Sexual assault, also referred to as rape, occurs when the defendant intentionally commits a prohibited sexual activity without the victim’s consent.
There are a number of different sex crimes a person may be accused of. Most cases of sexual assault are second degree felonies. If convicted of a sexual assault, the defendant would face 2-20 years in state prison and/or be fined up to $10,000.
Sexual assault can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if these situations occurred:
- The accused caused serious bodily injury or attempted to cause the death of the victim
- There were threats of serious injury or death
- Kidnapping of the victim
- A deadly weapon was used or present during the crime
- The defendant had assistance during the crime
- Rohypnol, ketamine, or another form of “date rape drug” was used
- The victim was younger than 14 years of age
- The victim was elderly or disabled
Aggravated sexual assault cases are ones involving weapons or threats of injury or death. This elevates the charge to a first degree felony, punishable by 5-99 years in a state prison. The minimum sentence is 25 years for a convicted person in the case of sexual assault involving a victim younger than six years of age.
According to the website of criminal defense attorney Mark Lassiter, if accused, a person will be required to list their name on the national sex offender registry. This may cause difficulties in the future by affecting job prospects, personal relationships, or where a person may live.