Sexual Assault Charges in Connecticut
Our nation is in the midst of a movement against sexual assault, misconduct, and rape. Allegations, admissions, and denials are taking place in the highest halls of politics, media, and entertainment, as well as in the most common corridors of daily life.
In some instances, an allegation may be made strictly in the court of public opinion (e.g. via social media), but still so powerful effect in the form of reputational damage. In other instances, allegations may be formally made in civil or criminal court. With regard to criminal charges for rape, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct, the accusations must be confronted in court, as the law requires.
Punishments and reputational damage following a conviction may be severe and include a prison sentence. If you have been charged with a sex crime in the state of Connecticut, it is critical that you obtain competent and diligent legal representation.
Sexual Assault in Connecticut May Be Prosecuted as a Class B or A Felony
Under Connecticut General Statutes 53(a) – 70, an individual is guilty of sexual assault in the first degree (a felony) when the individual compels another person to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force against that person or a third person, or through the threat of force against that person or a third person that reasonably causes such person to become afraid of physical injury to such person or a third person. The language here is specific and somewhat abstracted, but a word that looms very large and is not present in the text of the statute is “consent.”
In a sexual assault, consent is not present. Rather, it is negated by the use or threat of force. As such, sexual assault by force or threat of force is coercive. Importantly, there are instances in which sexual assault is a proper charge for some sexual intercourse that does not occur by force or threat of force.
When a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person and such other person is under thirteen (13) years of age and the actor (other party to the sexual intercourse) is more than two years older than such person, sexual assault may be properly charged.
Sexual Assault in Connecticut Is Punishable by Jail Time
Class B (felony) sexual assault is punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Class A (felony) statutory sexual assault is punishable by 25 to 60 years of jail time and a fine of up to $20,000. If you have been charged sexual assault, rape, or other sexual misconduct in Connecticut, contact an experienced Fairfield County criminal defense attorney.