Dallas’s Dale Duke: Exonerated of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

In 1992, Dale Duke was recently married, when his step-daughter accused him of Sexual Assault. Duke pled no contest to the charge in order to receive a deferred adjudication, and was later sentenced to 20 years prison for refusing to admit the sexual assault in a Sex Offender Treatment Program as part of his sentence.

About a year after, the step-daughter recanted her testimony, claiming that the sexual assault had never happened, and that she made it up. In 2011, Duke’s attorney discovered that the Prosecutors office had never shared with the defense exculpatory information that the girl’s grandmother had told police that she thought the “victim” was untruthful and that her aunt had actually convinced the girl to fabricate the story.

This exoneration comes after Duke has served almost 14 years in prison for this “crime” that never happened.

The exoneration is due in part to diligent work by Duke’s attorney, and also to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, led by Russell Wilson. Dallas should be applauded for actually taking the initiative to exonerate those falsely accused of sexual crimes against children. Hopefully this trend will continue. However, most counties do not have a Unit like this, and wrongly convicted are required to rely on the skill of their trial attorneys, appellate lawyers, and false accusation experts to defend against these unfounded charges.

David M Cantor is a sex crimes lawyer out of Phoenix, Arizona and is a Supporting Member of the NCADRC.

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29 Responses to Dallas’s Dale Duke: Exonerated of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

  1. As soon as I noticed this site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  2. Nate says:

    I have had a accusation against me. But the parents said they were not going to pursue it
    To the authorities. Should i get a lawyer and possibly go to the authorites myself? ( in idaho)
    Please exclude my name from the last comment

    • DKJ says:

      YES! Seek out an atty quickly and get a consultation. Do NOT go to the authorities without legal counsel first. If they press charges, this will be the longest, ugliest, costliest battle of your life. There is not a statute of limitations on these things in my state and I suspect not yours either. They can go to the authorities at any time. I pray that you are innocent and don’t have to go through this process. However, if you do, you will want someone skilled with these types of cases, not just any criminal attorney will do here. I know. I just went through it myself.

  3. Robert Gibbs says:

    In 1987 my ex-wife accused me of child molestation. She lives in Texas and I live in Mississippi. I had custody of my child due to her being a bigomest. Now after years of my child believing her mother she has found out that her mother had done to try to get custody and make her hate me. The sheriff of my county came and investagated my home without my knoledge. Since this is a small town the news traveled quickly. To this day I still am thought as a molester though no charges of evidence were found. What if any reprocussions do we have to right this wrong?

  4. Great article. You made some good points.

    • Fernanda says:

      I was falsely acecsud of sexual abuse against my daughter. I was arrested on two counts of aggravated sexual abuse, but the charges were dropped before I even had a court. I am so grateful for that, but my life feels like its over. I was able to still gain joint physical and legal custody of my kids, which is so awesome, I relish the time I get with them, but I’m scared to even give my little 4year old daughter a hug and kiss now. I miss her and my son so much. I spent about $30,000 on defense and divorce lawyers and the did really well for me, but I still cant see me ever being the person I used to be. I wish I could take action against the arresting police department and the accuser but, I dont know if its possible.***Edited by IWFA Blog to remove identifying information.

      • Lyvia says:

        what if going to court to go back into battle (again) for the 23rd time means that you get a bullit in your head? Does that mean i just need to continue to grieve and accept that i can never get him for contempt and never see my precious daughter again?

      • Adam says:

        An accusation was made against me years ago that was dropped but i know what you mean about being scared about how to act with your child. I have a disabled daughter who when she is scared wants kisses and cuddles to calm her,i WILL not refuse my daughter if she is scared but i am always worried what people who see it think,will they think something is strange and call the police meaning everything gets dragged up again and as an accusation has been made before would they believe i am abusing my child.

        • admin says:

          Dear Adam,
          We am happy to hear you are still with your child. You should always be worried about how other people see things so be a good dad and do your best!

