In Houston, the Children’s Assessment Center provides treatment to local children who are sexually abused. Even so, in recent years, the center has also become an unofficial arm of law enforcement, with the majority of sexual abuse cases that are tried by the Harris County district attorney’s office having an “expert witness” from the center being used by the prosecution.
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The problem with these expert witnesses is that they have been known to misrepresent facts in the past. One example of this occurred in 2004, when the district attorney’s office admitted that faulty physical exams were performed on more than 170 children, potentially resulting in the wrongful conviction of some individuals.
The Child Assessment Center also displays some unusual statistics on its website, which in some cases seems to be strongly exaggerated or contradictory. For example, the organization claims that 95 percent of children are abused by a family member or someone they trust, while also claiming that 30 percent of all victims never tell anyone about their experience.
When asked about false allegations of sexual abuse, representatives of the Children’s Assessment Center in Houston seem unwilling to admit that this ever happens. One expert who regularly testifies in court claims that these instances are “extremely rare.” However, an examination of DNA wrongful convictions performed by a Purdue University sociologist found that as many as 40 percent of the cases he reviewed were indeed false.
While the efforts of workers at the children’s center are probably well-founded, they could nonetheless lead to the wrongful conviction of individuals due to their aggressive tactics. A strong legal defense is needed in order to counteract the damage that could be done to a person’s life and reputation as a result.
To get help for your sex crime charge, talk to Houston lawyer Brett A. Podolsky at 713-227-0087.