Consent in Greenwich Sexual Assault Cases
The concept of consent often plays a key role in Greenwich sexual assault cases. For help building a powerful defense to your sexual assault charges, contact a top sex crimes lawyer today.
Who is Legally Incapable of Consenting to Sex in Greenwich, CT?
In Connecticut, consent is more complicated than simple verbal permission. Certain individuals are legally incapable of providing consent due to their age, mental status, or the nature of the relationship between the parties. All of these prohibitions are handled under the same statute, and they are all very serious in Connecticut.
What is the Age of Consent in Connecticut?
The age of consent in Connecticut is 16 years old, meaning anyone under age 16 cannot legally consent to sexual activity. However, there is a provision that says that if the alleged victim is under 16, the actor can only be charged if they are more than three years older. For example, it is not a crime if a 15-year-old has sex with a 17-year-old. This is commonly known as a “Romeo and Juliet” clause.
How does Mental Disability or Disease Impact Consent?
Under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-71, someone who is impaired because of a mental disability or a disease may not be able to legally consent to sexual contact. This law is broad, and it essentially provides blanket coverage to any disability or disease that prevents the person from being aware of their surroundings and incapable of consent. This determination would be made by the person’s treatment provider.
What is the Special Relationship Prohibition on Sexual Activity?
Under Connecticut law, individuals in certain special relationships are prohibited from engaging in any sexual intercourse. These relationships include teachers and students, doctors and patients, or therapists and patients. Notably, if the alleged actor is a school employee and the alleged victim is a student, they do not actually have to go to the same school. The important factor is whether the two individuals are in the same jurisdiction. For example, this prohibition applies to individuals in different schools under the same Regional Board of Education.
How do Courts Treat Statutory Sexual Assault Cases?
Certain factors can make prosecutors and judges take a statutory sexual assault case even more seriously than usual. The younger the alleged victim is going to be, the more severely the case is going to be prosecuted. In cases involving mental handicap, courts generally take a case more seriously the greater the level of incapacitation. These two factors often make prosecutors not only approach the case more seriously but also make the court want to impose more severe punishments.
What Should I Expect After a Statutory Rape Arrest?
Once an arrest has been made for sexual assault, a person can expect the case to last for quite a bit of time, and there might be media coverage of the case. One of the first steps is the discovery phase, in which the attorney requests and obtains discovery information from the State of Connecticut. If there are any video interviews or witness statements, attorney attempt to obtain this information. Unfortunately, the entire process is often lengthy.
If you were charged with sexual assault against a person legally incapable of consent, you should not risk appearing in court without representation. A top criminal attorney from Mark Sherman Law could help you build a strong defense. Call today for a consultation.