Sexual assault, regularly known as rape, is a serious criminal violation of Texas law and throughout the United States. According to the Texas penal code 22.011. sexual assault occurs when a defendant purposely and forcibly commits an illegal sexual activity drafted under Texas’ sexual assault law, to another without their consent or against their will.
Consent is inadequacy to be fully in control of a situation because of inability to physically resist. It also includes situations where the defendant is a healthcare service provider, clergyman, public servant or employee at the amenity where the victim lives.
There are various distinct acts which are premeditated as sexual assault.
- First criteria involve the assault of a child. In Texas, any individual under the age of 17 is considered a child. Therefore, if an adult performs a sexual act with a child younger than the age of 17years it’ll be regarded as a statutory rape even if the juvenile voluntarily engaged in the act since it’s reputed that an underage child cannot give assent.
An example is that of Norman Dwayne Lattimore, 20, who was charged with sexual assault of a 15-year-old when the incident was captured on police surveillance camera. Despite the fact that the girl in her affidavit, told the police that they were in a relationship which had eventually developed, a bond of $25,000 was set on him. He currently resides in the Galveston County Jail, just west of Brazoria County and south of Harris County.
Sandra J. Oballe, a criminal defense lawyer in Angleton, Brazoria County, TX, is often the best choice for individuals charged with sexual offenses. If you need to contact her office and talk with a lawyer who specializes in sexual assault cases about your case, call 979-265-6800.
- Secondly, if someone is drugged and disabled, he/she can’t give consent because of their situation.
In Texas, a charge of sexual assault can be elevated to provoked sexual assault if the following happens during the assault:
- The victim received any serious bodily injury or almost got killed owing to the actions of the defendant.\
- The victim or any other individual got kidnapped or received a serious bodily injury which caused fear of death by the defendant.
- The defendant using or exposing a deadly weapon and also, restraining the victim using the ‘’date rape drug’’ during the crime.
- If the victim is incapacitated, elderly or below the age of 14.
- If the defendant performed the crime with another person.
Understanding sexual assault penalties
The Texas code outlines two degrees of the crime of sexual assault, each with distinct linked punishments depending on the severity.
Felony of first degree
This is considered a sexual assault that happens if the victim is the individual who was banned from living or marrying or pretend to marry the defendant. It carries a sentence of maximum life imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
Another case of a first-degree felony is an aggravated sexual assault arising in the event that the victim is younger than six years or if a deadly weapon or drugs to facilitate the crime was used, seriously hurting or attempting to kill the victim. It carries a minimum prison sentence of twenty-five years
Felony of second degree
In Texas, sexual assault is charged as a second-degree felony meaning there may be a sentence of as little as two years or a maximum of 20 years and a possible fine of $10,000.
A number of defenses against sexual assault charges can be used by a criminal defense attorney including:
- The conduct was involving the medical care of the child and there was no penetration whatsoever by the body parts of the defendant.
- It was unintentional
- The victim gave assent
- The legal insanity of the defendant
- At the time of the offense, the defendant was the child’s spouse.
If you have been arrested and charged with any sexual assault offense, it is important to speak to an experienced defense attorney immediately to help protect your reputation because it could impact you for the rest of your life.