Second degree child molestation charges in Rhode Island
Child molestation refers to sexual contact between a person age 14 or under. Second Degree Child Molestation under Rhode Island law consists of any form of sexual touching or contact, excluding penetration, with a minor victim age 14 or younger.
Under Rhode Island Criminal law, Second Degree Child Molestation may be found at Rhode Island General Laws, Section 11-37-8.3.
Legal elements for second degree sexual assault
In order to be convicted of Second Degree Child Molestation, there must exist strong evidence of the following three legal elements:
- that the accused engaged in sexual contact with another person
- for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification
- at the time of the sexual contact, the victim was age 14 or younger
What constitutes sexual contact for second degree child molestation
Rhode Island criminal law defines sexual contact as the intentional, unwanted touching of the victim’s intimate body parts, whether clothed or unclothed, for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal.
Sexual contact also exists where the defendant causes the victim, without consent, to have sexual contact with his intimate parts. Intimate body parts refer to the various area of the body such as genital or anal areas, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, and breasts of a female.
The sexual contact may occur between two or more persons regardless of sex or sexual orientation.
Consent is Not a Defense to Second Degree Child Molestation
Force, resistance, or lack of consent is not required for this offense. Under Rhode Island law, age 16 is the age limit for a person to consensually engage in sexual penetration with an adult (i.e. over age 18).
Even if the victim factually consented or agreed to have sexual intercourse, the law provides that until a person reaches age 16, he or she does not have the mental capacity to legally offer consent.
Therefore, the mere fact that the intercourse occurred, regardless of the circumstances, is sufficient to be guilty of Second Degree Child Molestation.
Potential punishment if convicted of second degree child molestation in Rhode Island
Second Degree Sexual Assault is a felony under Rhode Island law. This means that upon a conviction of this sex offense, a defendant may be sentenced to a term in prison of not less than 6 years and not more than 30 years.
This penalty may be found at Rhode Island General Laws, Section 11-37-8.4. Because this is considered a sex crime, convicted offenders who are released from prison must comply with sex offender registration and counseling requirements.
If you have been accused or charged with a second-degree child molestation offense, hiring an experienced Sex Crimes Defense lawyer can be the determining factor in the outcome of your case. The Law Offices of John L. Calcagni III is an experienced Rhode Island Child Molestation Defense Lawyer and offers a free consultation to start your defense.