Sexual assault is a serious crime that comes with severe consequences, including lengthy prison sentences and fines in the thousands of dollars. Even if you are found innocent of the allegations against you, you will still suffer damage if the police arrest you for sexual assault. In some cases, defendants—male or female—are wrongly accused of sexual assault.
You might engage in sexual conduct in the heat of the moment and your partner may have regrets after the fact. In other cases, you may have understood that your partner wanted the same thing you wanted, but he or she felt pressured instead. Moreover, you may have committed sexual assault, but the person making the accusations is telling a falsehood. He or she may report that you did more than what really happened. If someone accuses you of sexual assault or rape, contact a sexual assault attorney as soon as possible.
Sexual Assault and Rape
By legal definition, Connecticut refers to rape as sexual assault. A first-degree sexual assault is:
- Using force or threatening force to have sex;
- Having sex with someone who is under 13 years old. That person also has to be more than two years younger than the person committing the assault.
An aggravated first-degree sexual assault is the same as above, but also requires the use of a weapon. Aggravated sexual assault is also a first-degree sexual assault that results in injury to the victim and/or participation of at least two other people during the assault.
The police may charge you for sexual assault in the second, third and fourth degrees. If your wife or life partner whom you are cohabitating with accuses you of sexual assault, you could also see up to 20 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.
Also, if someone dies during a suspected sexual assault, the police may charge you with a capital felony, which comes with a life sentence. Furthermore, you will receive a charge of felony murder if you kill someone even during a lower degree of sexual assault. Felony murder during the commission of a second, third or fourth-degree sexual assault comes with a 25-year to a life prison sentence.
Sexual Assault Penalties
The penalties for sexual assault vary depending on the degree of sexual assault that the police arrest you for, but could be up to 25 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine. A sexual assault conviction also has a period of special probation with it. The time you are on probation depends on the sentence and the circumstances. Furthermore, a conviction for most sexual assaults requires registration with the police as a sex offender.
Sexual Assault Statistics
According to the Connecticut State Department of Public Health, there was nearly one sexual assault per 1,000 students reported on college campuses in 2014 (the newest data available as of September 2019). The number of reported sexual assault arrests across the state in 2017 was 23.2 per 100,000 in 2017.
Connecticut’s website also states that 77 percent of sexual assault victims know their attackers. And, 7.8 percent of children in high school—grades 9 through 12—reported that they were forced to have sexual intercourse.
Sexual Assault False Allegations
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center states that false reports do not happen as often as people may think. It reports that anywhere from 2 percent to 10 percent of the reported cases of sexual assault are false.
Sexual Assault and College Campuses
Colleges have special procedures for dealing with sexual assault allegations. If someone reports a rape or sexual assault, the college must aggressively investigate the allegations. This often leads to victims of false allegations losing scholarships or even being kicked out of school before the claims are found to be false.
Because the consequences are very serious and could keep you from getting into another college or even losing a chance at playing professional sports, you should contact a sexual assault lawyer who is knowledgeable with college code violations—like our attorneys at Duffy Law—as soon as someone accuses you of sexual assault.
Trials and Evidence
Although sexual assault allegations are serious, the victim often has no witnesses to the assault. The case is mostly a “he said, she said” situation which leads to the destruction of your life if someone falsely accuses you of sexual assault. You may feel as though your life is over if someone accuses you of sexual assault. However, when you retain an attorney to represent your interests, you have a chance to show a jury that sometimes things are not as they seem.
For example, you have consensual intercourse with someone and that person has regrets and then accuses you of sexual assault. The ‘victim’ waits for several days to file a report and never has a rape kit done. It is more difficult to believe the alleged victim because he or she waited several days and never got the rape kit done. However, in the same example, if the alleged victim immediately reports the assault and does have a rape kit done, it is harder to prove that you did not sexually assault that person—but it is possible through other evidence that we may gather, and through testimony in court.
The credibility of the accused goes a long way in showing that he or she may not have committed sexual abuse, just as the credibility of the accuser may work for or against him or her.
Sex Crimes Defense
Because the defense of sexual assault requires different techniques, be sure to retain an experienced sexual assault defense attorney instead of a criminal attorney with no experience in trying sex crimes. When investigating your case, a defense lawyer will employ the use of medical experts, psychologists, private investigators and other tools to help prove your innocence in court.
Your attorney may even request that the alleged victim take a DNA test or provide other forensic evidence. Another defense is that if the act was consensual, the attorney might attempt to call character witnesses in addition to private investigators and medical professionals.
Contact Duffy Law’s Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys if You Face Charges in Connecticut
If someone accused you of sexual assault, contact Duffy Law at (203) 946-2000 to schedule a consultation to discuss your rights under these circumstances.