In recent news, a woman has accused two university football players in Providence of sexual assault. The incident allegedly happened late last year when she was a freshman at the same school. The school has been informed of the complaint and investigation is ongoing.
If charged and convicted, the two students accused of the crime may face penalties of imprisonment and fines.
If you are with sexual assault in Rhode Island, depending on the circumstances of the incidents, you may also be required to register as a sex offender. The consequences of this can be serious and life-altering, so it’s essential to seek the professional services of a criminal defense lawyer.
In Rhode Island, it is illegal for an adult to have sexual contact with a minor under 16 years old. Even with the minor’s consent, the act of having consensual sex may fall under the legal definition of ‘statutory rape.’
There are varying degrees of sexual assault, each carrying distinct characteristics and different penalties.
First Degree: This is the most serious and requires sexual penetration carried out when the victim is mentally incapacitated or disabled, or physically helpless, or with force and coercion. The penalty for first degree sex assault is jail time of up to 20 years.
Second Degree: In this crime, there is sexual contact rather than sexual penetration of a victim who is mentally incapacitated, or disabled, or physically helpless, or with force and coercion. Penalty is imprisonment of no less than 3 with up to 15 years.
Third Degree: There is 3rd degree sex assault when the perpetrator is over 18 years old and engages in sexual penetration of a person over 14 years but under 16 years old. Consent of the minor is not a defense against a 3rd degree charge.
The age of the alleged victim and specific circumstances of the incident are important elements of sex crimes in Rhode Island. As an accused, you are entitled to raise appropriate defenses against such charges.
In Rhode Island, Martineau, Davis & Associates has over 30 years of combined criminal prosecution and defense experience, allowing us to anticipate the maneuvers of opposing litigants, and to create the most effective sex crimes defense strategies for our clients.
Our law firm also handles other criminal defense cases such as domestic violence defense, drug crimes, DUI and expungement procedures.
To discuss your particular situation with one of our lawyers, we invite you to call us today at 401-398-8333.