One of the most serious crimes under Texas law involves an allegation of sexual assault or rape. Texas law defines sexual assault as any non-consensual, unwanted sexual contact against another person involving penetration. The definition of “lack of consent” can include physical force, threats of violence, coercion, and even manipulation. Depending on the facts of the case, this crime can be charged as either a first-degree or second-degree felony.
You can be prosecuted based on the statement of the alleged victim even though no physical evidence supports the accusation. Cases involving false allegations occur for a variety of reasons. Texas law provides for several important defenses against this serious criminal charge when the allegations are false or when the evidence is insufficient.
Texas law outlines a number different types of sex offenses, and they are all taken very seriously. Defense Attorney Emily Shelton has experience handling all types of sex offenses, including:
Aggravated sexual assault
Super aggravated sexual assault
Child sexual abuse
Exposure to a child
Indecent touching of a child
Indecency with a child
Online solicitation of a minor
A conviction for any of the above offenses may result in prison time and/or a sex offender registry requirement. This is one of the most serious consequences, and could negatively impact you for years to come.
Sexual assault, also referred to as rape, can occur when an individual knowingly and intentionally commits a prohibited sexual act without the consent of the victim. Sexual assault is used as a blanket term to describe a variety of prohibited sexual acts.
Texas law considers sexual assault as intentionally and knowingly doing the following:
Penetrating the sexual organ or anus of another without their consent
Penetrating the mouth with a sexual organ without the person’s consent
Causing another person’s sexual organ to penetrate or come in contact with the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another without their consent.
Whether or not there was consent, an adult can be charged with statutory rape (sexual assault of a child) if she or he commits any of the mentioned acts on a child who is younger than 17. Under Texas law, a child is incapable of consenting to sexual activity until they are 17.
Sexual assault can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault under certain conditions. These conditions include:
A date rape drug was used
The victim suffered serious bodily injury
The offender used a deadly weapon while committing the crime
The victim was placed in fear of death or serious bodily injury if sexual compliance did not occur
Texas requires people to register as a sex offender if they were convicted of a certain sex offense such as sexual assault. Every person in the Sex Offender Registry program is assigned a Risk Level. The level is determined by the sex offender screening tool used by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Youth Commission, and the criminal court system.
Level Three (High) — Level 3 categorizes sexual offenders that pose a severe risk to the community and are likely to continue to engage in criminal sexual offenses.
Level Two (Moderate) – Level 2 categorizes sex offenders that are seen as a moderate danger to the people in the community and may continue to engage in criminal sexual offenses
Level One (Low) – Level 1 categorizes sex offenders who are seen as a low risk to the greater community and have a low likelihood of engaging in criminal sexual offenses.
If you have been wrongfully accused of a sexual crime in Harris County contact Attorney Emily Shelton. She has the experience, knowledge of the law, and power to defend your rights.