Connecticut Sexual Assault Lawyer
As defined by Connecticut law, a broad range of actions could constitute sexual assault. There are numerous Connecticut statutes defying the different acts that are sexual assault. It is unwanted sexual intercourse or unwanted sexual contact. Allegations of unwanted sexual contact could have severe consequences for an individual, including being forced to register as a sex offender on the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry. A Connecticut sexual assault lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face, while also advocating for them. People who have been charged with sexual assault should speak with one of our top sex crimes defense attorneys and know that they are in capable hands.
Distinguishing Between Different Sex Crimes
As a Connecticut sexual assault lawyer could explain, sexual assault could be intercourse or unwanted sexual contact. Sexual battery is not a statutory term used in Connecticut. If it is used, it could imply that the sex assault is violent or an aggravated sexual assault. Rape is any unwanted sexual intercourse. It could be also aggravated and it could be through a threat of force or violence. Statutory rape occurs any time an alleged victim and accused is under the age of majority, which is 16 years old in Connecticut, and they are unable to consent by statute to sex. Even if they consented to the intercourse or the contact, they could not statutorily consent.
Statutory Laws Regarding Sexual Assault
Every law in Connecticut is codified by statutes. There are certain degrees of sex assault laws in Connecticut that could encompass sexual assault. Sexual assault in the first degree in Connecticut is Connecticut General Statute 53A-70. Sexual assault in the second degree in Connecticut is Connecticut General Statute 53A-71. Sexual assault in the third-degree in Connecticut is Connecticut General Statute 53A-72A. Sexual assault in the fourth-degree in Connecticut is Connecticut General Statute 53A-73A.
Aspects of Statutory Crimes That Differentiate it From Sexual Assault
As a Connecticut sexual assault lawyer could explain, there are certain aspects of statutory crimes that are different from other sexual assault charges are statutory rape crimes in Connecticut. Each degree of sexual assault in Connecticut encompasses a statutory rape charge. It depends on the ages of the alleged victim and the actor. Under sex assault in the first degree in Connecticut, statutory rape occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person, the alleged victim is under the age of 13, and the actor is more three years older than that person. This is even if the sexual intercourse or contact is consensual.
Sexual assault in the second-degree in Connecticut is statutory rape that occurs when a person is between 13 and 16 years old and the actor is more than three years older than the victim. The sexual intercourse or the contact could still be consensual, but it is the ages of the actors that give rise to statutory rape charges.
Sexual assault in the fourth-degree in Connecticut covers statutory rape that occurs when an alleged victim is under the age of 13 and the actor is more than two years older than that person or if a person is between the ages of 13 and 15 and the actor is three years older than that person.
Role of Third Party Statutory Rape Charges
The role of third-party allegations regarding statutory rape charges is special in that it does not exist in other rape cases because a third party could actually bring an allegation of statutory rape. It does not need to be the alleged victim bringing the allegations, because typically in statutory rape, the alleged victim is young and their guardian or parent is the one bringing the allegation on their behalf. For example, if a parent becomes aware that their child is engaging in intercourse or having sexual contact with another person that is three years older, the parent could contact the police department, file a complaint, and the police would conduct an investigation. Romeo and Juliet clauses are caveats of Connecticut statutes that make it not a criminal act for certain people who are close in age to engage in consensual sexual contact and/or intercourse. Usually, under Connecticut statutes, the parties need to be within two years of each other’s age for them to be protected.
Common Misconceptions Regarding Sexual Assault
One common misconception regarding sexual assault in Connecticut is that the assault has to be a forced rape. Sometimes intercourse does not need to happen for there to be a sexual assault. In Connecticut, a person could be charged with sexual assault if they have inappropriate or nonconsensual sexual contact with another person. Another common misconception is that sexual assault could not occur if there is sexual intercourse that is consensual. That is not the case given Connecticut statutory rape. Even if it was consensual, there could still be a sexual assault charge.
The Statute of Limitations in Connecticut
In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for sexual assault of a minor is 30 years from the date the alleged victim attains the age of 18 or five years from the date the alleged victim notified the police department. There is no statute of limitations for the time a person could be prosecuted if the alleged victim notified the police within the five years and the identity of the person who committed the crime later gets establish through DNA evidence. If someone reports a sex assault that occurred two years ago to the police, and four years later the actual assailant is caught through DNA evidence, they could still be prosecuted even though that original 30 years had passed. That is why it is important for individuals who have been accused of sexual assault to speak with a Connecticut sexual assault lawyer that could advocate for them and build their defense.