Continuous sexual abuse of children is a serious charge. Conviction often results in lengthy jail sentences and long-term registration on sex offender registries.
Anyone facing this type of allegation probably has already suffered extensive reputation damage. However, it is important to consider minimizing further losses, which are often much more difficult to recover.
Grooming in Texas
Grooming charges in Texas typically fall under the category of continuous sexual abuse of a minor. Statute defines this as a first-degree felony.
The prosecution must show that the defendant committed two or more sexual acts of abuse against a child or children over a period of thirty or more days. There are many violations that could qualify for this. Examples range from indecent acts to compelling prostitution.
Recent decisions in appellate courts affirm the Texas criminal justice system’s aggressive stance towards continuous child sexual abuse defendants. In Krause versus Texas, the Court of Appeals held that expert witness testimony about grooming was admissible.
The expert in the Krause case was a police investigator. He testified about patterns of grooming, and commented that he saw evidence of it in the case in question.
There is another layer to this decision: The jury was not initially convinced of the defendant’s guilt. Upon hearing this, the judge told the jurors unconvinced by the prosecution’s arguments to reconsider whether there was reasonable doubt.
An uphill campaign
Part of forming an effective defense is understanding how prosecutors might act and whom they might call to the stand. The state does not have a habit of backing down from these types of allegations, but each case is different.