Any sexual abuse allegation unfairly shifts the burden on the defendant to prove that it did not happen. A child abuse case is arguably the most difficult type of case to defend, particularly on account of the social stigma against the charge.
The legal defenses for such an offense are limited. In many serious cases (e.g. aggravated assault or capital murder cases), defendants may claim self-defense, mental illness, or lack of future dangerousness. By comparison, there often is no legitimate legal or ethical defense for a sexual offense against a child. The law offers no relief to an individual who has harmed or endangered an innocent child, even in cases where the perpetrator was molested or abused during his or her own childhood.
The various sexual offenses against a child can be categorized into three distinct acts: penetration, molestation, and performance. Each is a different crime that results in a serious felony charge.