What is Rape or Sexual Battery?

What is Rape or Sexual Battery?

When an individual is raped or sexually battered, they may experience low self-esteem, fear, anger and depression. The criminal changes a victim’s life for any number of reasons. Here, we discuss rape and sexual battery and the difference between the two.

Sexual battery

Sexual battery means touching a victim in inappropriate areas without their consent for sexual arousal but not having penetration. For example, if a person touches another’s buttocks or fondles their breasts for sexual arousal without that person’s consent, this is considered sexual battery.

Rape

Rape is defined as an individual forcing another to engage in sexual intercourse or any type of sexual act that involves penetration without their consent. An example of this is a man breaking into a home and forcing a woman to have sex against her will. A criminal may use a weapon to engage in this activity, or they may threaten the victim by stating they will harm them or their family if they don’t perform what is requested.

Fraud is another way criminals rape victims. For instance, a therapist might tell her client sex is therapeutic, and they require it to recover.

Misdemeanors or felonies

Sexual battery is generally considered to be a misdemeanor. There are some cases, however, that change that charge to a felony. Some reasons sexual battery is considered a felony are:

  • Sexual contact with a child
  • Sexual contact with an unconscious person
  • Contact where skin is on skin with no clothing.

In some states, if a minor is a certain age, the criminal must be older than the victim by a certain number of years for the act to be considered a crime.

In many states, a person who is of authority over others can receive criminal charges for engaging in sexual acts with a person under their authority. For instance, if a prison guard has sex with one of the prisoners, this can be considered a crime even if the victim consents. The reason for this is people under authority of guards, police officers and other authoritative figures may be incapable of knowing voluntary consent because they may fear saying no.

Defendant’s reasoning

Defendant’s generally plead not-guilty to either of these crimes. In many cases, they may not be guilty, but that will be decided in a court of law. One defense they may use is that they weren’t actually the criminal, and that someone else performed the act. Claiming to not be of right mind is another one that is used often. One of the most widely used defenses in criminal courts is that the sexual act was consensual, meaning the victim gave their consent.

Legal ramifications

Legal ramifications, or consequences, for sexual battery or rape can vary from state to state. Because sexual battery is considered a less serious offense, it carries a lighter sentence. The defendant may receive jail time of up to one year. He may not receive jail time but be put on probation, or he may receive a combination of the two.

For rape, a defendant will usually receive jail time for years. This depends on which state the crime is committed in. Besides the jail sentence for rape or sexual battery, the defendant may be required to undergo some type of therapeutic treatment either in or out of jail. They are also required to register in the state they reside in as a sexual offender. This means he has to list his name, address and information about the crime he committed and file it with the state registry. The public is able to come by and view at least some if not all of his information so they know where sexual offenders are in their area.

Overall

If you have been accused of sexual battery or rape, your future hangs in the balance, and you need an experienced criminal attorney on your side. Depending on the state you live in, you may spend many years in prison if you are convicted. Give us a call, and let us review your case because your life is worth it.

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