These cases are very difficult. The results of losing them can mean far more than a conviction and jail. It opens the client up to being listed on the sex offender registry for life and could in some cases expose the client to the risk of life in a mental institution after he is released from prison. Less than 1 percent of these cases are won by the defense at trial, and fewer than 12 percent are even brought to trial. Counsel must provide a hearty defense while at the same time working to negotiate a reasonable way out of the matter without the case coming to trial. If that is not possible, it will take all of counsel’s resources to secure victory in these cases. Major hurdles for trial lawyers include careful jury selection and the correct and comfortable use in the courtroom of language related to sex. Failure to strongly pursue a defense will spell disaster for the client. Lawyers not steeped in forensics and computer jargon and usage should consider taking on an attorney who can help with these technologies and, if necessary, act as second seat or even lead counsel should the case need to go to trial.

  • Anthony J. Colleluori is a New York and Long Island trial and appellate lawyer who focuses his practice on criminal law, First Amendment, constitutional law and civil rights, civil RICO, and Federal False Claims Act cases. He may be reached at