I recently represented a man accused of rape by his former wife's niece. These allegations first surfaced during the custody dispute between my client and his (now) estranged wife. The wife's sister's daughter suddenly came forward and claimed that my client had raped her numerous times, several years earlier, when she was just a teenager. As a result of these allegations, my client lost custody of his children, and was interrogated by the police.
Here's where he made his best decision - HE DIDN'T TALK TO THE POLICE! He didn't tell them that the girl was crazy (she was), he didn't tell them that she had made similar allegations in the past (she had), and he didn't tell them that he was innocent (he was!) He told the police that he wanted to speak to a lawyer, AND THEN HE HIRED ME!
Our office promptly contacted the police, the District Attorney's office and Child Protective Services. We appeared at the hearing on a restraining order that the "victim" was seeking against our client. The restraining order was dismissed. For two years, nothing happened. Finally, last year, the Shasta County District Attorney filed SIX charges of forcible rape, sodomy and other sordid sex acts against our client.
And the fight began. Nearly another year later, after numerous hearings, appeals and motions, the case was set for trial in April of 2011. However, after our investigation revealed numerous inconsistencies in the "victim's" story, as well as past cases where she had also falsely accused others of similar sexual misconduct, as well as drug use, as well as mental health issues, the case was finally dismissed on the eve of trial.
This case was a perfect example of how trials are won or lost BEFORE the first juror enters the court room! Our office subpoened court, school and juvenile records, obtained statements from former teachers and friends of the "victim," as well as obtaining police reports of these prior false allegations (where it was ultimately determined that the "victim" was not telling the truth!)
Of course, this evidence would have made us very likely to have won the trial, IF IT HAD EVER OCCURRED. However, instead, the case was dismissed without even going to trial.
We'll take that type of victory any day!!