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In Delaware County and the rest of the state of Pennsylvania, sexual assault is a very serious crime. The courts institute some of the harshest penalties on individuals who are convicted of the crime. Being charged with sexual assault, just as with any other type of sex crime, can be a very harrowing experience.
What Involves the Crime of Sexual Assault in Delaware County?
Sexual assault is a crime that takes place when a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. In addition, there is a crime known as statutory sexual assault, with which a person can be charged if the victim is under the age of 16 and if the perpetrator is over four years older than that person and they were not married to one another during the time of the crime.
Delaware County and Pennsylvania, in general, also have another charge that is similar to sexual assault. Known as indecent assault, this is a crime that is committed if a person has indecent contact with another person and that contact involves the perpetrator’s seminal fluid, urine or feces with the intention of arousing sexual desire in either the defendant or the victim and without consent from the latter. Generally, this crime is also done by force or if the victim was incapacitated in some form, such as being unconscious.
How is Sexual Assault Charged in Delaware County?
In Delaware County and the state of Pennsylvania as a whole, sexual assault is a crime that is charged as a felony in the second degree. A person may be found guilty of the crime if they have sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another person against their will and without their consent.
Possible Defenses to the Charge of Sexual Assault in Delaware County
There are a number of possible defenses a criminal defense attorney can use in court. Generally speaking, the prosecution has the burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant has committed sexual assault on another person. Evidence is needed to prove that the defendant did not commit sexual assault or rape. The following defenses can be used by the defense attorney:
• Consent: The defense can argue that the sexual intercourse was, in fact, consensual between the two parties
• Mistaken identity: Another possible defense is to argue that it was not the defendant who committed the sexual assault and that it was perpetrated by someone else. In other words, there was a case of mistaken identity
• Age: If the case involves statutory sexual assault, the defense attorney can argue that the other person was not 16 years old or younger, or that the defendant was not four years older than them at the time the sexual intercourse took place
• Involuntary intoxication: The defense can argue that the defendant was intoxicated and therefore, was not in control of their actions at the time the act took place
• Insanity: Another defense is to argue that the defendant was insane and not responsible for their actions at the time of the incident
Penalties and Sentences for Sexual Assault in Delaware County
Sexual assault and rape are crimes that carry serious penalties. If a person is convicted, they can expect to spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a fine of $25,000. As a second degree felon, the crime comes with a prison sentence of at least 10 years. There are also usually fines imposed on the individual who is convicted depending on the severity of the specific crime. If the person has been found insane during their case, the judge may order psychiatric treatment or counseling as well.
If a person is convicted of sexual assault, rape or various other crimes that are sexual in nature, they will also be required to register as a sex offender. This is something that will last for the rest of the individual’s life.
Sexual assault is one of the most serious crimes. As a result, if you are arrested and charged with the crime, it’s imperative to speak with an experienced Delaware County sexual assault lawyer at your earliest convenience. Your attorney will help you by building you a strong defense that can possibly get the charges reduced or even dropped against you.