Sex crimes can include:
- Rape, including statutory rape;
- Child Molestation and/or annoyance; and
- Sexual Battery.
There are no categories of crimes that stir more emotions than sexually based crimes. Sean has tried numerous “sex crimes” to juries. Even in cases where Sean’s client was found NOT GUILTY of all charged crimes, jurors have told Sean that when the charges were read to them at the beginning of the case most of them assumed the client was guilty; before the jurors heard any evidence.
It is in the area of “sex crimes” where many jurors admittedly ignore the “innocent until proven guilty” standard, the cornerstone of our criminal justice. “Sex crimes” are the most difficult types of crimes to defend because of the mind set of prosecutors, judges and juries that the mere fact the client is charged with the crimes means they are most likely guilty.
With the recent rash of child sexual abuse cases involving priests, coaches, boy scout leaders and day care workers the public has become much more aware of these types of cases than ever before. Sean is a father to several young children and is hyper-vigilant about the people who encounter his children.
Child abuse/molestation cases are a sad and horrifying reality. However, it is in the area of child abuse/molestation cases where there are the most amount of “false” charges made against a person. During divorce or custody fights one parent may make an allegation that their significant other molested one or all of their children. These accusations can be either intentional or based upon suggestive questioning of oftentimes small children.
Once an allegation of child molestation is made the child is immediately thrust not only into the criminal justice system but is also contacted by the Child Abuse Services Teams (“CAST”). These CAST teams are composed of (1) police agencies; (2) prosecutors; (3) social workers; (4) victim advocates and (5) health care workers (doctors and therapists). These CAST teams do not include any representatives for those accused of child abuse or molestation.
Most police agencies and District Attorney Offices have specialized “sex crimes” units i.e. “Special Victim Units (“SVU”) and other similar groups such as the CAST system. These units do nothing but “investigate” and prosecute people charged with “sex crimes”. Prosecutors are well aware that merely charging a person with a “sex crime” places the charged person at a huge disadvantage within the criminal justice system because of the “guilty until proven innocent” standard that exists within the “sex crimes” category of crimes.
CAST teams were set up with noble intentions: to not further traumatize real victims of sexual/physical abuse by limiting the number of interviews to which alleged child victim’s are exposed. Before the CAST system was set up real children victims were interviewed by police, social workers and prosecutors; often times repeatedly. In the CAST system the alleged child victim is supposed to interviewed only once by a “trained expert”.
Although the CAST system was set up with good intentions, the results of the CAST system has been to assume every child is a victim and full investigations focused on potential suggestible influences on the child are rarely conducted. There exists a “shoot first and ask questions later” mind set that permeates ever aspect of the CAST system.
The person accused of child molestation has no voice during the “investigations” made by CAST teams. Often the person charged with child abuse/molestation is arrested and charged without ever being questioned by any law enforcement agency. The CAST system has become so flawed that children who are not real victims of abuse are turned into victims because they are repeatedly told by members of the CAST system that they are victims and plied with gifts and affection; things often never shown to these children before they entered the CAST system.
Sean has represented countless people charged with child abuse/molestation who were COMPLETELY INNOCENT. There is no category of crimes where Sean has come across completely innocent people charged with horrific charges than in the area of child abuse/molestation cases. Further, children who were never sexually or physically abused are turned into victims by the CAST system that was designed to protect them.
Because of the inherently emotional aspects of child molestation cases and other “sex crimes” it is important that anyone charged with these types of crimes IMMEDIATELY call Sean Hennessey. Sean is considered an expert by many in the legal community in the area of defending people charged with allegations of child molestation and/or sexually related crimes.
Sean has successfully educated many jurors on how the CAST system can turn non-victims into victims. This area of the law is incredibly complex and requires expertise in the areas of psychology, forensic evidence examination and the ability to effectively cross examine children, alleged victims of sexually related crimes and members of CAST teams. Explaining to jurors how suggestible questioning and positively reinforcing victimization can result in false allegations being made is an extremely difficult task for those unfamiliar with how the CAST system works and how false allegations can be made intentionally or unintentionally. Children who make false allegations of being abused are usually not intentionally lying but rather they have become convinced they are victims because of the positive reinforcement and encouragement they are often given to say they were victimized.
Sean has represented 100’s of people accused of child molestation, rape and other sexually related charges. Sean’s vast knowledge of the inner-workings of the “investigation” process, or usually the lack of a complete investigation, of sex crimes forces police and prosecutors to truly conduct a thorough investigation into cases Sean handles. Sean also conducts his own independent investigation into the allegations and oftentimes these investigations result in a dismissal of the charges against his clients’.
