June 24, 2017

Sex Crimes

Sexual Assault/ Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

Sex Crimes are some of the most stigmatized offenses in our nation. Often the mere accusation of sexual impropriety can ruin an accused’s life and livelihood, even if he or she is later found innocent. Those accused of such offenses need an attorney who understands these potential consequences and who can guide them through their case in a matter that minimizes exposure to these potential negatives. I have experience in handling sex-based offenses. If you are charged with such an offense, you should hire an attorney from the Law Office of Matthew Valley to help protect your rights. Please reach out to my office at (512) 689-4299.

Some of the more common sex offenses are described below.

Sex Offenses

Sexual Assault

One can find the extensive definition of “sexual assault,” which includes the offense commonly referred to as “rape,” at Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code:

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) intentionally or knowingly:

(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;

(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent; or

(C) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or

(2) intentionally or knowingly:

(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by is  any means;

(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;

(C) causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;

(D) causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or

(E) causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.

Sexual Assault cases under (a)(1) frequently involve issues of “consent,” or whether the alleged victim agreed to participate in the sexual activity. As a “child” cannot consent to sexual activity, this issue is not present in cases involving the sexual assault of a child by an adult. Many of the terms and language involved in the definition of the “Sexual Assault” offense themselves do not have the commonly attributed definition. For example, a Child is someone under 17 years of age, not someone under 18 years of age.

Sexual Assault is typically a 2nd Degree Felony. Furthermore, Sexual Assault is what used to be referred to as a “3(g) Offense,” which has serious ramifications for a defendant in terms of what type of community supervision is available to the defendant, and how much of their sentence they have to serve if they are convicted by a jury or judge. Furthermore, Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure requires those convicted or placed on deferred adjudication to register on the sex offenders registry.

Aggravated Sexual Assault

Like many other offenses, “Sexual Assault” has an “Aggravated” counterpart. Section 22.021 of the Texas Penal Code defines “Aggravated Sexual Assault” as a Sexual Assault where there is one or more of the following:

(A) the [perpetrator]:

(i) causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode;

(ii) by acts or words places the victim in fear that any person will become the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) or that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person;

(iii) by acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim threatens to cause any person to become the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) or to cause the death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person;

(iv) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode;

(v) acts in concert with another who engages in conduct described by Subdivision (1) directed toward the same victim and occurring during the course of the same criminal episode; or

(vi) administers or provides flunitrazepam, otherwise known as rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate, or ketamine to the victim of the offense with the intent of facilitating the commission of the offense;

(B) the victim is younger than 14 years of age; or

(C) the victim is an elderly individual or a disabled individual.

Aggravated Sexual Assault is a 1st Degree Felony, with the minimum sentence enhanced to 25 years if the victim is under 6 years of age or the victim is under 14 years of age and the perpetrator committed it under prong (A) detailed above. If you are accused of Aggravated Sexual Assault, or there is even the inkling that an accusation may be may be in the works then you need to hire a criminal defense attorney immediately. Like ordinary Sexual Assault, Aggravated Sexual Assault is also what was formerly known as a “3g” offense, with major restrictions on sentencing and parole. Texas law also requires that those convicted of the offense register as sex offenders under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Public Lewdness

Section 21.07 of the Texas Penal Code establishes the following sexual offense:

(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly engages in any of the following acts in a public place or, if not in a public place, he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his:

(1) act of sexual intercourse;

(2) act of deviate sexual intercourse;

(3) act of sexual contact; or

(4) act involving contact between the person’s mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal or fowl.

Such “lewdness” is a Class A Misdemeanor. Frequently issues involving whether the charging instrument’s language properly tracks the requirements of the “reckless” prong of the offense arise.

Indecent Exposure

Fairly self explanatory, Section 21.08 of the Texas Penal Code sets forth what counts as “indecent exposure” in Texas:

a) A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.

Indecent Exposure is a Class B Misdemeanor.

Indecency with a Child

Section 21.11(a) of the Texas Penal Code defines the above offense as occurring when the perpetrator, with a child younger than 17 years of age:

(1) engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or

(2) with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:

(A) exposes the person’s anus or any part of the person’s genitals, knowing the child is present; or

(B) causes the child to expose the child’s anus or any part of the child’s genitals.

An offense under Section 21.11(a)(1) is a Second Degree Felony and under Section 21.11(a)(2) is a Third Degree Felony. Texas law also requires that those convicted of the offense register as sex offenders under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. If you are accused of Indecency with a Child or any other sex based offense, a criminal defense attorney can help make sure you are prepared with the best defense possible. Please contact us at (512) 689-4299.

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