Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 265, Section 22(b), a prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the two key elements to achieve a conviction of a defendant:
- The defendant had sexual intercourse or "unnatural sexual intercourse" with the alleged victim
- the defendant compelled the alleged victim to submit to the intercourse by force and against that person's will or by threat of bodily injury. Force may, but doesn't necessarily have to be, physical in nature and may include verbal coercion.
The Boston criminal defense lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have successfully defended many wrongfully accused rape cases over the years. Our attorneys understand the embarrassment, anger, frustration, and overwhelming emotions you face. Rape cases are emotionally-charged and often present unique challenges to uncovering the truth. Our criminal attorneys will present the best case possible on your behalf, after a thorough investigation, to cast reasonable doubt on the charge, whether it is through showing the alleged victim consented, fraudulently brought the rape charge, or through other means. Contact us today at 617-225-2100 to put our skill and expertise to work for you.The Consequences Can Be Severe
Rape convictions carry severe penalties that can completely alter the course of a defendant's life. If you are convicted of rape, you face up to 20 years in jail for a first offense and up to life in prison for subsequent offenses. If rape is committed with a firearm, there is a mandatory minimum 10 year prison sentence in Massachusetts.Experienced And Skilled Defense Is Critical
Massachusetts criminal law does have safeguards against false rape charges, but a skilled and experienced criminal attorney is needed to cast doubt on the alleged victim's credibility and reliability or the factual evidence against a defendant. For example, under the Massachusetts "first complaint" doctrine, the person who heard the "first complaint" of the alleged victim is allowed to testify in court to determine the credibility of the accuser. There are many other defense tactics to employ, including eyewitness error, police misconduct, fraudulent accusation from the accuser, consent, etc.Wrongful Rape Convictions Are Unfortunately Common
Wrongful rape convictions, sadly, are far more common than commonly thought. In fact, Suffolk County, Massachusetts has the most wrongful convictions in the entire country. DNA evidence now helps exonerate many wrongfully accused defendants, but it is still imperative to bring the most thorough, experienced, and savvy criminal defense possible to avoid being wrongfully convicted.Date Rape
Rape by strangers, contrary to what the media often portrays, is relatively rare. In fact, only 1/4 of all rapes are committed by someone the victim does not know. A far more common occurrence is "acquaintance rape" or "date rape" where the alleged defendant is known. Often, these occur and are alleged on college campuses. The elements requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt are no different, however, and there are unfortunately many wrongfully accused date rapes.
You don't have to face the legal system alone. Contact an experienced Boston criminal defense attorney today at 617-225-2100. We have successfully tried cases in every court in the Commonwealth and are eager to begin investigating and defending your case. Call today for a FREE and confidential evaluation.