Can children convict you of molestation years later?

Don’t the investigators need to do dna tests to prove you are innocent? Shouldn’t the investigators questi on the accused family and friends? It happened to me. I didn’t do anything to them like that. I’m innocent and always will be. God knows it. No DNA tests were done. They didn’t question my family. I will appreciate it if someone will answer my questions.

Asked on February 18, 2013 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

North Carolina has very generous timelines for the filing of felony offenses, including molestation offenses involving children.  So yes, children can raise charges many years after the alleged commission of offenses.  How an investigation proceeds depends on the officer assigned to investigate the case.  Ideally, they should do more than just take the word of the victim.  Unfortunately, for many investigators, taking a statement from the victim is the extent of their report.  Even though it would be better if they did talk to family and friends of the victim and the accused, they are not required to do so.  

With regard to DNA tests, if it has been several years, there may be no DNA available to test because DNA samples like  semen only remain available and viable for a very short period of time.  If the allegation is that you fathered a child by the child that you are accused of molesting, then the product child's DNA would be available for testing.  If there is DNA available and the investigator failed to have it tested, then you can petition the court to have it tested to support your innocence claim. 

Before formal charges are filed, consider hiring a criminal defense attorney to help you manage the situation, at least to the extent that they can.  Some jurisdictions will review and accept polygraph examinations when deciding whether or not to charge someone with a molestation offense years later.  A criminal defense attorney who routinely practices in your area can help make this happen if it is a viable option. 

 


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