One of the most important defenses that can be raised to allegations of domestic violence – particularly when the allegations come in the context of an ongoing divorce – is that the accuser has an ulterior motive. Claiming that the alleged crime is based on a false report, though, can be tricky because not only do you have to defend against the allegation of a crime; you also have to present evidence that the prosecution is being manipulated by the alleged victim.
It can be done, though. The recent case surrounding Empire actor Jussie Smollett is a prime example of how it works.
Actor Claims He Was Assaulted in Chicago
Everything began on January 29, 2019, in Chicago. Actor Jussie Smollett – who is openly gay and is biracial – claimed that he was assaulted by two white men in MAGA hats who used homophobic and racial slurs while attacking him. Smollett claimed that they put a noose around his neck before he was able to fend them off.
When police investigated his claims, though, numerous details did not line up. Their investigation led to the arrest of two black brothers who knew Smollett, but who seemed connected to the incident. The interview with the brothers provided strong evidence that the assault was actually set up by Smollett, who paid the brothers to carry it out and even told them what to buy to do it.
Smollett is now being charged with falsifying a police report, a Class 4 felony in Illinois that comes with up to three years in jail.
False Prosecution is an Important Defense to an Alleged Crime
There are important differences between the Smollett case and a typical domestic violence allegation. The apparent ulterior motive that drove Smollett to arrange for the assault had to do with his television network's poor response to death threats he had been receiving – he wanted to make it seem as if one of them had actually been attempted to make them seem more serious. In domestic violence allegations that stem from contentious divorces, on the other hand, the ulterior motive is far more straightforward – the claimant merely wants to paint the accused in a bad light so they can get better child custody arrangements or more alimony.
However, there are strong similarities between the two cases. Innocent people end up being accused of something that they did not do, and only strong evidence to the contrary is enough to turn law enforcement towards the possibility that they are being manipulated with a false prosecution.
Steve Karimi Represents Those Accused of Domestic Violence in Seattle
If you have been accused of domestic violence and are in the middle of a divorce proceeding, there is a strong chance that your spouse is exaggerating things in order to “win” the divorce. Seattle defense lawyer Steve Karimi represents people who have been accused of domestic violence and knows how to investigate the alleged incident in ways that can uncover signs that it is a false prosecution. Contact him online for help.