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I was wondering what the process is for pressing charges…

Customer Question
Hi, I was wondering...

Hi, I was wondering what the process is for pressing charges against someone who sexually abused me as a child.

Lawyer's Assistant: What were they charged with exactly? Are there any upcoming court dates?

Currently they haven't been charged yet. I am thinking of pressing charges bug haven't done anything yet.

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

Maine from what I remember but I moved around alot.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I currently have a PFA against both of my biological parents and have custody of six of my siblings.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/18/2018
Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,610
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

Good evening,

I'm very sorry to hear about what happened to you. A victim of a crime cannot press charges. Only the government, through the prosecutor's office can actually file charges (this is why criminal cases are "State of _______ versus Defendant"). You could file a police report, which ultimately would be forwarded to the prosecutor's office to make a determination.

Filing a police report doesn't necessarily guarantee that a prosecutor would file charges, however. The prosecution has to be able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high burden of proof. Thus, a prosecutor has to feel that there is enough to establish that the defendant(s) are guilty of the crime and that they could demonstrate that in court. If they ultimately feel that there is insufficient evidence, they have the right to decline to take on the case.

Please let me know if I may clarify anything or provide you with any additional information.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Okay, so two years ago when I got the PFA I filed a police report about the physical emotional abuse and neglect. I did not have any memories of being sexually abused at the time. There was allegations of my daf sexually abusing my biological sister but no evidence at the time. That was why I initially got a PFA. I am worried they will not believe me since I had filed a report back then but had no memories of being sexually abused.
Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

And that's a possibility, if I'm being honest with you. You're talking about something that happened decades earlier that you now remember (perhaps with the help of counseling or a doctor) but there's nothing to back up your accusations. Look at it from a prosecutor's perspective, who would have to entirely reply on your testimony. And of course, a defense attorney would try to pick apart your claim about what happened, challenge your recollections, perhaps accuse you of fabricating the whole thing, perhaps accuse you of having fake memories planted by a doctor, etc. In a jury case, all it would take is one juror to feel that there was reasonable doubt.

That said, I have no way of knowing for certain what a prosecutor would do, and you have nothing to lose by trying. The worst thing that happens is these refuse to prosecute, and while that would be awful for you, you'd also be in no worse a position than you are in now.

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Criminal Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

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