What rights does my child have if theyare under investigation forinappropriate behavior with an 8 year old?

My 14 year old stepson is being accused by his 8 year old female cousin for making her feel inappropriate. She is saying that he was laying the back of his head on her stomach and humping her. When we questioned my son and the other siblings that were all on the bed watching TV, they stated that all that was done was that he was laying on her stomach as a pillow watching TV. Now her parents have gotten child advocacy involved. What should I do as a parent? I know I sound like a typical parent but I don’t believe that this happened and now the 8 year old is recanting her story but they don’t believe it. What should I do to protect my child?

Asked on July 27, 2010 under Criminal Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Get an attorney--IMMEDIATELY. Nowadays, being charged as a sexual offender, even for young children, can lead to inclusion on lists of sexual offenders, mandatory counseling, interference with parental rights if it's deemed that you're contributing to it, etc. You need an experienced counselor and advocate in your corner to help make sure that the child protective apparatus does not simply take the allegations and run with them...there is so much focus on preventing sexual abuse of any kind, and so much bad press when a law enforcement or child protective agency is deemed to not have done its job, that there is a strong incentive for every case to be pushed very hard. Do not delay; you want an attorney helping you immediately.

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