What You Need To Know About Statutory Sexual Assault

An individual commits a felony of the first degree when they have sexual intercourse with a complainant they are not married to who is:

  • Under the age of 16, when they are 11 or more years older

A person commits a felony of the second degree when they engage in sexual intercourse with a person they are not married to who is:

  • Under 16 years old, when they are four years older but less than eight years older OR eight years older but less than 11 years older

What You May Think Is A Defense, But Isn’t

  • Believing a child was older than they actually are is not a defense.
  • A child’s consent is not a defense.

Registered Sex Offender

If you are convicted of a sexually violent offense, you will become a registered sex offender as designated under the Sexual Offender and Notification Act. Your name and information about your conviction will be placed on a list that is available on the Internet for all to see.

This means that everyone from the people who live down the street to your boss will know about your offense, and it will make life far more difficult and embarrassing for you.

What To Do If You Are Charged

If you are charged with statutory sexual assault, do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily. The police will make the decisions about your charges and especially in sex crimes there may be several choices that they could make that are of varying severity.

You will probably be held in jail overnight. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or assert your innocence.

  • As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
  • The police will not keep confidential any information you give them. They will tell the claimant what you said and your words may be used against you in court.
  • If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.

What Your Lawyer Can Do

Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.

  • Your attorney will investigate very closely to see if there is any evidence that will prove your claims.
  • Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence against you. They will find and note any contradictions, and point out any parts of the claimant’s accusations that are impossible to have happened.

Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.

How A Lawyer Will Help

When you are up against a statutory sexual assault charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing both a determined prosecutor and community condemnation. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and help you determine your best course of action.

Pennsylvania Statutory Sexual Assault Law

Statutory sexual assault is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 31. Read the code here.

Questions? Contact us today.

Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.