Allegations of child molestation are among the most serious sex cases that are prosecuted in the United States. Pressing charges in child molestation cases can be done without physical DNA being present, or many of the other types of evidence needed for adult sexual assault cases. Understanding the steps needed to press charges in a child molestation case can help mitigate the process.
File a police report in the county in which you reside. The moment a child informs you that molestation has taken place, the first step is to inform the police. Gather as much information about the event, including any evidence that is present or can be obtained easily without a third party. Documenting the molestation early, or as soon as possible, allows police to gather the necessary evidence and determine how to proceed.
Contact an attorney regarding the molestation case. Typically, a child's word is enough for the prosecution to press charges. However, in some cases, a lawyer may determine that all evidence gathered by police must be examined. Police will interview the victim and the suspect, as well as witnesses if any were present. Additionally, an attorney may ask for a medical examination of the victim. However, the account as retold by the child, may be enough to press charges, even if no other substantial evidence is available.
Press charges in state court. The attorney you have procured will file the necessary paperwork involved in the child molestation case. However, if you have chosen not to hire an attorney because of financial reasons, or any other reason, the state will assign you a public prosecutor. The prosecutor will gather all information pertinent to the case and file the paperwork.