Interviewer: What happens in those kinds of cases? What are the possible defenses you use?
Attorney Churak: The scenario starts as Child Protective Services shows up at the door and they say, “We have a complaint that there’s been sexual abuse in this household,” and they try to get a statement from the Dad. They’ve already got the statement from the daughter because she called a school counselor. The counselor has called CPS. CPS has come in. The police have come to the school and they’ve done all this in school without you even knowing what’s going on. So the next call is from detective that wants you to come in and talk to him.
You are under a great deal of stress already especially if you didn’t do anything wrong. If you did something wrong too, you shouldn’t be going talking to a detective but you go there and you are in a room with a desk and two chairs.
He says, “All right, you’re free to leave at any time. You’re not under arrest. I just want to ask you some questions. This is recorded. Once again, you’re free to leave anytime.” Then he reads you your rights and tries to trip you up to get a confession out of you or get you to make some inconsistent statements. Then they’ll try to get you to take a lie detector test.
I always tell people, the minute they get a call from a detective or the detective is on their doorstep or they think they’re going to be a subject for an investigation of a sex crime allegation they need to call an attorney immediately.
Set up an appointment and obtain legal representation because nobody’s your friend out there. Everything you’re saying, they’re trying to use it against you and make the case against because the opinion is the child never lies, a child is always right and you’re a sex offender.
We have an expert here in town, Dr. Kellogg, that testifies for the state. She’s a doctor who does sex examinations of children. She has never found an alleged sex offender who was not guilty. This woman will get up there and say the most audacious statements on cases just because her opinion is he’s guilty.
The victim never lies and even though the medical testimony doesn’t support it, she’ll twist it around. There are no friends out there for you. You’re on your own. Go hire a lawyer. He’s your only friend right now.
Interviewer: How often do you ever obtain a good outcome in these cases?
Attorney Churak: I’ve had cases dismissed because the DNA evidence didn’t come back supportive of a case. I’ve had cases dismissed where basically, the contact was consensual. The alleged victim is 16 years old. She’s not quite legal in Texas. The suspect is 21 and the family does not want to go through with prosecuting it so the case gets dropped.
I’ve had clients, even though they have adamantly stated they weren’t guilty say, “I will take an offer of probation.” Then they take the offer of probation, not risking the chance to try the case and go to prison.
I’ve had clients that have sat down and said, “I didn’t do it.” There’s a 10 year offer on the table and they say, “No, we’re going to trial.” We’ve picked juries and we’ve tried cases and I won a lot of cases and I’ve lost the cases. In the cases I lost I would guarantee you the suspect was guilty.