.
Unfortunately, when someone is suddenly accused of such awful things, they do not take a lot of time to research attorneys. They are desperate to find help. Most people accused of such things have no idea where to begin. They believe that surely people will not believe the lies and will at least ask questions. They hope that the accuser will take back the lies.
One point that is made on this site is that there is a myth that children and teens do not lie. They do lie. That was the point of one of my earlier posts. I believe that the young person has no idea that lies wreak havoc and will ruin someone’s life, and not only that accused person’s life, but also the lives of that person’s loved ones. Once the lie is out though, it is almost impossible to go back on your words, especially if the lies get you attention.
Another point is that the police are only interested in confession and/or conviction once they have the case. This was also another point of one of my earlier posts. The police are not interested in the truth, as so many wrongfully accused and convicted have learned, as we did. They are not searching for the truth. They are not investigating your case for the truth, and they actually may not be investigating anything at all. Their investigation may end with the accusations, because that is all they really need. They are not concerned that an innocent person’s life may be ruined because of their lack of effort.
It was such a revelation for us to realize that none of the institutions that we once believed were there to protect us and administer justice are not really interested in the truth. They are interested only in preserving the process which is not about the truth; that burden of truth is on the accused to try to prove their innocence. We were on our own (with the help of costly defense). We were the inexperienced against the power and resources of a government that handles sex crimes regularly. Their team was already way ahead of us without much effort.
Do not hold faith that the justice system will be working for you or that by some miracle the truth will come out or believe that reasonable doubt will hold a prominent place in a sexual offense case, especially when it is a young person who makes the accusations. Recently a person working within the justice system expressed a guesstimate that about 5% to 10% of those convicted of sex crimes are actually innocent. Of course, that is not a documented figure and estimates of the percentage of the innocently convicted for all types of crimes vary greatly while often focusing on statistics for crimes of murder or rape or kidnapping. It seems almost impossible to actually calculate how many innocent people have been convicted of crimes or innocent people who have taken plea agreements when faced with the overwhelming weight of this justice system against them.
If you want to ruin another person’s life, sex crime accusations are the ones to make. An accused person can be convicted only on the words of an accuser with a little innuendo or intimation to suggest things about you that are not proved and not even evidence of anything about the accusations. No one is or can be ready for such accusations. We were not prepared and learned so much the hard way. There are many things we would have done differently if only we had the benefit of the research and experience we have now.
Our family has been damaged in so many ways, and when I think of one word to describe the loss, I name it joy. I wonder if it will ever return, but think, ‘how can it possibly return as long as my son lives under this stigma that has robbed him of his future?’ My husband and I suffer daily knowing that we are unable to do much but support him as his friends also try to offer support. Still none of us can truly know Jacob’s feelings and pain about what has happened to him. He told me a story of an employer who asked him questions that I considered voyeuristic. There is such ugliness all around him as there has been from the start.
Our family has lost our right to be all together in times of happiness and sadness, and the loss is not just for Jacob, but for us and his sister and his son and his nephew. My grandsons, who the county claims they are protecting by keeping Jacob away from them, are damaged by the loss of a father and uncle. They are not protecting my grandchildren; they are hurting them. Certainly children must be protected from abusers, but my son is innocent. And even if he were not, the decision to separate families should be done on an individual basis. A blanket decision against offenders to keep them away from their children has effects on not only that offender, but the children. Who can really understand the long-term consequences of the absence of that loved one.
Time is passing and can never be regained for any of us. We get through it because we must. The only other choice is to give up, and I seldom give up. Each day is a struggle to feel empathy and keep away hateful thoughts towards the young person who did this horrible thing. I try, not for that person, but for me. I often wonder if that person cares or suffers knowing what the lies about Jacob cost us, yet knowing that the person has no real idea of the devastating impact of those lies and perhaps is able to rationalize it. But there is no rationalization; no one deserves to be convicted of crimes they did not commit. I hear rationalization in the events of citizens who have been killed by the police as if to malign the victim makes the event defensible.