Protecting an Innocent Man from an Egregious Charge
Child sex assault and indecency-with-a-child cases are among the most difficult to defend due to the heinousness of the offense. So it is with great joy that Flanary Law Firm, PLLC, can announce another win for an innocent client in a felony court of Bexar County, Texas, on a charge of Indecency with a Child.
Our client had a story to tell. He waited a long time for his day in court to be able to tell that story. From our perspective, the witness statements all fit together to show not only how a false outcry came about, but also why the alleged assault could not have physically happened.
Why did our client have to face this expensive, drawn out prosecution and trial if the evidence showed his innocence? The jury wanted to know the same thing.
Donald H. Flanary, III. and Amanda I. Hernandez elicited testimony to show how the initial investigation was greatly lacking. Law enforcement never attempted to interview multiple witnesses at the scene of the alleged incident—not even the outcry witnesses. Prosecutors, as well, never attempted to interview these witnesses. In fact, the State called our client's wife to testify without ever knowing what her answers would be, but resting a key assumption of their case on events she'd witnessed.
The State's theory in large part depended on believing the child's outcry wholesale, without evaluating its major flaws. Each link in the investigative chain—from the police officer to the physician at the hospital to the forensic interviewer—was infected with confirmatory bias. Some State witnesses openly admitted their bias on the stand in response to defense questioning.
Our expert was well-received by the jury in explaining how this confirmatory bias often happens in child sex assault cases, even when the investigators have the best of intentions. Our expert identified the importance of auditing the "outcry process," meaning understanding everyone that's spoken to or interviewed the child about the allegations prior to professionals taking over, in order to avoid false criminal accusations.
The jury pieced together the true story when the defense presented multiple witnesses from the night of the alleged incident. They empathized with our client and the consequences that come with any criminal charge, but especially an egregious charge of indecency with a child. They did not automatically see our client as the offense, but rather as a human who deserved the best that our criminal justice system has to offer—a fair hearing of the evidence in front of an impartial and unbiased jury. And the jury found him not guilty.