Sexual assault crimes, like rape and indecent assault and battery, are often considered more atrocious than other crimes, and people charged with such offenses may face severe penalties, including imprisonment and mandatory sex-offender registration. Sexual assault charges often rely solely on circumstantial evidence, however, and many people charged with sex crimes can argue that the evidence shows the act was consensual or never occurred. If you are charged with sexual assault, it is vital to speak to an attorney about your prospective defenses as soon as possible. The skillful Boston criminal defense attorneys of Koufman Law Group understand the devastating impact a sexual assault conviction can have on a person's rights and reputation, and if you hire us, we will help you fight to protect your interests. We have an office in Boston, and we frequently defend people charged with sex crimes in Boston and throughout Massachusetts.Sexual Assault Crimes in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, sexual assault is the term used to broadly describe the offenses of rape and indecent assault and battery. In Massachusetts, a defendant can be charged with rape for having sexual intercourse with another individual if the defendant uses force or threats of bodily harm to compel the individual to submit against their will. Rape carries a sentence of up to twenty years in prison. Second and subsequent rape convictions can result in life imprisonment. Rape crimes committed while being armed with a firearm carry a minimum sentence of ten years in prison.
A person may be charged with aggravated rape if they force another person to submit to sexual intercourse by a joint venture, during the commission or attempted commission of a crime, or if their acts cause serious bodily injury. Aggravated rape is punishable by up to life in prison.
Indecent assault and battery charges arise out of the assault and battery of another person, in an indecent manner, without the person's consent. Massachusetts defines assault and battery as intentional touching without legal justification. Generally, an assault and battery will be considered indecent if it involves touching of parts typically deemed private, such as breasts or genitals. The penalties for indecent assault and battery convictions depend, in part, on the age of the victim.Possible Defenses to Sexual Assault Offenses
The defense available in any criminal case vary depending on the factual circumstances, but some are more commonly asserted than others. For example, in many sexual assault cases, the defendant will argue that the acts in question were consensual and, therefore, no crime was committed. It is important to note, however, that consent is not a valid defense if the victim lacks the ability to consent, either due to being under the age of consent, incapacity, or disability.
In some cases, people charged with sexual assault can argue that they were wrongly identified by either the police or the victim and that someone else committed the crime. Alternatively, they may be able to establish their innocence by proving that they were elsewhere when the offense took place. Moreover, they can often point out weaknesses in the prosecution's argument. In other words, the prosecution has to prove every aspect of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt, and if it fails to do so, the defendant can argue that they should be acquitted.Contact a Dedicated Boston Criminal Defense Attorney
People accused of sexual assault frequently worry that the odds are stacked against them, but there is a vast difference between a charge and a conviction, and there are often numerous opportunities for criminal defendants to establish their innocence. If you are accused of sexual assault, it is prudent to contact an attorney to evaluate your possible defenses. The dedicated Boston criminal defense attorneys of Koufman Law Group take pride in helping criminal defendants fight for just outcomes, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. We have an office in Boston, and we regularly represent criminal defendants in Boston and in other cities throughout Massachusetts. You can contact us to set up a confidential meeting by calling us at 617-423-2212 or by using our online form.