Sex crimes are very serious offenses and can land you in prison for months or even years. Oftentimes, when we hear the term assault, we think of sexual assault in the form of rape. However, there is another form of sex crime–indecent assault. The penalties and charges vary depending on the degree of the crime committed. Not all indecent assaults are the same.
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.”
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.
What are the Charges for Indecent Assault?
Indecent assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the offender has indecent contact with the victim, and:
- The victim does not give 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 to prevent resistance.
- The victim is unconscious or unaware indecent contact is occurring.
- When the victim suffers from a mental disability that renders the victim incapable of consent or is under 13 years of age.
- Or the offender has substantially impaired the victim’s power to appraise or control the victim’s conduct. This can be by employing drugs, intoxicants, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance without the victim’s knowledge.
Indecent assault is a felony of the third degree if the offender has indecent contact with a victim is under 13, and:
- It is a subsequent offense. This means there has been a course of conduct of indecent assault by the offender.
- The indecent assault included touching the victim’s sexual parts with the sexual parts of the offender or 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.” Acts that count as aggravated indecent assault if:
- An accused touched the victim without the victim’s consent, by forcible compulsion, or through the threat of forcible compulsion.
- The victim is unconscious by administering or employing drugs, intoxicants, or other means.
- The victim is unable to legally give consent. A victim who suffers from a mental disability; is less than 13 years old; or is less than 16 years old while the person is four or more years older than the victim and the victim and the person are not married to each other; cannot give consent.
Penalties of Indecent Assault
Depending on if your charge is of the first or second degree, you may receive up to five years in prison. But, a second offense can become a third-degree felony and is punishable for up to seven years in prison.
Anyone convicted of rape, sexual assault, or other sex crimes, has to register as a sex offender. You do not want to handle being accused of a sex crime on your own.
Contact us today
Indecent assault cases are 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.