Sexual assault is a violent crime that can traumatize a person for the rest of their life. When a woman or man is attacked sexually, it often leaves them physically, emotionally and even mentally damaged for a very long time. There are different forms of sexual assault and each of them usually carry severe penalties. While some states vary on what is considered sexual assault, these are the most common types of sexual assault charges that are brought against a perpetrator.
Rape and Criminal Sexual Penetration
Rape and criminal sexual penetration involves a person having sexual intercourse with another without consent. This crime is often violent in nature and may be committed by a stranger, acquaintance, friend or family member.
Sexual Battery and Criminal Sexual Contact
Sexual battery or criminal sexual contact is a crime that does not have to include sexual intercourse. This charge involves touching a person in a sexual manner, whether clothed or unclothed, without consent. It can also include forcing a victim to touch the perpetrator in a sexual way without the victim's consent.
Sexual Contact With a Minor
Sexual contact with a minor may or may not involve sexual intercourse. It may also be with or without consent. Depending on what a particular state's laws are concerning the age of consent, this type of behavior may not even be considered a crime. Some state laws consider the age of sexual consent as over 18 years of age and some consider it to be under the age of 18.
The age difference of the two people involved may also determine if a crime has been committed. The age of consent may be younger if the other partner is no more than 3 or 4 years older. This too varies according to the state the act takes place in.
Sexual Contact With a Person of Authority
In these cases, age is not a factor. If a person of authority, such as a mental healthcare giver, has sex with a patient, it can be considered non-consensual. The victim may not be mentally stable enough to give consent for having sex with the perpetrator. This also occurs between teachers and students, employers and employees and even security guards and prisoners. The victim may feel threatened by the authority and have sex with them even though they truly do not want to give consent.
The penalties for criminal sexual assault depend on how severe the crime is. If the victim was extremely hurt physically, there may be a harsher penalty for the perpetrator. If the criminal forced the victim to have sex by threatening them with a deadly weapon, this also carries a much stiffer penalty.
For more information, contact a legal office like Clark & Clark LLC.