We provide direct representation, or work with qualified local counsel, across the country on cases where individuals with ASD are being investigated, or have been charged, in connection with inappropriate online or offline sexual behavior. Many lawyers, even experienced lawyers, may say that Asperger’s "doesn’t make a difference" or that "it is not a defense." But we have shown that it does make a difference, and have clients who survived without going to jail, without being labeled as sex offenders, and who may end up without a criminal conviction.
Mark has become the most prominent and experienced attorney in the country involved in defending person with Autism Spectrum Disorder who, by virtue of this pervasive developmental disability, are unaware of the social and legal taboos and danger relating to child pornography, and other problematic sexual behaviors "online" and "offline." Mark’s efforts have led to prosecutors deciding to divert cases from criminal prosecution, or agree to results which do not require sex offender registration, or has resulted in judges in imposing only probation supervision that involves therapy is appropriate to the specific intellectual or developmental disability. Mark Mahoney is expending more and more of his professional time helping these individuals and their families caught in the nightmare of such prosecutions.
Mark Mahoney’s article, "Asperger’s Syndrome and the Criminal Law: The Special Case of Child Pornography," available in the "Resources" section, is the sole source on the Web or elsewhere exposing the inappropriateness of scapegoating those with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are arrested and charged under the extremely harsh federal and state child pornography and sex offender registration statutes. The circulation of this article, and the information it has provided to clinicians, defense lawyers, families, prosecutors and judges has resulted in a number of extraordinary results in these cases.
Mark Mahoney speaking at the Autism-Europe International Congress, in Edinburgh, Scotland, in September of 2016. You can see the presentations of Mark, Dr. Alexander Westphal, Dr. Rachel Lofitn, and Dr. Laurie Sperry on the National Autistic Society Web site.