Second-degree sexual assault charges in Rhode Island
Second Degree Sexual Assault under Rhode Island law consists of any form of unwanted or nonconsensual sexual touching or that does not involve penetration.
Under Rhode Island Criminal law, Second Degree Sexual Assault may be found at Rhode Island General Laws, Section 11-37-4.
Ways to commit the crime of second degree sexual assault
A person commits second-degree sexual assault by engaging in sexual contact with another in any of the following three ways:
- by the use of force of coercion
- where the accused knows or has reason to know the victim is mentally or physically disabled or helpless
- the accused engaged in medical treatment or an examination of the victim for the non-medical purpose of sexual arousal, stimulation or gratification
Legal elements for second degree sexual assault
In order to be convicted of Second Degree Sexual Assault, 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
- that the sexual contact was accomplished by one of the three ways described above (i.e. by the use of force or coercion)
What constitutes sexual contact for second degree sexual assault
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 or by two or more persons regardless of sex or sexual orientation.
Potential punishment if convicted of second degree sexual assault in Rhode Island
Second Degree Sexual Assault is a felony under Rhode Island law.
A defendant convicted of this sex offense may be sentenced to a term in prison of not less than three years and not more than fifteen years. This penalty may be found at Rhode Island General Laws, Section 11-37-5.
Because this is considered a sex crime, convicted offenders who are released from prison must comply with sex offender registration and counseling requirements.