A New York sex crimes defense attorney provides representation to any defendant who has been accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct. Having the right legal representation is important when accusations of sex offenses are made because law enforcement takes allegations of sex crimes very seriously. In fact, as the New York Post explained, the New York Police Department recently created a special division of the Special Victims Unit to conduct an investigation into sexual assault accusations made against high profile individuals.
According to the New York Post, the Chief of Detectives confirmed that the NYPD has created a new team within SVU in response to a series of accusations against celebrities, journalists, and other well-known individuals. The Chief told the Post, “we have developed a team within the special-victims division just to look at these incidences because they come up almost every day.”
There are a number of different issues that reportedly prompted the NYPD's decision to create a new dedicated investigative unit. One of the issues is that many of the accusations that are currently being made against high profile figures concern allegations that are decades old.
People were often afraid to come forward at the time of the incident when they were victimized by a powerful person. Now, with accusation against celebrities and other industry leaders become more common, people are speaking up about old incidents.
However, the problem is that investigating these old cases is much more challenging and, in many cases, the statute of limitations has expired. The NYPD indicated that it will still conduct investigations even when the statute of limitations has run out on certain accusations because the investigation could reveal other more recent issues.
Another reason the NYPD has created a special division of SVU is to handle the increased volume of cases. According to the New York Post, the NYPD has experienced a double-digit increase in the number of alleged rapes reported to the police department during the past two months. This double-digit increase has likely been driven by something called the “Weinstein Effect,” which is the fallout from the many accusations lodged at Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The Weinstein story becoming public inspired a #MeToo movement that has prompted numerous people to speak up about alleged instances of sexual assault.
The NYPD also must conduct its investigations into these high profile cases amidst a great deal of media scrutiny as there is often a tremendous amount of interest in allegations made against celebrities.
When you're accused of any sex offense, including cases related to old crimes, it is important that you take the allegations seriously, especially as police departments create new departments to crack down on sexual assault and other related offenses. If you are accused of sex crimes, you need to talk with a New York sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact an attorney today for help if you are under investigation or if you have been charged with a sexual offense.