SEX CRIMES AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES
More than 4,000 “forcible” rapes were reported in Pennsylvania in 2018. Thousands of other sex crimes – both felonies and misdemeanors – are also reported in this state each year. Rape and sexual assault are among the most heinous crimes prosecuted in the criminal justice system.
The psychological and emotional damage to the victim of a serious sex crime lasts for a lifetime. Thus, the Pennsylvania criminal courts harshly punish those who are convicted of serious sex crimes, and no leniency can be expected.
WHAT ABOUT FALSE SEX CRIME ACCUSATIONS?
However, false allegations of rape or sexual assault can also destroy a person’s life. Pennsylvania law ensures that the consequences of a sex crime conviction are long-lasting by requiring offenders to register with the state’s sex offender database.
Like most Pennsylvania attorneys and judges, Lemoyne sex crimes attorney R. Davis Younts knows from years of experience that sex crime accusations can be exaggerated or entirely fabricated by persons who – for whatever reason – are jealous, mistaken, or just plain vengeful.
WHICH SEX CRIMES ARE SERIOUS FELONIES IN THIS STATE?
“Sex crimes” is a large category of crimes under Pennsylvania law, ranging from indecent exposure in public to forcible rape. Some sex crimes in Pennsylvania are misdemeanors, but others are quite serious felonies. The sex crimes that are serious felonies in this state include:
- rape and statutory rape
- sexual assault and statutory sexual assault
- institutional sexual assault
- aggravated indecent assault
- involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
HOW IS RAPE DEFINED? WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR A CONVICTION?
Rape is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania. Rape is defined by Pennsylvania statutes as sexual intercourse with another person in these circumstances:
- when force is used to compel the victim
- when a threat is made that prevents resistance by the victim
- when the victim is unconscious
- when the perpetrator knows that the victim is unaware the perpetrator’s actions
- when the perpetrator administers a drug or intoxicant without the victim’s consent
- when the victim cannot legally consent because of a mental disability
A rape conviction in Pennsylvania is punishable with a prison term of up to twenty years and a fine of up to $25,000. Another ten years and a $100,000 fine may be also imposed if the offender administered a substance that induced euphoria or memory loss to prevent resistance.
The rape of anyone below the age of 13 can be punished upon conviction with a prison term of up to forty years, and if a minor is seriously injured, a convicted offender may be sentenced to life in prison.
WHAT IS STATUTORY SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Apart from rape, several other sex crimes in Pennsylvania are considered serious felonies. These include “statutory” sexual assault and “institutional” sexual assault.
Statutory sexual assault is usually called statutory rape. It is sexual intercourse with a minor under age 16 if the perpetrator is at least four years older. The crime is a second-degree felony unless the age difference is eleven years or more; in that case, the charge is a first-degree felony.
WHAT IS INSTITUTIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Institutional sexual assault happens when a perpetrator has, according to Pennsylvania law, “sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or indecent contact with an inmate, detainee, patient or resident.”
To be charged with institutional sexual assault, the perpetrator must be a volunteer or employee of an institution and must know that the victim is an “inmate, detainee, patient, or resident.” Institutions include but are not limited to:
- hospitals and other medical treatment facilities
- prisons, jails, and “halfway” house facilities
- schools and churches
- day care facilities and sports organizations
- summer camps, senior centers, and nursing homes
WHAT IS INVOLUNTARY DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE?
Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse is the charge when a victim is raped with an object or is otherwise forced, threatened, or made impaired in order to commit “unnatural” acts.
Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania. The penalties for a first-degree felony conviction include ten to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
WHAT IS INDECENT ASSAULT?
Indecent assault is a crime that happens when a perpetrator has “indecent” contact with a victim, causes the victim to have indecent contact with the perpetrator, or causes the victim to come into contact with semen, urine, or feces for the purpose of satisfying the perpetrator sexually.
Indecent assault is committed by force or the threat of force, when a victim is unconscious or incapable of consent, when an assailant impairs a victim with drugs or alcohol, when a victim is below 13 years old, or the victim is under 16 and the perpetrator is more than four years older.
Depending upon the details of the case, indecent assault can be prosecuted in this state as a misdemeanor or as a felony.
HOW WILL A GOOD LAWYER HELP A SEX CRIME DEFENDANT?
Sex crime victims are not to blame for what happened to them and should not be forced to suffer silently. On the other hand, innocent persons are frequently accused of sex crimes, and those innocent persons cannot afford to be represented by the wrong Lemoyne sex crimes attorney.
Sex crime charges in Lemoyne, Harrisburg, and adjacent jurisdictions in Pennsylvania are investigated by tough, seasoned police investigators, and responding to their questions without having your lawyer present is never a good idea – even if you are certain that you are innocent.
ABOUT ATTORNEY R. DAVIS YOUNTS
If you are charged with a sex crime in this state, you must have skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced legal guidance and defense representation. Criminal defense attorney R. Davis Younts has extensive criminal defense experience.
He also has up-to-date knowledge of the forensic techniques used by sex crime investigators. Those techniques can convict a sex crime defendant, but they can also be used to prove innocence.
If you are charged with a sex crime in Pennsylvania, the sooner you speak with the right defense lawyer, the better. If you are aware of a pending sex crime investigation, contact an attorney now. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to have the charge reduced or never filed at all.
You can reach Lemoyne criminal defense attorney R. Davis Younts by calling (833) 739-5291 or (717) 612-4840. His offices are located in Lemoyne at 26 North Ninth Street. If you are charged with any sex crime this state, you must have a good attorney’s help. That is your right.