          Kim Hart
          Exec. Dir.
          NCADRC

  5. Kim Williams says:

    I see something truly special in this web site .

    • Shail says:

      People are assholes and simplistic in their thinking. They think one automatically equals the other even though they have no legit basis to draw from. You tell enough people one thing and soon they start to believe it. Not unlike mass hysteria.

  6. I wish to show my appreciation to you for bailing me out of this scenario. Right after looking out throughout the internet and meeting basics which were not productive, I figured my entire life was gone. Existing minus the strategies to the issues you’ve sorted out as a result of the guideline is a serious case, and the ones which might have adversely damaged my career if I hadn’t noticed your web page. Your personal training and kindness in dealing with all things was very helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not encountered such a thing like this. I can at this time look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot very much for this impressive and results-oriented help. I won’t think twice to endorse the sites to anybody who requires support on this issue.

  7. Loyd says:

    A perfect example of “blaming the victim,” and generally those victims are women. For some reason, a woman’s sexual history has been fair game for defense attorneys to use in court against them! Fortunately, there are now laws in place to prevent just that, unless the defense can prove that it’s honestly and truly relevant to the case. I think it’s important to address this issue and want to thank you for the great post.

  8. Arnold says:

    There are lies, there are damn lies, and there are lies that kill. Like the lies the adopted son of a well-known university basketball coach made. He told authorities he had been sexually molested and yesterday admitted to the press that it never really happened. “I don’t know how I could have told such a lie,” the liar told reporters. His truth comes too late. His father’s career has been destroyed, his friends have ostracized him, his family has been torn apart, his reputation massacred. This false allegation will follow his father for the rest of his life. And there are so many other cases of false allegation that have killed everything a person built. For example: In 1992, Dale Duke was recently married, when his step-daughter accused him of sexual assault. Duke pled no contest to the charge in order to receive a deferred adjudication, and was later sentenced to 20 years prison for refusing to admit the sexual assault in a Sex Offender Treatment Program as part of his sentence. About a year after, the step-daughter recanted her testimony, claiming that the sexual assault had never happened, and that she made it up. In 2011, Duke’s attorney discovered that the Prosecutors office had never shared with the defense exculpatory information that the girl’s grandmother had told police that she thought the “victim” was untruthful and that her aunt had actually convinced the girl to fabricate the story. This exoneration comes after Duke has served almost 14 years in prison for this “crime” that never happened. Some liars are murderers. A lie that horrible takes the focus off those that are real victims. Those that might end up dead at the hand of their abusers. That’s a lie that kills in my estimation. I pray for their souls and for those that lost everything they ever were and everything they were ever going to be before the lie.

  9. chris rivers says:

    I am currently in the process of an investigation myself. My daughter wax expelled from school for fighting and her mother took her phone and saw she was talking to a boy about sex. About 4 hours after I found out from her mother I had police at my door with emergency custody orders claiming I had molested my daughter. This will be the third time in court for false allegations. The first time my ex claimed I abused my son and the second time that my neighbor molested my other son. It is getting ridiculous how much time I am missing of my Childers lives from this.this time I am.sure the police are investigating because I received a pretext call from my daughter on her birthday and she was saying stuff.that she would never say to me. Like she is alone and doesn’t want to see me again because of what I did…I just said that I can’t talk to her and hung up. I have not been contacted by the police yet and it has been almost 3 months now. Just want my babies back…..:( would love to learn how I can best this than get some type of custody back.

  10. MISSY says:

    Had been dating a wonderful man who told me he was wrongly convicted of gross sexual imposition and served his time, now though has to register for 6 more years, my exhusband found out by looking him up on sex offender website and is now wanting to take me to court to obtain full custody of my children, what rights if any do I have. What course of action do I need to take?

    • admin says:

      Dear Missy,
      If you are living with someone convicted of GSI and you have minor children, you may very well be at risk of the father of your children obtaining custody. Often times, the woman in these situations has to chose between the kids and the man. Sometimes the age of the children can help but if they are small it won’t matter. You really need to talk to your custody lawyer.

