The law can be a bit confusing at times. That’s why we here at Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC, like to make the letter of the law a little clearer so you can focus more on starting your legal defense and less on a mountain of legalese. In this post we’ll be talking about sex crimes, and we’re going to start off with some definitions.
Sex offenses; definitions of terms
- Sexual intercourse happens with any sort of penetration, no matter how slight it might be.
- Oral sexual conduct is contact between either the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the anus, or the mouth and the vagina.
- Anal sexual conduct is contact between the penis and anus.
- Sexual contact in general means touching of the sexual parts with the intent of gratifying sexual desire. This can include touching of either individual, or ejaculation by the acting party on the victim.
- Married refers to the relationship of the acting person and victim as spouses recognized by law.
- Mentally disabled basically means someone who suffers from a mental illness that makes them unable to understand their conduct.
- Mentally incapacitated means someone’s temporarily incapable of controlling their behavior because of drugs that have been given to them without their consent.
- Physically helpless means someone who’s unconscious or isn’t physically able to communicate unwillingness to some sort of act.
- Forcible compulsion means to compel someone to do something either by physical force or a threat or death or physical harm.
- Foreign object is something that can cause injury when inserted into the various sexual parts.
- Sexual conduct is any of the types of intercourse we’ve already defined.
- Aggravated sexual contact means inserting something into the sexual parts of a child other than for medical reasons.
- Health care provider is anyone who’s required to be licensed or registered under certain provisions of the law.
- Mental health care provider means a licensed physician, psychologist, registered professional nurse, or someone else who’s under supervisions of a physician, psychologist, or LCSW.
Sex offenses; lack of consent
Now that we’ve gotten the definitions out of the way, we can talk about the different sex offenses that there are. In every defense we’re going to talk about here, there’s an element that the act was committed without any consent from the victim. This lack of consent can result from forcible compulsion, incapacity to consent, or whenever the crime is either sexual abuse or touching that’s considered forcible, in addition to forcible compulsion or being incapable to consent, where the victim doesn’t accept the acting person’s behavior, or also whenever the crime is rape in the third degree or a criminal sexual act in the third degree, and in addition to that there’s some sort of forcible compulsion where the victim clearly said that they didn’t consent to what was happening, and a reasonable person in this situation would’ve understood these words as a lack of consent. Someone’s incapable of consent when they’re younger than seventeen, mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, physically helpless, or committed to the care of the department of corrections, and the acting person is an employee who either knows or should know that this person’s been committed to care. This also applies to supervising people who have been released on community supervision and who supervise the victim at the time of the crime.
Sex offenses; limitation; defenses
Now we’ve made it to the final section, the limitation and possible defenses of the various sex offenses. First of all, in any sort of prosecution where the lack of consent is based on the victim being mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, it’s an affirmative defense that the defendant didn’t know about these incapacities and inabilities to consent. Another affirmative defense is that any sort of conduct performed for a valid mental health care or medical reason won’t constitute a violation. Lastly, in any prosecution for rape in the third degree, a criminal sexual act in the third degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the third degree, or sexual abuse in the third degree where incapacity to consent is based on certain circumstances under the law, it’s an affirmative defense that the client consented to this behavior after having been told that this behavior wasn’t performed for medical reasons.
At Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC, the people always come first. So get in touch with us today and let us get started. It’ll be the best thing you do today.