What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual Assault is a criminal act that refers to unwanted sexual touching short of penetration. This offense encompasses virtually all sexual contact and activity other than penetration of any kind. Examples include touching someone, without their consent, on the buttocks, anus, breasts or genitals such as any part of the penis or vagina. Sexual Assault may occur by a man against a woman or a man against a man. Though infrequently reported or prosecuted, Sexual Assault can also theoretically occur by a woman against a man or a woman against another woman.
The law recognizes certain defenses to Sexual Assault. The most common defense is Consent. This defense provides that Sexual Assault cannot occur where the alleged victim consented to sexual contact with or touching by the alleged offender. Another recognized defense is Mistake of Fact. This defense may apply either in the absence of or in conjunction with a Consent defense. Mistake of Fact provides that though the alleged victim may not have actually consented to the sexual touching or contact, the alleged offender mistakenly believed in his her mind that there was consent. Mistake of Fact may be established from facts and circumstances surrounding the parties and their sexual conduct. Examples include, but are not limited to the alleged victim’s statements, actions, clothing, body language and overall demeanor. Mistake of Fact may also be established by the alleged victim’s failure to express lack of consent, or from past, consensual sexual conduct or relations between the alleged offender and victim.
If you have been charged with Sexual Assault, it is important to seek legal representation immediately in order to protect your rights and minimize the impact that a charge of his nature may have on your life.
If you have been charged with sexual assault and need expert legal representation, contact the RI/MA defense attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.