      Kim hart
      Exec. Dir.
      National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center

  11. Tamika says:

    Hi, my boyfriend is being charged of sexual abuse of a child and has been incarcerated since the beginning of March. He had intercourse with her, she asked him for money, and he kicked her out. Now her 2 daughters were sleeping in the living room. 2 days later he’s being arrested and she’s claiming she walked out to find him touching one of her girls and that they were arguing in the living room then she left. Now this is a small 2 bedroom apartment and his roommate was home and heard nothing. We are still waiting for DNA to come back. I know he wouldn’t ever do this. We don’t know where to start

    • admin says:

      I hope your boyfriend has a lawyer. He needs one! To assist the lawyer you should write out the whole relationship history. How and when he first met the woman and then the kids. This will provide background information for the lawyer. As the lawyer what other information he/she would like you to provide.

      Kim Hart
      Exec. Dir.
      National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center

  12. deborah says:

    cps caseworker removed my grand daughter from my home almost 5 months ago telling me the reason is “i lied to the case worker about taking medication” so since i lied then i must be hiding something. i did not lie. i had no reason to lie and without a court order cps destroyed my family and this child who i havent even seen or talked to. the case was closed and the worker and detective that works for cps and does investigation’s told the child’s parent’s i am a danger to her and she’s not allowed around me. this broke my heart because i raised this child because her mom lived with me also. my daughter was told if she wants to see her daughter again she has to move out of my house. after the case was closed and we would go to get the child on the court ordered days she was suppose to have this child the childs father would call the cps or detective and therefore telling the police on the scene not to allow the child to leave with her mother. i filed my complaint with the agency the first week of nov. 2015 and still am being told by the rights worker that i can’t have the hearing to clear my name. this rights worker lied to me for the first 2 months after i filed complaint and told me she never received my complaint and other lies to keep stalling. in the meantime i have been grieving, my family is not the same, didn’t celebrate the holidays and i want to know how i am a danger. i went to pick my grand child up like i have for the past 4 years and the detective had me arrested for interfering with custody. now cps is saying i have to wait until my court case is over. I WOULD’T HAVE A COURT CASE IF IT WASN’T FOR THESE 2 PEOPLE ABUSING THEIR AUTHORITY. any advice on what to do? i wrote letters to every political party i could think of asking for help. these people need investigated because they are breaking the law. no one is helping me.

    • admin says:

      Dear Deborah,
      Sadly the politicians will not do anything about this type of continued abuse of power. You really need a lawyer to advocate for you. It seems those who do not have an advocate most often just get steamrolled. Call the office to see if we have a referral we can make for you. Our number is 419-865-0513.

      Kim Hart
      Exec. Dir.
      National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center

  13. Sarah Nixon says:

    I need help to find a criminal lawyers that will fight false allegations against sexual salts on a minor for my son

  14. Brian says:

    Hello, my name is Arthur, I was convicted of a sexual offence and was sentist to eight years but get this, I’m totolly blind. I was in a relationship with a woman who had a young daughter that was 12 years of age who claim that I did sexual things to her and I believe that she lied on me for her mother because her mother wanted another man in her life who could work and support her, by me being on a fix income and not working, the mother just used me for sex until she found someone better. The arresting officer tricked me in to signing a confession and the witness was a serjeant a officer of the law and I was told by my state appointed lawyer that he could beat my case just bace on the confession alone, but when I went to court the judge got mad at my lawyer and still submited the confession into evidence.
    Now I have to Register for life and it’s been 22 years now and I’m getting to old to find my way to report to Register . I tryed talking to pro bonos but they all claim that they don’t practist criminal law. I have no one to turn to for help.

    • admin says:

      Brian,
      Call the office and maybe we can make a suggestion or two.

      Kim Hart
      Exec. Dir.
      National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center

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