Rhode Island Sexual Assault Lawyer

Sex offenses are very serious and so are the punishments. It is imperative to find an attorney with experience in defending against these types of charges. There are many men and women across the country falsely accused of these types of crimes every year. If you are one of these people contact John L. Calcagni today. We can help you determine the best way to move forward with your defense in sexual assault cases.

Sexual Assault Offenses

Sexual Assault

There are three degrees of sexual assault. The charges depend on the activity the defendants engages in with the victim.

First-Degree Sexual Assault

First-degree sexual assault is when one person engages in sexual penetration with another individual under the following circumstances:

  • The defendant, which is not a spouse, knows or has reason to know that the individual has a mental disability, mental incapacitation, or is physically helpless. Examples include someone who is under the influence or a person with a mental disability.
  • Secondly, the defendant uses force or coercion.
  • The defendant uses the element of surprise or concealment to overcome the victim
  • Lastly, the defendant uses a medical treatment for their own arousal or sexual gratification.

The penalty for a first-degree sexual assault conviction is a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. There are also hefty fines. Here is more information about rape by force.

Second- Degree Sexual Assault

Second-degree sexual assault does not have to include penetration. This is also known as indecent assault and battery. A person is charged with second-degree sexual assault if they engage in sexual contact with someone under the following circumstances:

  • The defendant knows or should know of a physical impairment, mental disability, or mental incapacitation of the victim.
  • Secondly, the defendant uses force or coercion.
  • Lastly, if the defendant is a medical provider that uses an examination for their own sexual arousal or gratification.

The law recognizes certain defenses to Indecent Assault and Battery. 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 or 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.

A second-degree sexual assault conviction in Rhode Island will result in a prison sentence between three and fifteen years as well as hefty fines. In Massachusetts an Indecent Sexual Assault conviction will result in a prison sentence of not more than twenty years.


Third-Degree Sexual Assault (Statutory Rape)

Third-degree sexual assault is also known as statutory rape. These charges stem from sexual contact between a person 18 or older and someone between the ages of 14 and 16. The age limit on Statutory Rape is 16. The law acknowledges that a child under the age of 16 is not legally capable of consenting to sexual activity. Therefore, regardless of whether the child victim factually consented to the activity or not is meaningless. By law, the child victim cannot consent under any circumstances. Statutory Rape may occur by and between members of both the same and opposite sexes. The sexual penetration required for Statutory Rape is identical to that required for Rape by Force. It may occur vaginally, orally or via anal sodomy. Penetration however slight is all that is required. Further, it may be penile, meaning with the penis; digitally, meaning with a finger; and with some type of object. The maximum penalty for a third-degree sexual assault conviction is five years in prison and fines.