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Planted text messages led to dismissal of criminal charges

Sexual abuse allegations are serious, emotionally charged accusations that can ruin a person’s life, even if they are later exonerated. Moreover, allegations that are later found to be false (rather than proven inconclusive) are even more insidious, for they may represent deeper emotional issues that are often unresolved even after the damage is done.

The 2013 case of a Michigan firefighter accused of raping a Pennsylvania woman exemplifies this issue. According to a CBS.com report, prosecutors in Beaver County eventually dropped rape charges against the firefighter after learning that his accuser hacked into his cell phone to plant an incriminating text message that was later used to establish probable cause to arrest him.

The original complaint included the message that read in part “…Think I’ve been cruel enough to your already for then lifetimes. I[RAPED] you and I can’t get that out of my head.”

Prosecutors also executed search warrants and reviewed her phone records to obtain information as to when she imputed messages onto the phone.

This story is important for two reasons. First, it shows the importance of having a skilled attorney and investigator to challenge the veracity of sexual assault claims, even though doing so would be unpopular. Second, it is also an example that, in some circumstances, people will falsely accuse others of heinous crimes. It could be done out of revenge, to seek attention or simply by mistake. Ultimately, there is a process to be followed for seeking the truth.

If you have questions about your legal rights and options after being accused of a crime, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you.

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