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(an) accessory to (some crime)

Someone who knowingly incites or assists in the commission of some crime without direct participation. He was found guilty of murder, while his wife was found guilty of being accessory to murder due to her involvement in luring the victim to the abandoned warehouse. If they find out you helped steal the getaway car, you'll be tried as an accessory to the robbery! Yes, I'm Wild Bob's brother, but I'm not an accessory to his crime, I swear. I has no idea he was planning to rob a bank until I saw it on the news!
See also: accessory, to

after the fact

After an event or situation has already happened. Bob only realized he had been scammed after the fact, when he received a bank statement full of fraudulent charges. Look, this project has been in development for way too long as it is. At this point, let's just get it released—we can fix any problems that arise after the fact. Ugh, I always think of the perfect witty retort after the fact.
See also: after, fact
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

after the fact

after something has happened; after something, such as a crime, has taken place. (Originally a legal phrase.) John is always making excuses after the fact.
See also: after, fact
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

after the fact

After an actual occurrence, particularly after a crime. For example, I know the brakes should have been repaired, but that doesn't help much after the fact . The use of fact for a crime dates from the first half of the 1500s. The word became standard in British law and is still used in this way today. The idiom was first recorded in 1769 in the phrase accessories after the fact, referring to persons who assist a lawbreaker after a crime has been committed. Now it is also used more loosely, as in the example above.
See also: after, fact
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ˌafter the ˈfact

after something has happened or been done when it is too late to prevent it or change it: On some vital decisions employees were only informed after the fact.
See also: after, fact
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Wolf-Parkinson and White Syndrome (WPW) is the most widespread type of pre-excitation syndrome which is associated with an accessory AV connection, called Kent Bundle.
Step 4: In patients with right free-wall accessory pathways, examine lead aVF.
developed an algorithm by analyzing R/S ratios in lead V1, V2 and aVF on ECGs of 142 patients with a single anterogradely conducting accessory pathway.
Instead, there was one index card-sized sign that featured the name of the collection and the price of each coordinating accessory.
The big difference at Bed Bath & Beyond was that the shower curtains and a host of other accessories were organized in a separate adjacent section that happened to be larger than the bath accessory section.
When an accessory was deemed necessary, 75 percent of the consumers polled said they would buy it (41 percent said they would pay up to 20 percent more than they expected); only 16 percent wouldn't buy it.
"Whether it's a cigarette lighter adapter for a cellular phone or a surge suppressor for a computer, each accessory makes that particular product more functional and easier to use," Griffin said.
"This maybe diminishes the perception that the customer has on the value of the product itself, while it really may not be the product at fault--it's just that the customer lacks the proper accessory to enhance its performance," Borinstein said.