Many people believe they can spot a child predator or sex offender. One researcher believes he has developed a simple, non-invasive test that can tell whether a person is a potential sex offender.
Even though the validity of the test is still up for debate, some courts have ordered individuals to take the assessment to determine if they could be potential sex offenders and whether released adult sex offenders will commit more sex crimes.
What Is the Abel Assessment?
The Abel Assessment was created by Dr. Gene G. Abel. Dr. Abel is a researcher who has studied child molestation cases and sexual offenders for years. He developed an assessment he claims can identify a sex offender.
The person answers numerous questions asking about their sexual interests and preferences. Then, the person is shown over a hundred images of people, including men, women, and children of both genders. The person is asked to rate the image on a scale that indicates how they feel about the image (i.e., sexually arousing, offensive, disgusting, etc.).
Knowing what happens during the test is difficult because those details are not readily available. However, through reading Dr. Abel’s papers and articles and by reading the descriptions from people who have taken the test, it appears that the assessment is based on a theory called “visual reaction time.” The implication is that the longer a person views a specific image, the more likely they are to register as having a sexual interest in the content depicted in the slide.
Critics of the test argue that the assessment could falsely accuse someone of being a sex offender. On the other hand, some people argue that the assessment could help a sex offender escape punishment if they know how to “pass” the assessment.
In either case, the Abel Assessment could significantly impact your criminal case. Therefore, if you are asked to take an assessment or ordered to take an assessment, you need legal advice immediately.
Ideally, you need an experienced Phoenix sex crimes lawyer representing you as soon as possible after an arrest. The penalties for sex crimes in Arizona are severe.
You must present a strong, solid defense to criminal charges instead of relying on your innocence to avoid a conviction. The results of an assessment could support false allegations of sexual abuse or other sex crimes.
What Are the Penalties for Sex Offenders in Phoenix, AZ?
The penalties you face for conviction of a sex crime depend on the specific criminal offense. The penalties for Arizona sex crimes range from probation to significant prison sentences. Being convicted of a sex crime could result in a sentence that includes the following:
- Prison sentences, which are determined by mandatory minimum sentencing requirements and presumptive sentences
- Lifetime imprisonment without the possibility of parole
- Significant fines and other financial penalties
- Supervised parole after release
- Loss of professional licenses
- Loss of certain rights, including the right to vote or own a firearm
Many sex offenders are required to register as such, which can severely restrict their freedom and ability to find employment and jobs.
Examples of sex crimes a person can face include, but are not limited to:
- Rape (sexual assault)
- Indecent exposure
- Child pornography
- Sexual abuse
- Child molestation
- Prostitution and solicitation
- Internet sex crimes
- Statutory rape
- Date rape
- Lewd conduct
You can also be charged with a crime if you are ordered to register as a sexual offender and fail to do so. Many sex crimes are charged as felonies. A misdemeanor charge can increase to a felony offense if aggravating factors are present.
A felony aggravated sex crime conviction could result in a lifetime in prison, especially if the sex crime involved violence and the infliction of serious physical injury. In addition to state charges, a person could also face federal charges.
How Can I Fight Sex Crime Charges in Phoenix, AZ?
The first step is to hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer in Phoenix. An attorney investigates the charges against you and your arrest. The lawyer analyzes the state’s evidence against you and the evidence that the lawyer gathers to determine the best defense strategy for your case.
Potential defenses to sex crimes can include, but are not limited to:
- Police misconduct and violation of constitutional rights, including lack of probable cause, failing to inform the person of their rights, or conducting illegal seizures and seizures
- Consent of the alleged victim when the crime requires the state to prove a lack of consent as part of the legal requirements for the crime
- Challenging evidence, including using independent labs to retest DNA and other physical evidence
- Mistaken identity and alibi defenses
The best way to protect your right to a fair and just outcome in a sex crime case is to exercise your right to remain silent except for asking for an attorney. Talking to the police or the prosecutor without a lawyer is never helpful. They already believe you are guilty, so the only reason they want to talk to you is to gain additional evidence they can use against you in court.
Contact the Sex Crime Lawyers at Orent Law Offices In Phoenix To Get Legal Assistance Today
For more information, contact the sex crime attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evaluation, so get the help you deserve today.
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