Federal sex crimes are serious charges that can lead to extreme consequences, such as jail time, the destruction of your personal relationships, and forced listing in sex crimes registries. These criminal allegations also elicit very emotional reactions from people, and due to their heinous nature tend to attract attention from news media.
4 Examples of Common Federal Sex Crimes
Aggravated Sexual Abuse or Rape
The government categorizes aggravated sexual abuse as one of the following:
- Threatening or forcing someone to participate in sexual activity
- Sexual activity with someone who is incapacitated and unable to give consent due to drugs or alcohol
- Sexual activity with someone who cannot give consent for other reasons, like being a minor or a mentally disabled individual
These crimes are common, and many victims are reluctant to come forward. One famous recent case involves TV icon Bill Cosby, who allegedly drugged and raped at least 55 women. The sprawling investigation is far from over.
Illegal Sexual Conduct With a Minor
The courts take sexual crimes involving children seriously, often doubling the fines or jail time for the perpetrators when compared to adult crimes. Recently, a judge sentenced former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle to 15 years in a federal prison after he pleaded guilty to illegal sexual conduct with a minor and distribution and receipt of child pornography. Without the plea agreement in place, authorities would likely have sentenced Fogle to 50 years of prison.
The federal law, though complex on most issues, is clear when it comes to age of consent. No state can have an age of consent under 16, and in California, the age of consent is 18 years old.
A recent civil case in California, however, is making waves regarding this law. Six years ago, a middle school math teacher had a 6-month sexual relationship with one of his 14-year-old students. A judge convicted him of lewd acts with a child, and he went to prison. Her family then brought a civil lawsuit against the school system.
In a surprising turn, the school district defended itself by suggesting the girl consented to the acts, arguing that the district was not at fault. The jury agreed with this reasoning and found the school not negligent. The final decision, which concluded that a child cannot consent in a criminal case but can consent in a civil one, will likely affect future cases.
First Degree Rape
Many federal sexual crimes have degrees of seriousness. First degree rape is the worst. Recently, a judge convicted Oklahoma police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of 18-36 counts of rape, including first degree rape. He preyed on women from poor areas of the district and depended on their silence. Authorities sentenced him to 263 years in prison.
Our experienced and compassionate criminal defense attorneys can help you understand your rights if you’ve been charged with a sexual crime and provide effective and fair legal representation. Call us for a confidential case evaluation.