Can I Sue for Being Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault in Milwaukee?

Can I Sue for Being Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault in Milwaukee

Has someone falsely accused you of sexual assault in Milwaukee? Facing such an accusation can turn your world upside down. Not only do you have to deal with the stress and embarrassment that come with the claim, but your reputation, career, and personal relationships might also suffer. If you’re in this tough spot, you might wonder if you can sue the person who falsely accused you. Here’s what you need to know about suing for false sexual assault allegations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Why Do Some People Make False Sexual Assault Allegations?

False accusations of sexual assault are rare, but when they do occur, they can have devastating effects on the accused person’s life. The motives behind these false allegations vary widely from one situation to another. Here are some examples of possible reasons behind false sexual assault allegations:

  • Revenge or Anger: Sometimes, a person might make a false accusation out of a desire for revenge. For example, if a relationship ends badly, one person might falsely accuse their ex-partner of sexual assault as a way to hurt them. This type of false accusation stems from feelings of anger, betrayal, or a desire to cause harm in retaliation for perceived wrongs.
  • Seeking Attention or Sympathy: In certain cases, individuals might fabricate a story about being sexually assaulted to gain attention or sympathy from others. This need for attention can stem from various personal issues, including low self-esteem, loneliness, or a desire for validation. By claiming to be a victim of sexual assault, the accuser might receive support, care, and attention from those around them, fulfilling their emotional needs in a deceptive manner.
  • Alibi or Cover-Up: Another possible reason for false allegations can involve using the accusation as an alibi or a cover-up for unflattering behavior. For instance, someone might claim they were sexually assaulted to explain a situation where they were unfaithful to their partner or to justify their presence in a particular location. In these scenarios, the false accusation serves as a tool to divert attention away from their actions and avoid accountability.
  • Confusion or Misidentification: Sometimes, false accusations occur not out of malice but because of genuine confusion or misidentification. An individual who was assaulted or believes they were assaulted might identify the wrong person as a perpetrator. This can happen in situations where the actual events are unclear, such as in scenarios involving alcohol or drugs, leading to accusations that are sincere but factually incorrect.
  • Manipulation or Coercion: In certain situations, an individual might be manipulated or coerced into making a false accusation by someone else. This could be due to pressure from family members, friends, or authorities who have their own motives for wanting an accusation to be made. The person making the accusation might feel trapped or believe they have no choice but to go along with the narrative being pushed onto them. 

What Are My Legal Options If Someone Falsely Accuses Me of Sexual Assault?

The legal system provides several possible avenues to address false sexual assault allegations. Depending on the circumstances, you could sue the person who made the false accusation for: 


Libel involves making false and damaging statements about someone in written form, such as through social media posts, emails, or news articles. If someone writes that you committed sexual assault when you did not, you could sue them for libel. In your lawsuit, you must prove that the written statements were false, shared with others, and caused harm to your reputation. Winning a libel case could yield compensation for your damaged reputation and financial losses resulting from the false accusation. 


Slander is similar to libel, but it deals with verbal statements. If someone verbally accuses you of sexual assault in a public setting or among your peers, and their accusation is false, this is slander. Slander cases aim to recover compensation for the harm caused by spoken lies. To file a slander lawsuit, you must show that the person made the false accusation out loud to others and that it harmed your reputation. You must also show that it caused you to suffer harm, like a job loss or emotional distress. 

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) occurs when someone’s egregious and purposeful actions cause you severe emotional suffering. Being falsely accused of sexual assault can be deeply traumatizing. If the accuser made the claim with the intention of causing you distress or acted recklessly without caring about the impact, you might have a case for IIED. In your lawsuit, you would need to show that their conduct was extreme, intentional, or reckless and caused significant emotional distress. 

Malicious Prosecution

Malicious prosecution involves a false accuser taking their claim to law enforcement, leading to your arrest and prosecution without a valid basis. If this occurs, you could sue the accuser for malicious prosecution after the legal system clears you of the charges. This claim requires proving that the accuser had no reasonable grounds to believe you were guilty and acted with malice in making the accusation. In your claim, you could seek compensation for being forced to undergo an unwarranted criminal process and suffering losses such as legal fees and emotional distress. 

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Deal with False Sexual Assault Allegations

Can I Sue for Being Falsely Accused of Sexual Assault in MilwaukeeDealing with a false accusation of sexual assault can feel overwhelming and isolating, but you don’t have to face it alone. An experienced lawyer can provide support and take action to protect your rights and reputation. Here are some key ways a skilled attorney can assist you through this challenging time:

  • Investigating the details of the accusation to uncover the truth
  • Gathering evidence that supports your innocence
  • Interviewing witnesses who can corroborate your side of the story
  • Representing you in court if necessary
  • Filing motions to dismiss baseless charges
  • Negotiating with prosecutors to reduce or drop charges
  • Preparing you for testimony and cross-examination
  • Challenging the credibility of the accuser’s story
  • Working with forensic experts to analyze evidence
  • Seeking protective orders to prevent harassment
  • Filing a lawsuit against the false accuser, if appropriate 

Contact a Milwaukee Defense Attorney Now

Don’t let a false accusation overshadow your future. At Hart Powell, S.C., we stand ready to fight for your rights and help you reclaim your peace of mind. Our team offers a listening ear, clear answers, and strong legal defense strategies tailored to your situation. Call us now at (414) 271-9595 or contact us online for a confidential consultation with a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer, and let’s take the first step toward putting this behind you.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : March 25, 2024