In Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth laws make any offenses involving sex a negative stigma that lasts. Sex offenders must register in a database, where the details of their conviction are available to anyone.
While these extreme consequences are mostly warranted, some sex crime charges are based upon false claims or weak evidence. Therefore, if you find yourself fighting a sex offender case knowing you are innocent, you should hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer to help defend you. They should be able to shed light on the prosecution’s faulty arguments and show the jury why they should pay attention to any reasonable doubt.
Sex Offenses Under Pennsylvania Law
Rape is the act of forcing sexual intercourse against a person’s will using threat of force or any force, in general. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal/anal/oral sex and any penetration by objects. In the latter’s case, the charge may be referred to as “involuntary deviate sexual intercourse,” even though the consequences will be the same as a rape charge.
Rape can also include circumstances where the victim cannot give consent. For example, they may not be able to give consent to sexual intercourse if they are unconscious, drugged by the offender, or has a mental illness that makes them unable to give consent.
Rape is also used to define any sexual intercourse with any child aged 12 or younger. The offender would be charged with rape of a child, and if the child received any injuries, they could also be charged with rape of a child with serious bodily injury.
Any rape charge is a first-degree felony.
A sexual assault charge is given to any offenders who had sexual intercourse or deviated sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent. Sexual assault charges include anything that is not covered by rape or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges.
Sexual assault is a second-degree felony.
Aggravated Indecent Assault
Aggravated indecent assault charges refer to an offender accused of rape, penetrating, or causing the penetration of a person’s genitals or anus by a part of the body for any reasons other than hygienic, medical, or law enforcement purposes.
Aggravated indecent assault is a second-degree felony. If the victim is younger than 13, it is a first-degree felony.
If a victim came into contact with seminal fluid (such as semen), urine, or feces without giving consent and the action was taken to satisfy sexual desires, the offender can be charged with indecent assault. This is also the case if the victim was too young to consent.
Indecent assault is a second-degree misdemeanor if there was no consent involved. It is also considered a second-degree misdemeanor if the victim was younger than 16, and the offender is more than four years older.
Indecent assault is considered a first-degree demeanor if the contact between the victim and offender was forcible or by threat of force, if the victim was drugged, unconscious, mentally unable to give consent, or younger than 13.
If the victim of the indecent assault was younger than 13 and the prosecution can prove an indecent assault course of conduct, it was a second/subsequent offense, or certain other conditions apply, the offender may be charged with a third-degree felony.
Indecent exposure refers to a person exposing their genitals in a public place. Typically, indecent exposure is a second-degree misdemeanor. However, it may be considered a first-degree demeanor if the offender knew (or should have known) that children under 16 years old were present.
For more information, speak to a qualified, experienced attorney today. With over 20 years of experience, Attorney Leonard J. Berger, Jr. can help you achieve the best possible outcome and fight to protect your rights. Serving the Pittsburgh, Washington, Greensburg, Butler, and surrounding Pennsylvania communities, call Attorney Berger at 412-498-1929 today.