Understanding Sexual Battery 101

Aug 26, 2016 by

Forcing someone to have sex is a crime. In legal parlance, threatening or coercing someone to have sex is called sexual battery. According to the website of the Nashville sexual offense lawyers at Horst Law, sexual battery is sexual contact with any person through coercion or force. Usually, the action does not have the consent of the alleged victim. Sexual battery does not have to involve penetration or sodomy. It may involve just touching of an intimate part of the body.

Like other sex crimes, sexual battery involves lack of consent. Sexual conduct becomes a criminal act when sexual touch is not consented to because the action was against the will of the victim or is incapable of giving consent or reduced mental capacity to consent. To prove sexual battery, there are three elements that need to be present. First, there should be use of force. The defendant must have resorted to violence to force the victim to have sex with them. The factors surrounding the event will be investigated by the court to determine if there was indeed a threat.

The second element involves victims with limited mental capacity. A victim who has a mental defect cannot give their consent. In some states, the focus of the court will be on permanent mental deficiencies while some courts will protect victims of temporary mental deficiencies such as those drugged or intoxicated the victim.

The third element involves the age of the victim. Each state has set their own age of consent. In some states, the set age is sixteen while in others it is fourteen. The defendant can be charged with sexual battery if the victim is underage even if the victim agreed to the sexual contact. In some states, however, sexual contact with a minor above a certain age can only be considered a criminal act if the offender is older than the victim by a certain number of years.

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