Question: What should I expect if someone makes a sexual allegation against me?

Benson Varghese: When a person finds out that an accusation of sexual misconduct is being made against them, as you can imagine, their life comes to a screeching halt. What you can expect is that a detective will reach out to you and try to get your side of the story. Understand that although the detective may tell you that he just wants your side of the story and hasn’t made an arrest decision yet, in most situations he has and all he’s looking for is for you to corroborate some information that could help him in his case. The fact that you were there, that you know this individual, that you may have spent time with this individual—anything that corroborates what he already knows is going to help his case. And understand that they can get tunnel vision because they have already determined what they think happened.

You can also expect that you might face an arrest. Very often, the arrests are embarrassing because unlike many other arrests, when an officer or detective sees the nature of the allegation against you, they don’t have sympathy for you, because they read the allegation, they assume it’s true and they’ll come out to your place of employment. They can arrest you. They can arrest you at your home, in front of your family.

You should expect to receive contact from CPS, especially if you have children living with you. You should expect that your children are going to be pulled out of school. They are going to be asked questions about your relationship with them, if there’s ever been any allegation of misconduct. In short, just the allegation alone—even with no evidence against you and no physical evidence against you—is enough to turn your life upside down. The best thing you can do is to contact an attorney who has experience in handling these cases.