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What to do if Your Internet Date Turns into a Sex Crime

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Mar 12, 2020

More and more in today's society where people are going online, Tinder, some of these other dating applications trying to find companionship or whatever you want to call it, they're ending up getting arrested at record numbers for sex-related offenses.

Whether it be an allegation that the alleged victim said no and the person continued their sexual pursuit or whether it be a situation where the person was drunk and became unconscious and was allegedly attacked by an individual.

I'm having more and more clients coming in where they met the person on some sort of a dating application or one of the websites that's out there, had a date with them, something sexual occurred.

Rape Charges under California Penal Code 261

Now the person's been arrested for some sort of date rape allegation or they're under investigation and the police want to talk to them and ask them questions or two other things can happen. Rape is defined under California Penal Code 261.

They could be called by the alleged victim with a bunch of accusatory accusations with the police listening on the other line and tape-recording the conversation or even text messages are sent to the would-be defendant.

What to do if Your Internet Date Turns into a Sex Crime

They are trying to get that person to admit that they did something wrong and a lot of times people get these text messages and phone call and they try to clean up the mess by saying that they're sorry, when in reality all that is is digging them in deeper to a problem because now they're admitting and acknowledging that they did something wrong.

This is a constant problem now.  You're already behind the 8-ball because you have to look at it from the perspective of a juror.  A juror is going to say, how are you already having sex with the person.  You just met them and have known them for a couple of hours.  Who would consent to a situation like that?

Of course, there are people who do that, but remember these jurors — some of them older, retired people — are looking and wondering what's going on here?  So, you have to look at it from that mind frame when you're thinking about what's going to happen with your case.

How should you handle it?  Who should you hire?  Should you go to the police and talk to them?  By the way, you should never go into the police and talk to them and give them a statement in my opinion if you're being looked at for some sort of a sex offense that occurred on a date with somebody who you met through a dating site or a dating application.There are common mistakes to avoid in a sex crime case.

Defending Sex Crime Allegations

What you should do is come to somebody like me who has been defending people with these type of charges for 26 years, worked for the District Attorney's office in Los Angeles. I also worked for a Superior Court judge and has a pretty good understanding of how the system works and what they're going to be trying to get you to admit.

I know what type of evidence are they going to try to obtain against you — and what the likelihood is that they'll file a criminal case against you.

So, what I have you do is come into the office.  We sit down and go over everything.  Attorneys are allowed to talk to clients about potential crimes or even actual crimes and the conversation and what the client says is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Attorney's can't repeat the conversation to anybody even if the client decides not to hire that particular attorney.  In fact, the confidence remains after the client's death.  You cannot give any information, so this should be a pretty good indicator to you that whatever you say to me when we meet is going to be protected and nobody is going to find out about it unless you want them to.

So, I have you come in.  We go everything and then obviously I'm going to ask some pointed questions so I can figure out exactly what happened between you and the other party and I will act as a buffer between you and the police.

Retain a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Once you hire me — talk to the police, find out what they're investigating, why they want to talk to you and get a much information as I can and I would come back to you and advise you what your best course of action is.  But again, this is not an uncommon thing.

Many people are being investigated and charged with crimes related to the dates that they had and sexual activity that they had.  Sometimes both parties end up getting intoxicated either by use of alcohol or some sort of a drug.

Then, end up getting involved in some sort of sexual contact and then one of the parties has buyer's remorse or regrets after and tries to come at the person and claim that they did something wrong to them.

Sometimes the alleged victim doesn't even know what happened to them.  They just feel like somebody sexually assaulted them, so they go to the police and now you're left trying to clean up a mess that could end with consequences of you having to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life and potentially face prison time.

So, you've got to get an advocate on your side immediately and handle this thing the right way, do damage control, so that you can get out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

Ronald D. Hedding, Esq., is the founding member of the Hedding Law Firm. Mr. Hedding has an extensive well-rounded legal background in the area of Criminal Law. He has worked for the District Attorney's Office, a Superior Court Judge, and as the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm. His multi-faceted experience sets Mr. Hedding apart and puts him in an elite group of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California.