Indecent assault involves a sexual nature whereas simple assault requires an attempt to cause bodily injury. It encompasses any indecent contact of a victim such as touching, fondling, or kissing the victim to arouse sexual desire. If the complainant is under age, the penalties become more severe.
A person facing charges of indecent assault is at risk of serving time in prison and should immediately consult with a qualified defense lawyer.
Philadelphia Indecent Assault Lawyer
As your defense team, Lento Law Firm will fight to clear your name and record of these charges. Every individual is innocent until proven guilty, and Lento Law Firm will guard against unsubstantiated claims made against you. Indecent assault charges may require the defendant to register as a sex offender and will severely hinder employment opportunities. Call (215) 535-5353 today to begin building your defense. Lento Law Firm will ask the tough questions to get you to the best possible outcome in your case.
Indecent Assault Charges Overview
- Indecent Contact Definition
- Indecent Assault
- Aggravated Indecent Assault
- Aggravated Indecent Assault of a Child
Indecent contact, defined in 18 Pa. C.S. § 3101, is any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of the person for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, in either person. This statute includes French kissing, fondling, and excessive touching. Other statutes cover rape and sexual assault.
In Pa. C.S. § 3126(a), indecent assault is:
- any indecent contact that a person has with a complainant
- any indecent contact the complainant is compelled to have with the person
- intentionally causing the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine, or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual desire in the person or the complainant
The law then stipulates which punishments are applied based on circumstances related to the victim's age and consent.
If the indecent assault is committed without the complainant's consent, the charge is a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The second degree misdemeanor also applies to indecent assault between a complainant under the age of 16 and a defendant older than four years over the age of the complainant.
A misdemeanor of the first degree applies to those cases in which a person commits indecent assault:
- by forcible compulsion
- by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution
- while the complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the indecent contact is occurring
- if the person has substantially impaired the complainant's power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance
- and the complainant suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent
- and the complainant is less than 13 years of age
A misdemeanor of the first degree may be punished by five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. A person convicted of indecent assault must register as a sex offender for 15 to 25 years.
The penalty will increase to a felony of the third degree if the complainant is under the age of 13 and:
- It is a second or subsequent offense;
- There has been a course of conduct of indecent assault by the person;
- The indecent assault was committed by touching the complainant's sexual or intimate parts with sexual or intimate parts of the person; or
- The indecent assault is committed by touching the person's sexual or intimate parts with the complainant's sexual or intimate parts.
Aggravated indecent assault is a felony offense and can place a person behind bars for up to ten years on a first offense.
A person who engages in penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of the complainant with a part of the person's body without the complainant's consent has engaged in aggravated indecent assault.
The only exemptions are for good faith medical, hygienic, or law enforcement procedure.
The offense will be ruled an aggravated indecent assault if it occurred:
- without the complainant's consent;
- by forcible compulsion;
- by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;
the complainant is unconscious or the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the penetration is occurring;
- the person has substantially impaired the complainant's power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance;
- the complainant suffers from a mental disability, which renders the complainant incapable of consent;
- the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or
- the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant, and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.
A violation of this section is a felony of the second degree. A penalty of up to ten years in prison and $25,000 in fines will be administered. Pennsylvania requires those convicted of aggravated indecent assault to register on the public sex offender registry for life.
If any of the offenses described under aggravated indecent assault was committed against a complainant under the age of 13, the offense is aggravated indecent assault of a child. The punishment is a felony of the first degree with a potential prison term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $25,000.
Finding the Best Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer for Indecent Assault
If you are facing charges for indecent assault and aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania, do not wait to hire representation in your case. Lento Law Firm has handled sex crime cases for years and knows that each require determination and hard work. We have your best interest at heart and will question each claim by the prosecution with force and experience. Call (215) 535-5353 to set up a free consultation to review the indecent assault charges against you and what they mean for your future.