Child Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

What is Child Sexual Assault?


Child Sexual Assault is a criminal act that refers to the sexual touching or penetration against a minor victim.  This is also referred to as child molestation.  This offense encompasses virtually all forms of sexual contact to include sexual penetration. Examples include touching someone under age 16 on the buttocks, anus, breasts or genitals such as any part of the penis or vagina, as well as penetration by any means of the mouth, vagina or anus.  Child Sexual touching of a child that does not involve penetration is referred to as Second Degree Child Molestation under Rhode Island law.    Sexual penetration of a child that involves any form of penetration is referred to as First Degree Child Molestation under Rhode Island law.    Sexual Assault against a child, regardless of degree, may occur by either an adult male or adult female against either a girl or a boy under age 16.  The defenses of Consent and Mistake of Fact do not apply to crimes involving sexual assault against a child.

Child Molestation Sexual Assault

There are two degrees of child molestation sexual assault charges. The charges depend on the severity of the crime.

First-Degree Child Molestation Sexual Assault

In Rhode Island, First-degree sexual assault child molestation charges occur when an adult sexually penetrates of a minor under the age of 14 years old. The minimum punishment for a first-degree child molestation conviction is twenty-five years in prison and fines. The maximum penalty is life in prison.

In Massachusetts, First-degree sexual assault child molestation, also known as Rape of a Child, occurs when an adult sexually penetrates of a minor under the age of 16 years old. The maximum penalty is life in prison.

Second-Degree Child Molestation Sexual Assault

In Rhode Island, any sexual contact short of penetration with a minor under the age of 14 will result in second-degree child molestation charges. The minimum penalty for second-degree sexual assault is six years in prison and fines. The maximum penalty is thirty years in prison. In Massachusetts, this is known as indecent assault and battery of a minor. This charge occurs when there is any sexual contact short of penetration with a minor under the age of 14. The maximum penalty is no more than ten years in prison.

Indecent Assault and Battery of a Child Under 18

Indecent Assault and Battery of a Child Under 18 is a criminal act under Massachusetts law that refers to unwanted sexual touching, short of penetration, against a victim between the ages of 14 and 18. This offense encompasses virtually all sexual contact and activity other than penetration of any kind. Examples include touching someone of at least age 14, without their consent, on the buttocks, anus, breasts or genitals such as any part of the penis or vagina. Indecent Assault and Battery of a Child Under 18 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 Indecent Assault and Battery of a Child Under 18. 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.

Indecent Solicitation of a Child

Indecent solicitation of a child is when an adult knowingly solicits a minor under the age of 18. Also, if the defendant solicits a person because they believe they are under the age of 18, they could receive an indecent solicitation of a child charges. The purpose of the solicitation must be prostitution or sexual contact. Solicitation means to authorize, command, urge, request, incite, or advise another to perform an act. This can occur over the phone, in writing, on the internet, or through any other means.

If you have been charged with Child 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 child 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.