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What defenses are available to rape allegations?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2022 | Sex Crimes

Rape is a serious offense no matter which way you look at it, and a rape conviction can result in anywhere from 10 years to life in prison. Not only that, but rape charges in and of themselves can severely damage your reputation, even if they never amount to a conviction.

If you face rape charges, it is crucial that you not only obtain a “Not Guilty” verdict but also, that you build a believable defense. Though there are a few defense options to rape, a skilled attorney can help you identify the one that is best for your particular situation. For your convenience, FindLaw details the most common and most effective rape defense strategies.


To establish rape, the victim must first prove that the behavior occurred against his or her will. Therefore, consent to the act negates rape charges. If you can prove that the victim consented to the alleged sexual behavior, then you have an unshakable defense to the charges you face.

Unfortunately, proving consent is difficult, as you cannot merely “suggest” consent. Moreover, in some cases, it is impossible for victims to have given their consent. For instance, when the victim is a minor, mentally challenged or legally incapacitated — or when he or she is unable to understand the nature of the sexual behavior — then he or she cannot legally consent to the activity.

Mental incapacity or insanity

Alabama is one of the few remaining states that allows the insanity defense in criminal cases. If you can prove that, at the time of the alleged behavior, you did not fully understand what you were doing, the state may have no choice but to remove criminal liability for your actions.


Innocence is the most powerful defense of all, but also one of the most difficult to prove. The most solid innocence defense strategy comes with an alibi. If you can show that you were not with the victim at the time of the alleged assault, then you can effectively dismantle the plaintiff’s case. However, there are other ways to prove innocence, such as via DNA testing, misidentification and recordings.

A sex crime allegation can severely upend your life. Do not let it cause any more damage than it already has. Seek skilled criminal defense representation right away.