A story in the Houston Chronicle this week shows just how rare arrests are in sexual assault cases. They state that according to FBI data, 42% of cases in the surrounding eight counties resulted in arrests in 2009. This is out of a total of 1,700 rape cases reported.
Even though most sexual assaults are committed at the hands of someone whom the victim knows, police in the area estimate about 25% are committed by strangers. About 75% of all rapes occur within a home or apartment.
Some, however, are committed in random outdoor places. More than 400 were committed in fields, woods, parking lots, sidewalks, and on streets. Obviously, these were more likely to be the offenses committed by strangers.
But why rape cases don’t end in arrest can be blamed on several things, one of which being the victim’s refusal or reluctance to cooperate. Despite the modern times, there is a huge stigma still attached to sexual assault. Victims are often plagued with feelings of guilt even when they had nothing to do with the violence brought upon them.
If they knew the suspect it makes cooperation that much less likely. While they may report the offense initially, they will become more hesitant with time, preferring to put the situation behind them as quickly as possible. Understandably, talking with police weeks or even months after the fact can be traumatic to a victim trying to move on.
There is an equally if not bigger stigma attached to being accused of rape. When you are accused of committing a sex offense, you will be looked at with utter disdain and even disgust. If you are innocent of the charges it can be even more difficult to bear this sort of backlash.
Everyone from the alleged victim to the police and even people whom you would normally think to be unbiased has an opinion when it comes to sex crimes, and this opinion is not favorable.
Stigma is the least of your worries in such cases. You could be slapped with a lengthy prison sentence, fines, and extremely restrictive sex offender registry requirements if you are convicted. This isn’t the kind of case that goes away after it’s resolved in court—it’s the kind that follows you forever.
If you are facing any sex crime charges in the state of Texas, you need someone in your corner because it’s going to seem like no one has any sort of sympathy for you.
Contact our offices today to speak with a local Texas criminal defense attorney.