Whenever allegations of Enticement of a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-305, come up in Denver or Douglas County, the most common remark I hear from police, prosecutors, and others is – why would the child lie?. The implication is that children, defined by the Enticement of a Child statute as someone under 15 years old, never lie about this sort of thing. I know it isn’t politically correct to say children lie, but someone needs to speak out against the dangerous bumper sticker mentality telling us to always believe the children. Read how Enticement is similar to Internet Luring.
Children Lying in Criminal Cases – We See it Firsthand
I have been practicing Criminal Defense law in the Denver metro area for 25 years. I have firsthand knowledge of children who convincingly lied about sexual assault which later were found to be untrue. One little girl was five years old and made up the entire story on her own. I have seen older children recant detailed stories of abuse and I have also seen their lies fall apart in court. I am grateful the exposure of truth has kept clients in Adams, Jefferson and Arapahoe County from being convicted, but it makes me wonder how many people have been wrongfully imprisoned with no more evidence than the word of a child with an axe to grind.
Revenge and Attention Getting are Common Motives for Kids to Lie
Why do some children lie in Enticement of a Child and Sexual Assault cases? Children lie for the same reasons adults lie. Some to get revenge and others do it for attention. Some children lie because they think it will keep them out of trouble and others because they are just mean spirited. My children are adults now, but as much as I love them, I always knew they were capable of telling lies, especially when they were little. I’ve had to ask myself many times in the course of my work, I’m I the only parent that knows that kids lie?
I was recently involved in a case where the alleged child victim convinced forensic interviewers, police, and the District Attorney that she was sexually assaulted. To those that were not so invested in seeing my client go to prison, it was easy to see that the child was starved for attention. My client was unwilling to take a plea offer so he was forced into a trial. The child was excited to be in front of the jury and loved the attention. The more the child spoke, the more elaborate and inconsistent the story became. The jury was easily able to discern what the prosecutor refused to see. This child was an accomplished story teller who learned how to get what she wanted most from lying: attention.
Remain Silent to Help Yourself and Make a Call
If you are accused of Enticement of a Child in Denver or Moffat County, do not try to fight the battle against the government alone. Be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.