Posted on Jul 05, 2013

Sexuall assault charges are one of the most difficult crimes to defend against. Most times it is come down to a credibility choice between the victim and the defendant. Even when there is a motive to fabricate, jurors often have a difficult time accepting that someone would make a charge like that, and subject themselves to attack.

That was the situation facing an English taxi driver - Mohammed Asif. According to this Daily dispatch story he picked up a drunk passenger. Since his dispatcher had advised him she was sounded intoxicated, he had the foresight to turn the recording app on his phone on. He took the drunk passenger home, making a stop to allow her ot throw up. When she got to the final destination she argued about the fare, and had to go to an ATM to get money to pay it. Apparently that upset her, because she ended up calling the police and saying Asif sexually assaulted and groped her when he pulled over to allow her to throw up.

As they do in most cases the police believed her, and Asif was arrested before he could get back to his station. He ended up being stripped, searched, and thrown in jail. Fortunately he was able to play the recording for police the next day, and was released. That wasn't the end of the case though. The passenger was prosecuted for "perverting the course of justice" and sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Unfortunately, this situation is far to common. There is no way to tell how many defendants are falsely charged, and eventually sentenced to prison. Had it not been for the recording, Mr. Asif could hav easily found himself in that situation.

One thing is unusual about this - the fact that the alleged victim was prosecuted and sent to jail While that possibility exists in the States - including Texas - it rarely happens. To the extent any punishment acts a deterrent, too bad.

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.