The following information is intended for California residents only, applies California law, and is only intended as a general discussion of an area of law. While other states may have similar laws or provisions, a local attorney should be consulted with any situation involving persons or businesses outside of the state of California or the United States . This website is not intended as legal advice for any individual's or business' specific situation. A layperson should not rely on the limited information provided on this website to make decisions concerning specific cases or issues. No attorney-client relationship is established simply by reading this general information; no relationship with the Law Offices of Stuart J. Faber exists until a written retainer agreement is signed by all parties.  

Although there are many individuals who deliberately commit criminal sexual crimes such as rape, child molestation, lewd conduct, indecent exposure, downloading pornography, solicitation of prostitutes, an equal, if not greater number of individuals are falsely accused of these and other sex crimes. Unfortunately, virtually any person can claim that you committed a sexual offense against them and the police will believe the accuser. Every year, we are handling more and more cases where men are falsely accused.

For example, in a large percentage of the child custody cases, the mother often accuses the father of molesting the child. We view a mother who makes false accusations of child molestation as a child abuser herself. Why? Because she subjects the child to the torture of being questioned by police, social workers and perhaps attorneys in court. Where a mother coaxes a child to falsely accuse the father, the child wants to please the mother, yet feels guilty about making false accusations against the father. This confuses the child, emotionally tears the child apart and leaves lifetime wounds. I have had countless cases in which a child, once they become adults, tearfully admit to dad that the mother forced him or her (the child) to make up the accusations. The child admits that he or she has been carrying this heavy burden for many years.

And it was the mother who imposed this horrible emotional burden on the child.

Another example involves date rape. There is an alarming rise of cases in which a woman engages in voluntary sex with a man, then, when he does not want to continue the relationship, she claims to have been raped.

Finally, most police departments, instead of spending their budgets on street crime, burglaries and other heinous crimes that affect law abiding citizens, devote their resources to hiding out in public restrooms to entrap a man into a sexual encounter. Or, the police pose as prostitutes and attempt to ensnare men into soliciting them for an act of prostitution.

We feel strongly about defending people charged with crimes. Our job is to defend any person accused of a sex crime and to provide them with every defense that the law allows. We have often been asked, “How can you defend such people?” Our answer is that “such people” could be some innocent person like you who become involuntary victims of being falsely accused of a sex crime. It could be a man dating a woman who has children. Perhaps one of the kids, seeking attention, complains to her mother that “you touched her.” Or, it could be an angry woman whom you dated and never called again. In other words, many law abiding people become involved in these scenarios-and we take their defense seriously! Our task is not to judge you. It is not our obligation to decide if you are innocent or guilty. As a matter of fact, we are ethically prohibited from doing so. Our duty is to present your defense to a court or jury in a vigorous, dedicated and legally sound way. And, we take that duty very, very seriously!

What should you do if you are accused of a sex crime?

The most important thing is what you should not do. You should not discuss the matter with anyone. If the police want to talk to you, they may say such things as “we just want to clear this up,” or “why do you want an attorney-do you have something to hide?”

The police have one objective-that is to get you to confess. They may act like your friend, but their goal is to assure your conviction. And many police pursue this objective whether you are innocent or not! The tragedy is that many innocent men make statements that, when taken out of context, make them appear guilty. Other than providing the police with your name and address, you are not required to say anything to them! Except, “I want to see a lawyer immediately!”

I have seen scores of cases that would have ended in acquittal except for the statements that the man was forced or tricked to make to the police. Therefore, if you receive a call or visit from the police, tell him or her that you want to talk to a lawyer immediately. They are required to cease the interview until you consult an attorney (even though many police personnel violate this constitutional requirement).

Is it a crime to view pornographic material on the computer?

In many cases, the answer is yes. The question is: what is the definition of pornography? Even the courts can't agree on a definition. However, one thing is for sure. If you view any obscene images of minors, that is, children under the age of 18, you are undoubtedly in violation of both federal and state laws. Of course, that does not apply to any image of a child. It applies to images which are sexually suggestive. And the term “sexually suggestive” isn't limited to nudity or scenes of children in sexual poses. A recent California appellate court case concluded that an adult who viewed a fully clothed child simulating a lewd act was sufficient to convict him. And what if the image depicts a child who is actually under the age of 18 and appears to be older? The answer is that you take the risk when you view any images that could be construed as child pornography. Your guidelines should be plain and simple. DON'T VIEW IMAGES OF CHILDREN ON A COMPUTER-unless they are clearly and unequivocally not pornography, such as a legitimate display of a Little League game. And make certain that your computer is protected from intruders such as the maintenance staff in your office building or a fellow employee. If the images appear on your computer and the government finds out about it, the burden will be on you to convince a judge that you did not download the images.

Actually, it is a good idea not to be involved with viewing any pornographic material, either on the computer or in magazines or TV. If a child happens to be in your home while you are viewing material that may not even be pornographic but merely indecent, you could possibly be charged with displaying the material to a minor who just may wander into the room and look over your shoulder. I defended a case with similar facts. A neighbor boy, age 14, who was friends with my client and his kids happened to walk into my client's house and witnessed my client watching soft porn on the computer. The kid told his father and his father called the cops. The cops confiscated the computer and my client was charged with a crime.

If you receive any threat or hint that you may be the target of a sex crime investigation, call an attorney immediately!