Answer: An allegation of sexual assault is going to be a life-changing event, and it is vital that you take it extremely seriously from the very beginning. First, you have to understand that many sexual assault investigations get started with little to no corroborating evidence. It might be just an accusation. The first thing on a detective’s list is probably going to be to try to pressure or trick you into making incriminating statements. Even if you didn’t do anything wrong, your statements about what happened could end up being used against you in ways you might not expect. For that reason, you should never speak with the police about an allegation of sexual assault. Tell them that you will not discuss anything with them until you have consulted with an attorney.
Secondly, in cases where there is another organization—a school, a university, a corporation—and they are looking into it as an organization, there might be non-police officials or investigators that want to speak with you. Do not speak with them either. They will certainly report anything you say back to the police. If they threaten you with suspending you from school, expelling you, threatening to fire you from work, put you on leave, you just need to tell them that you cannot make any statements until you consult with an attorney.
Finally, you need to start looking for an attorney at the first sign of any issues. If a police officer or a judge or a prosecutor was being investigated for sexual misconduct, they would get an attorney immediately without a second thought. Getting an attorney is not going to make you look guilty to these people, it’s just going to make it look like you are smart. Sometimes people think they shouldn’t get an attorney until they get arrested or they have to go to court or something like that. That is not a good idea. It is important to understand that getting a lawyer involved early, somebody who can effectively and aggressively look out for your interests, that can often prevent you from being arrested or having to go to court at all. So the best advice is to contact an attorney at the first sign of any trouble.