Fighting — And Winning — Sexual Assault, Rape and Child Molestation Cases in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

Sexual assault cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut  (or anywhere) are their own special animal in the criminal justice system. There is a huge stigma associated with them even though defendants in these cases are afforded the same presumption of innocence as anyone charged with any other crime. My experience has shown that oftentimes judges often don’t seem to be as concerned for the rights of the accused in these cases, defense lawyers don’t put enough effort into a defense and juries are quicker to convict – all presumably due to the disgust they have with the charges. Many of the best criminal attorneys in New York and New Jersey won’t even touch these cases. But these cases can and should be won.

My belief is that someone who steals $1 billion from innocent investors and destroys their lives should not be treated by the system and society better than someone accused of a sexual assault. Everyone deserves the same zealous representation no matter the charge. And at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman we have literally won dozens of sexual assault, rape and child molestation cases recently in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Alabama and all over the country for people who work in the financial industry, college students and other professionals. Getting arrested for such a charge does not have to be the end of your life or career; you need to hire a top New York criminal lawyer who has fought off some of the most difficult cases in the country to treat your case as if it is the most important – because to you it is.

In one New Jersey case, we freed a man sentenced to 27 years after being convicted of sexually assaulting (§ N.J.S.A. §  2C: 14-2) four young brothers. This was a case no one wanted to defend, even the best New Jersey sexual assault and rape defense lawyers.  However, upon meeting the defendant in prison after his trial it was clear to me that he had been badly served by his trial attorney: much evidence existed which could have discredited the witnesses at trial and proven that the defendant could not have been guilty of the crimes charged. Unfortunately, trial counsel never bothered to properly investigate these claims, instead simply limiting his defense to the cross examination of the New Jersey state prosecutor’s witnesses/alleged victims.

It took years to finally extricate the defendant from his seemingly-doomed position, serving a de facto life sentence for a crime he did not commit. First, a motion for a new trial was denied and then appealed. The appeals court denied our appeal but granted a hearing on the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel. During that hearing, specifically during the cross examination of trial counsel, the trial judge vacated the conviction due to ineffective assistance of counsel. Days later, the defendant was freed and never returned to prison, his life saved. It took years of hard work and investigation of witnesses, but eventually the work paid off.

Even when the case seems utterly hopeless, a positive result can be had if maximum effort is made: an NYPD captain charged with exposing himself repeatedly on the subway and public lewdness (N.Y.P.L. § 245.00) ultimately had his charges dropped and was permitted to keep his full pension.

In another recent case we had, an investment banker in Manhattan was charged with Rape in the first degree (N.Y.P.L. § 130.35), punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Instead of simply sitting back and waiting for the prosecutor to prove the State’s case, we began a thorough investigation of the complainant, by issuing dozens of subpoenas and poring through public records and social media. Soon thereafter it became clear that the complainant had enormous credibility problems and her story concerning the rape simply did not make sense. Furthermore, we made a successful motion to suppress pictures of the alleged injury due to the prosecutor failing to abide by her discovery obligations. One year after being charged, our client had his B Felony case dismissed and he got his life back and still works in the finance industry. Again, this was a case that most top New York criminal defense attorneys would not want to get involved with but we did and do every day because everyone deserves the best defense.