Historical Child Sex Abuse Charges in Queensland
Historical sexual matters became more prominent before the Courts as a result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013.
The fallout from the inquiry was that persons felt more comfortable making complaints of historical sexual abuse, and those complaints were taken seriously by prosecuting authorities. Also, new legislation was introduced which required an adult who reasonably believed (or should reasonably believe) that a child is being or has been the victim of sexual abuse by another adult to report that to police.
The most prominent case from this inquiry was the matter of Cardinal George Pell.
Jones + Associates have represented a number of persons charged with these historical sexual abuse offences, and a common concern our clients share, particularly when first charged is “how do I prove these allegations false”.
An important part of our legal process is that the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and that burden requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Whilst in a perfect world for our clients, an alibi for every allegation would be useful, considering the nature of these allegations, with non-specific timing, an alibi is often impossible to rely upon.
These types of charges can still be successfully defended without an alibi. There are several approaches which can be taken to trials to achieve a positive result, and our office has utilised a number of these to successfully defend clients against these types of allegations.
As was the case in the matter of George Pell, he was able to successfully defend those charges without necessarily relying upon an alibi to do so.
It is important for persons charged with these offences to understand that the burden is not on them to prove these types of allegations wrong, but upon the Crown to prove the allegations true beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with an offence of this nature and need legal advice, don’t delay – contact Jones + Associates.