Sex crimes are a very serious offense and can land you in prison for months or even years. Often times, when we hear the term assault, we think sexual assault in the form of rape. However, there is another form of sex crimes–indecent assault. The penalties and charges vary for the crime, meaning if you are accused of indecent assault, knowing your potential conviction is important to your future.
What is Indecent Assault?
According to the Department of Communities and Justice, “Indecent assault is touching (or the threat to touch) a person’s body in a sexual manner without consent by another person.”
The act of indecency occurs when a person does something of a sexual nature towards or in front of another person. This can also include one individual making another person do something of a sexual nature in front of another person.
In Pennsylvania, there are two forms of indecent assault: aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.
Indecent assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the offender has indecent contact with the victim, and:
- The offender does so without the victim’s consent, or the victim is under 16 and the offender is at least four years older than the victim.
- It also occurs when the victim and offender are not married to each other.
It is a misdemeanor of the first degree if the offender has indecent contact with the victim, and:
- The offender does so by forcible compulsion or by the threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution.
- The victim is unconscious or the offender knows that the victim is unaware that indecent contact is occurring.
- The offender has substantially impaired the victim’s power to appraise or control the victim’s conduct by administering or employing, without victim’s knowledge, drugs, intoxicants, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.
- Of, if the victim suffers from a mental disability that renders the victim incapable of consent or is under 13 years of age.
Indecent assault is a felony of the third degree if the offender has indecent contact with the victim, and the victim is under 13, and:
- It is a second or subsequent offense and there has been a course of conduct of indecent assault by the offender.
- The indecent assault was committed by touching the victim’s sexual parts with sexual parts of the offender or by touching the offender’s sexual parts with the sexual parts of a victim.
Aggravated Indecent Assault
Aggravated indecent assault is a second-degree felony. Second-degree crimes are less severe charges than crimes of the first-degree but still have longer prison terms or larger fines. Aggravated indecent assault occurs when a person “engages in penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of a victim with a part of the person’s body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures commits aggravated indecent assault if:
- The person does so without the victim’s consent; by forcible compulsion; or by the threat of forcible compulsion.
- The victim is unconscious by administering or employing drugs, intoxicants or other means.
- The victim suffers from a mental disability; the victim is less than 13 years of age, or the victim is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the victim and the victim and the person are not married to each other.
This category is also divided by age of the victim. Aggravated indecent assault of a child is a first-degree felony and occurs when the victim is under the age of 13.
Penalties of Indecent Assault
Depending if your charge is of the first or second degree, you may receive up to five years in prison. But, if this is your second offense, it can become a third-degree felony and is punishable for up to seven years in prison.
Remember, if you are convicted of rape, sexual assault, or have committed numerous other sex crimes, you will have to register as a sex offender.
Being accused of a sex crime is not something you want to handle on your own.
Contact us today
Your indecent assault case is complicated. There are ways we can help lessen your punishment by seeking treatment for addiction and the diagnosis of a psychological disorder. Contact the Northeastern Pennslyvania sex crimes lawyers at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano now to represent you.