For the business owner, he or she can see their business dealings take a significant hit when someone has accused them of a serious crime.
One such crime is sexual assault.
Even when the allegations prove false, a man (sometimes the same charge could be tied to a woman) and his business can take years or maybe never to recover from the suspicions.
Was he really guilty and just got away with it? Could he be brought up on a similar charge down the road?
If you’ve been charged with such a serious crime, how will you go about making your case that you are truly innocent?
Stating the Facts to Clear Your Name
When a charge as serious as sexual assault is thrown at an individual, he must do all possible to fight it, especially if he runs a business and risks losing a solid business reputation in the process.
For starters, trying to clear your name begins with providing as much evidence as possible to what the prosecution is alleging.
If you can prove without a shadow of a doubt you were not where the alleged victim claims you were, use any and all evidence (witness statements, video surveillance, receipts from a business etc.).
The goal as in any case of this magnitude is to plant seeds of doubt on the story the prosecution is putting forth. If you can do that, there may not be enough evidence for your case to even go to trial.
The Business of Staying in Business
While your personal reputation is undoubtedly on the line, business owners charged with such crimes must also think about their brands, along with how the public relations fallout from such charges could hurt their companies.
The first thing you want to do is be as sure as possible that your brand remains viable and does not suffer in the public eye.
While competitors should always take the high ground in such cases, you might find one or more that will try and exploit your situation, seeking to take some sales away from you.
For those business owners who do not have a public relations firm either representing them or an in-house team or person dedicated to the company’s PR, it is imperative that the business be presented in the best possible light.
Secondly, assure customers that the business will continue functioning normally, even if you are away from running things for the time being. Nervous customers are never a good matter for a business, so do your best to promise them that things will be alright, with the brand continuing to operate as it has before.
Another area of concern is how your employees will take the news of such charges.
Given how serious allegations of sexual assault are, you may have some workers with questions, concerns etc. Those concerns and questions can be about you personally, but also how this matter may or may not impact their jobs with your business.
Whether you do it in-person or have your second in command speak to them, do your best to assure all of the staff that this matter will be resolved, along with the fact that no one is being let go at this time. While that could change down the road depending on whether or not there is a guilty plea or verdict, your staff wants to know now how the case could have a positive or negative impact on their professional lives.
Lastly, never paint the alleged victim in a bad light.
Even if you are 100 percent innocent (hopefully this is the case), sexual assault in and of itself is a serious charge to throw at someone.
It is important that the victim or victims are not shamed or verbally abused by you or anyone representing you, including your employees.
Take the high road as much as possible, all the while still vigorously defending yourself and proclaiming your innocence.
Avoiding a sexual assault charge can be done, especially when you demonstrate that you are innocent and have nothing to hide.
When all is said and done, will you make your case of being innocent?
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About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.