Aggravated Sexual Assault
A sexual assault charge may be elevated to an aggravated sexual assault when, in the process of committing the sexual assault, the defendant:
- Causes serious bodily injury or attempted to cause the death of the victim
- Places the victim in fear of death or serious bodily injury
- Uses a deadly weapon during the crime
- Acts with another person to commit the crime
- Commits the crime on a victim who is younger than 14 years of age
- Commits the crime on a victim who is disabled or an elderly
Aggravated sexual assault is considered a first-degree felony, punishable by 5 to 99 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. A minimum prison sentence of 25 years may apply if the victim is under six years old.
Under Texas law, it is illegal for an adult to have sex with a minor (a person under the age of 17), even if it is consensual. This is also referred to as statutory rape. Statutory rape is considered a second-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. Note, however, that it is a defense to statutory rape if a person has consensual sex with another person who is close to their own age. This applies to a minor who is between the ages of 14-17 who has consensual sex with someone who is less than three years older than they are. This is sometimes called the Romeo and Juliet exception.
Indecency with a Child (Child Abuse)
Pursuant to Texas Penal Code Section 21.11(a), a person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years, the person:
- Engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact
- Exposes the person's anus, genitals, or causes the child to expose the child's anus or genitals with intent to arouse or for sexual gratification.
This is considered a second-degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
Public Sex Crimes
Public sex crimes involve sexual offenses that are committed in a public place. These offenses include:
According to Texas Penal Code Section 21.07, a person commits an offense if he or she intentionally or knowingly engages in any of the following acts in a public place:
- Act of sexual intercourse
- Act of deviate sexual intercourse
- Act of sexual contact
Public lewdness is considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.
Pursuant to Texas Penal Code Section 21.08, a person commits an offense if he knowingly exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or for the sexual gratification of any person. Indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
Recording or Unlawful
Pursuant to Texas Penal Code Section 21.19, a person commits an offense if the person knowingly transmits, by electronic means, a visual material that shows:
- Any person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person's intimate parts exposed
- The covered genitals of a male person that are in a discernibly turgid state
This is considered a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Get Help from an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Bryan, Texas
Allegations of sexual assault, rape, and other forms of sex crimes can have devastating, long-lasting consequences. Therefore, when defending a sexual misconduct charge, it is imperative that you have the right defense strategy that fits your unique situation.
At Rick Davis & Associates, we have devoted our careers to protecting the rights of individuals who have been accused of rape or those facing sexual assault charges. As an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney, I can review the details of your case, carry out a thorough, private investigation, and determine an effective defense strategy in order to pursue the best possible outcome in your case. Using my extensive experience, I will help you navigate the criminal justice system, fight vigorously on your side to defend your rights, and do all that I can to ensure that these accusations do not ruin your life. Don’t face the criminal justice system on your own. If you’re facing sex crime charges, reach out to my firm today and put my experience on your side.