A sexual assault or attack refers to an instance when the accused has knowingly committed any sexual activity without having the consent of the victim. Under the Texas State law, this is listed as a serious criminal offense, a reason the State has passed tough law that deals with aggravated sexual assault against children below the age of six.
What is an aggravated sexual assault?
Aggravated sexual assault differs from a normal sexual assault.
To decide if a sexual assault comes under the“aggravated” category, consideration is given to two different factors –
- The young age (under 14)
- The use of force and weapons to inflict harm or drugs to induce sedation.
If any of the two elements are present in a said case, the charge is alleviated.
Why does age affect the nature of the charge here?
A child under the age of 14 years is not allowed by law to consent to any kind of sexual contact. Additionally, the proof for consent to be lacking is if the victim is placed in the care of the accused.
Elements of an Aggravated Sexual assault
Here are a few things that can make a sexual assault get elevated to a aggravated sexual assault.
- The accused has attempted to kill or murder the victim or cause severe injuries to the victim’s body
- The accused threatens the victim of impending death, kidnapping or grave danger to another person or the victim itself
- A dangerous weapon was shown or used on the victim
- The accused partnered with another individual to act the crime
- The victim’s age is less than 14 years
- The victim is a senior citizen, differently abled or handicapped
- Use of rohypnol, also known as the “date rape drug” to ensure that the assault became easier to commit
Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
In instances when the crime has been committed to children below the age of six, there are even stricter punishments. Texas law treats it as a first-degree felony, and one convicted of it could face death – if a repeat offender – or a life without parole, with a minimum punishment of 25 years in the jail.
What Defense Can You Take?
Given the heinous nature of the crime and the strict punishment and penalties that accompany a conviction, an accused needs only the most skilled, experienced and committed Texas sex crimes lawyer to help them out. Finding the right lawyer right at the beginning could help in the case, a reason one needs to start looking for a good lawyer as soon as they learn that an accusation is being made.
A good Texas sex crimes lawyer can take different defenses, including the following.
- The accused can plead insanity of self
- If the accused happens to have an iron clad alibi who is willing to testify in court
- Involuntary intoxication
- If the contact with the child consisted of required medical care and did not include the above parameters, and neither was there penetration of body parts including the anus, mouth or sexual organ belonging to the accused, there stands no sexual assault.
- The person has a history of mental illness
Penalty and Sentence
A sexual assault is treated as a second-degree felony which has a sentence of two to twenty years in prison. It may get elevated to a first-degree felony in Texas in the occurrence that the victim was younger than 14 years of age.
The punishment for a degree one felony in Texas is twenty-five to ninety-nine years in a state prison and additionally a fine up to $10,000.