Understanding Sex Assault And Indecent Assault Charges

Criminal offenses in Pennsylvania that involve sexual conduct can have serious and long-lasting consequences. If you are convicted of a sex crime, you can face significant jail time and hefty fines. Typically, a sex crime conviction in Pennsylvania also requires registration with the sex offender database, which can adversely affect any opportunities to obtain certain types of jobs and can even have a negative impact on your daily interactions and relationships with others.

Under Pennsylvania law, you can potentially be charged with the sex crimes of sex assault or indecent assault if you are found to be involved in any sexually deviant behavior with someone against their will or without their consent.

Sexual Assault In Pennsylvania

In most cases, in any situation or circumstance that is not covered by a rape charge or an involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charge in Pennsylvania, you may face sexual assault charges. The basic gist of a sex assault charge is that you engaged in sexual intercourse or were involved in deviate sexual intercourse with a person against their will or without their consent. Under Pennsylvania law, a sex assault offense is considered a second-degree felony, where punishment can include up to ten years in jail, and a fine of up to $25,000.

Indecent Assault

An indecent assault charge can arise if you are found to have had indecent contact with someone else, or you caused someone to come in contact with your bodily fluids such as urine, semen, or feces, and the purpose of your contact with that person was to satisfy your sexual desires, and,

  • You did so against that person’s will or without their consent
  • You did so by use of force
  • You did so by threatening use of force
  • The victim was unconscious at the time and/or was unaware of what was happening
  • The victim was impaired by drugs or alcohol to the extent that they could not consent to the contact, and/or could not resist the sexual encounter
  • The victim was mentally ill to the extent that they could not consent
  • The victim was younger than thirteen years of age
  • The victim was younger than sixteen years of age, you were four or more years older than the victim at the time of the contact, and you were not married to the victim

An indecent assault charge in Pennsylvania can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.  Depending on the classification of the indecent assault offense, you can potentially face up to seven years in jail, and a fine of up to $15,000.

Aggravated Indecent Assault

An aggravated indecent assault charge can arise if, similar to rape, you are found to have forcibly penetrated another’s genitals or anus and there is no hygienic, medical, or law enforcement reason to do so and,

  • You did so against that person’s will or without their consent
  • You did so by use of force
  • You did so by threatening use of force
  • The victim was unconscious or was not aware that the penetration was happening
  • The victim was impaired by drugs or alcohol to the extent that they could not consent to or resist the penetration
  • The victim was mentally ill and incapable of consenting
  • The victim was younger than 13 years of age
  • The victim was younger than 16 years of age, you were four or more years older than the victim at the time of the alleged assault, and you were not married to the victim

An aggravated indecent assault offense is considered a second-degree felony in Pennsylvania, which can include up to 10 years in jail, and a fine of up to $25,000. However, the offense may be elevated to a first-degree felony if the victim was younger than thirteen.

Contact Coover & Associates To Speak With An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

A sex assault or indecent assault charge in Pennsylvania should be taken seriously as a conviction can have lasting effects on your everyday life, particularly if you are required to register as a sex offender. If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime in Pennsylvania, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  At Coover & Associates, our attorneys have successfully helped other people who have faced similar criminal charges like yours, and they can review the facts and evidence in your case, advise you of your rights and responsibilities under the law, and help you determine the best strategy for fighting your sex crime charge. Contact us online or call us at 717-885-5830 or 717-243-9190.