Violent Sex Act Attorney West Chester
Sexual violence is defined by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape as an act which violates a person’s trust, autonomy and feeling of safety…occurring any time a person is forced, coerced and/or manipulated into any unwanted sexual activity. Some of the most common types of sexual violence include:
· Human trafficking
· Sexual contact
· Sexual harassment
· Sexual exploitation
· Marital or partner rape
· Statutory rape
· Date or acquaintance rape
· Ritual abuse
· Involuntary deviate sex
· Involuntary deviate sex with a child
· Child sexual assault
Sexually violent crimes typically lack physical evidence and independent witnesses, therefore the case comes down to credibility—the victim’s credibility and that of the accused. This is bad for the victim, when a violent sexual act is committed against them and bad for the accused when the accusations are not true. While few rapes and sexual assaults involve the use of a weapon—about 30 percent of stranger rapes and 15 percent of rapes committed by a person known by the victim. This does not mean that rapes and sexual assaults in which a weapon is not used is not forcible or violent.
Aggravated Indecent Assault in Pennsylvania
Aggravated indecent assault is similar to rape, including forcible penetration of another person’s genitals or anus, when there is no medical, legal or hygienic reason to do so, and:
· The alleged victim of the assault was unconscious;
· The alleged victim of the assault was unaware the assault was taking place;
· You used force during the assault;
· You assaulted the person against his or her will;
· You assaulted the person without his or her consent;
· You assaulted the person by threatening to use force;
· You assaulted a person who was impaired by drugs or alcohol to the point they were unable to resist the assault or to consent;
· You assaulted a person younger than sixteen years of age when you were four or more years older (and not married to the person);
· You assaulted a person who was mentally ill, therefore incapable of consenting;
· You assaulted a person who was younger than thirteen years old;
Aggravated indecent assault in the state of Pennsylvania is a second-degree felony, and is a charge that is unique to the state of Pennsylvania. The penalties for the crime of aggravated indecent assault, if you are convicted, include a fine as large as $25,000, and up to ten years in prison. If your victim was younger than the age of thirteen, the offense could be elevated to a first-degree felony, and you could face up to 20 years in prison.
Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry
Perhaps just as serious as the prison time and fines you will face if convicted of a violent sexual act in the state of Pennsylvania, is the fact that you will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life. A conviction for a violent sexual act will place you at the highest Tier on the sexual registry—a Tier III. Tier III offenders and those deemed sexually violent predators must register in person with the Pennsylvania State Police every three months. If you are a transient, and do not have a permanent address, you will be required to register in person once a month.
If you have a change in your address, phone number, vehicle, place of employment, educational status or in your appearance, you must report that change within three business days. As a registered sex offender, you could find it difficult to rent a home, find a job, return to college on a governmental student loan or obtain a professional license. You will also lose the right to vote, to serve on a jury or to carry a firearm. Finally, you will suffer the stigma of being a known sex offender for the remainder of your life.
What to Do and What Not to Do if You are Arrested for a Violent Sexual Act
If you are charged with a violent sexual act, it is vitally important that you not speak to a police officer, or to anyone else, until you have had a chance to speak to a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney. The Miranda Warning exists for a reason, so take it seriously, and avoid talking—most especially, avoid trying to “explain” what happened.
The only thing you will gain from this tactic is that the officers will take things you say out of context, and use them against you. The police will make certain decisions regarding your charges, and among violent sexual acts there are varying severities of offense. These variations could mean the difference between ten years in prison or twenty. Allow your attorney to do his or her job by keeping quiet and by telling your attorney everything he or she needs to know to fully defend you.
Your experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine whether evidence exists to back up your charges. Perhaps the alleged victim was an adult who consented to the sexual act, or perhaps the only evidence against you is the alleged victim’s accusation. If this is true, you are in a stronger position, and your attorney may be better able to defend you.
Your attorney will complete a thorough investigation to check out the facts of the case, to note any contradictions, and to discredit shaky evidence when possible. A knowledgeable Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf, when appropriate, work to have your charges reduced, litigate zealously for you in a court of law, and guide you through the criminal justice system while protecting your rights and your future, to the extent possible.
Contact Our West Chester Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with a violent sexual act in Pennsylvania, it is crucial you speak to an experienced Pennsylvania sex crimes defense attorney in order to ensure your rights are protected and your future holds some hope.
The sex crimes defense attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices have successfully represented individuals throughout the state of Pennsylvania that have been accused of sexual assault crimes. Contact our attorneys today for questions or a free case evaluation at (610) 692-8700 or call toll free (877) 529-2422.