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Houston Child Abuse Defense Attorney

The concept of child abuse involves an extremely wide range of legal issues. The claim of abuse often carries the potential for both civil and criminal consequences. The civil consequences can be legal (loss of custody, loss of visitation) or social (public shunning, the breakdown of a marriage, loss of employment). The criminal consequences depend on the extent of inflicted abuse: physical assault, sexual assault, or rape.

Contact a Houston Child Abuse Lawyer | Mary E. Conn

No matter what level of punishment you may be facing, Get help today by speaking with an experienced Houston child abuse defense attorney in Texas. Schedule a consultation today with attorney Mary E. Conn. Fill out a contact form or call (713) 357-4190.

Being charged with abusing a child, whether it be physically, sexually, or emotionally, can mark the end of family relationships and friendships, and maybe the beginning of a long, painful road to jail or prison for a long time. In one year, more than 65,000 cases of child abuse were confirmed in the state of Texas alone.

Public opinion is almost always hostile to people accused of abuse, and police and prosecutors tend to see these cases as crusades to protect the innocent. In other words, you face an uphill battle once child abuse charges are filed, and your best defense is an experienced Houston Child Abuse Defense lawyer who understands both the legal and the practical sides of the case.

Texas Child Abuse Laws | Family Code

Child abuse is defined in §261.001 of the Family Code. That definition is then used to decide:

  • When and whether the child needs protection, for example, removal from the abuser’s home.
  • Whether the abuse inflicted amounts to a crime described in the state penal code.

The basic definition of child abuse includes both acts and omissions if they harm the child:

  • Emotionally/psychologically
  • Physically
  • Sexually, which can induce harm that is also emotional and physical

The state can impose some responsibility for child abuse on several different people, including not only the person who actually inflicts it, but also:

  • Those who failed to prevent it.
  • Those who failed to report actual abuse.
  • Those who falsely reported abuse.
  • Those who failed to investigate and act on the reports of abuse.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Houston Child Abuse Lawyer

Mary E. Conn has years of experience dealing with child abuse charges. She offers free consultations and will defend your legal rights. Call (713) 357-4190 or fill out an online contact form to tell us more about your case.

Types of Child Abuse Charges

Texas has several different laws that describe specific types of sexual activity with someone under the age of 17, which you could be charged with depending on the nature of the activity, such as:

  • Sexual abuse of a child.
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child (multiple incidences of abuse of victims under 14 by someone over 17).
  • Indecency with a child.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Aggravated sexual assault (victims under 14, where force was used or threatened).

Sexual abuse of a child is specifically defined to include all four of the crimes above, as well as any sexual conduct that is harmful to the emotional, mental, or physical welfare of the child. Another section equates child sex abuse to various crimes that can be considered the exploitation of children by encouraging or compelling them:

  • To engage in sexual conduct (§43.01)
  • In ways that amount to sexual trafficking (§20A.02)
  • To engage in prostitution (§43.05)

Filming, photographing or depicting a child in an obscene or pornographic fashion is also defined as child sexual abuse, as is allowing, making or encouraging that activity. Contact a Houston child pornography defense lawyer to get help on your case. Mary E. Conn will defend your liberty and rights.

Defenses For Child Sexual Abuse Charges

When the charge is sexual abuse, the state’s case begins with a child abuse report, followed by a lengthy investigation. The witnesses interviewed may be reliable, but may also be mistaken or even fabricating testimony to get back at the defendant or to obtain favorable rulings in divorce or custody proceedings. The child may or may not be capable of really understanding what the investigators are asking.

Depending on the type of abusive activity that is alleged, there may be no physical signs. In those and other cases, the state may rely on evidence about the alleged victim’s behavior to establish that abuse occurred. That is obviously subjective at best, and may well be explained by any number of things other than sexual abuse.

30+ Years of Defense Experience | Call Mary E. Conn Today

Houston Child Abuse attorney Mary E. Conn has spent more than 30 years defending these difficult cases. A top-rated Houston sex crimes lawyer, Mary is known for treating her clients with courtesy and respect. She knows the social issues that hide below the legal ones, and understands how prosecutors approach these cases. If you are involved in a child abuse case in any way, call Mary E. Conn Law today for your free consultation. Call the firm today  (713) 357-4190.


During the COVID-19 crisis, Mary Conn Law is working and available to discuss your case with you. Contact us today.