A conviction for virtually any sexually related offense will result in the person convicted having to register as a Sex Offender for remainder of their lives. These registered “sex offender’ names are posted on the Internet and many have been forced to move out of their homes, forbidden from going to public parks, beaches and other places and oftentimes end up homeless and living on the streets.
If you, a member of your family or a loved one is being investigated for a sexually based crime or has already been arrested you need to IMMEDIATELY call Sean Hennessey at (949) 280-1257.
NOTABLE SEXUALLY BASED CASES SEAN HAS HANDLED:
- Sean’s client was charged with exposing his genitals to a group of 4 underage girls. Sean’s client was “identified” by all 4 girls and he was arrested and charged with 4 counts of “indecent exposure”. Sean’s client was immediately fired from his job. Sean conducted a thorough investigation into the case and subpoenaed records from the client’s former employer which showed: (a) the client on video entering his workplace around the time of the incident; (b) the client used his employee “swipe card” to move to different areas around the time of the incident; (c) records from the client’s computer showed him using the internet around the time of the incident and (d) there were no recordings showing the client left his work before the incident. RESULT: Sean provided all of this information to the District Attorney’s Office who confirmed the information and dismissed all charges. Sean then filed a Motion for a Finding of Factual Innocence that was granted. Therefore, all records relating to Sean’s client’s arrest and charges were destroyed and his record was cleansed. Even though the client was proven innocent he was still fired from his job.
- Sean’s client was charged with molesting 2 different children. The police never tried to interview the client before or after arresting him. Because Sean felt so strongly that his client was innocent, he allowed the District Attorney to interview his client (one of only two times Sean has ever allowed this type of interview). The District Attorney continued to prosecute the client even after the interview. The client’s case continued to a jury trial. Sean claimed the police and prosecutors were conducted a racist “witch hunt” (Sean’s client was Mexican and the alleged victims’ were white). Sean argued if the alleged suspect had been white the police would have certainly interviewed the suspect before arresting him. RESULT: The jury acquitted Sean’s client of all charges. Many of the jurors hugged the client after the case was over. Many of the same jurors said they felt Sean’s client must have been guilty when they were read the charges. The Sheriff in the Courtroom arranged for Sean to take his client home instead of the client having to be returned to jail to be “processed out.” The Sheriff did not want anything to happen to Sean’s client on his way back to jail. The Judge who presided over the case described Sean’s cross examination of the police who “investigated” the case as the best cross examination of a police officer he has ever witnessed.
- Sean’s client was charged with molesting 2 young girls who were related to him. Sean contended the children’s’ mother, herself of victim of sexual abuse, repeatedly questioned the girls in a suggestible manner which resulted in the children finally saying they were molested. Sean also demonstrated how a therapist the children were sent to engaged in therapeutic techniques that reinforced the children saying they were abused. Finally, Sean demonstrated how the children’s allegations never made any sense given there would have been independent witnesses to the alleged abuse. RESULT: SEAN’S CLIENT WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY BY A JURY OF ALL CHARGES.
- Sean’s client and another alleged gang member were charged with sexually assaulting a woman. Sean presented evidence the woman was angry because Sean’s client did not want to become involved in a romantic relationship with the alleged victim and suggested she become involved with the co-defendant. Sean’s investigation proved the woman’s allegations were inconsistent and made no sense in many areas. RESULT: ALL CHARGES WERE DISMISSED BEFORE TRIAL.
- Sean’s client, a 3rd striker, was charged with forcibly raping a woman. Sean contended the encounter was consensual based upon the fact the woman invited the client into her car after just meeting him and both parties were intoxicated. Sean pointed out numerous inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s various statements.RESULT: ALL CHARGES WERE DISMISSED BEFORE TRIAL.
- Sean’s client was investigated for the rape of a woman he had met with his friends. Sean contended the encounter was consensual and the allegations made by the alleged victim were inconsistent in many aspects. Sean contended the alleged victim was angry with the client not calling her after their encounter. RESULT: NO CHARGES WERE FILED AGAINST SEAN’S CLIENT.
- Sean’s client was investigated for the alleged the molestation of his step-daughter. Sean conducted an independent investigation and proved the allegations could not have occurred in the fashion made by the alleged victim. Further, Sean showed the mother of the alleged victim was angry with the client and was seeking a divorce.RESULT: NO CHARGES WERE FILED AGAINST SEAN’S CLIENT.