Sex Crimes Law

Sex Crime Law

Sex crimes may be prosecuted as criminal offenses, but they may also form the basis for civil recovery. Sex crimes include a number of different crimes with very specific definitions. They may be prosecuted at the state or federal level. These crimes often arise when violence occurs during a sexual act or when there is a lack of consent to a sex act.

Sex crimes may fall into two general categories: forcible and non-forcible. Forcible sex crimes include rape and sexual battery. Non-forcible sex crimes may include obscenity or possession of pornography charges. A sex crime may be committed when one person perpetuates a sex act on someone in an offensive manner. Sexual assault occurs when an unwanted sexual act is performed on a victim without the victim's consent. Force may or may not be used. Force may be defined under state law as involving the use or threat of a weapon, physical battery or threatening the lives of others. The individual may verbalize that he or she does not consent to the sex act or may not have the ability to consent due to a disabling medical condition, age or incapacitation due to drugs or alcohol. Illegal sexual contact without consent may involve unwanted penetration, groping or sexual touching.

Some sex crimes include:

• Molestation of a child • Indecent exposure • Rape • Aggravated sexual assault • Lewd and lascivious acts • Prostitution • Human trafficking • Sexual abuse of a child • Incest • Kidnapping • Other crimes with a sexual element

Certain sex crimes are considered crimes against children. These offenses often result in more serious penalties. Due to the vulnerability of the victim, these crimes are often associated with a negative social stigma, and prosecutors often seek maximum sentencing against individuals convicted of these crimes. Children who are under the age of consent cannot legally provide consent, so this is not usually a viable defense in these cases. A crime may still be considered a crime involving children even when the defendant is close to the age of the child. Sex crimes involving children include such offenses as lewd and lascivious acts against a minor, molestation, child pornography and statutory rape.

Other sex crimes may arise from inappropriate sexual acts or conduct that are committed in a public space or are considered morally reprehensible even if they do not involve acts committed on others. For example, a charge of public indecency may apply when a person exposes himself or herself in a sexual way that is inappropriate to be viewed by the public. Prostitution charges may arise when a person sells sex even when both parties are able to consent to the sexual acts. Sex crimes are often prosecuted at the state level. Each state has its own laws regarding what is considered a sex crime as well as its own statute of limitations that places a time limit on how long a prosecutor has to pursue criminal charges. Some sex crimes may rise to the criminal level and are enumerated in Title 18 of the United States Code. Sex crimes may be considered federal they involve taking someone across state lines, conducting acts in multiple states, human trafficking or child pornography.

Additional federal sex crimes include:

• Production of sexually explicit depictions of minors for the purpose of importing them into the United State • Distribution or receipt of child pornography • Transporting an individual across state lines with the intent to engage him or her in prostitution • Using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor under the age of 16 with the intent to entice or solicit a minor to engage in sexual activity

Sex crimes include very serious consequences. A person who is convicted of a sex crime may face years imprisonment. He or she may be required to pay restitution to the victim and fines. He or she may also be sentenced to years of probation or parole during which time he or she cannot participate in certain behaviors. Individuals convicted of sex crimes are often required to register as sex offenders, sometimes for life. This requirement can have significant consequences to the defendant and may bar him or her from living in certain areas or being accepted into certain housing programs. It can also impact his or her career options and educational pursuits. Failing to register as a sex offender can lead to additional charges and consequences.

In addition to the criminal consequences of being convicted of a sex crime, defendants may also face civil lawsuits based on their conduct. Victims may be able to recover damages for the injuries that they suffered, pain and suffering and for psychological counseling.

Below find a list of resources for defendants and victims, including state-specific information and treatment options.

Sex Crimes or Sexual Offenses are often divided in two main areas, Forcible Sex Offenses, such as rape and sexual assault and Non Forcible Offenses which include, obscenity, indecent exposure and obscenity among others. Federal and state statutes regulate these offenses.

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Sex Crimes Lawyers

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