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Statutory Rape

Assault Crimes

You’ve probably worked hard for everything you have. But one criminal conviction might take that away. If you’re accused of statutory rape, you have a lot at stake. You need an experienced sex crime attorney in Rhode Island to take on your case and fight for the best possible outcome. Brett V. Beaubien, Esquire can represent you and stand up for your rights.

What is Statutory Rape According to Rhode Island Laws?

The definition of statutory rape varies by state. In Rhode Island, the crime is defined as sexual activity between an adult and someone under 16 years of age and older than 14 years of age. However, the lawbook does not use the term “statutory rape.” Instead, the crime is considered a third-degree sexual assault. Some other states refer to it as statutory rape and the term has carried over. Other states refer to the crime as rape of a child, carnal knowledge, and corruption of a minor. 

It’s important to note that an adult who commits a sexual act with someone who is under the age of 14 is still a crime. But the crime has a different name, and the penalties for it are much more serious. In Rhode Island, a sexual act with a minor who is younger than 14 is known as child molestation.

The Difference Between Statutory Rape and Forcible Rape

There is a significant difference between statutory rape and forcible rape. With forcible rape, one individual forces themselves on another. The other individual could be an adult or a minor.

On the other hand, statutory rape only involves someone under the age of consent. The victim could agree to the sexual act, but their age makes the consent irrelevant. According to state laws, a minor who is under the age of 16 does not have the mental ability to understand the consequences of sex. The statutory rape law aims to protect young and vulnerable individuals from older persons and to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

What is the Penalty for Statutory Rape?

Rhode Island statutes classify statutory rape, or third-degree sexual assault, as a felony crime.  Although the penalties vary based on the details of the case, the consequences tend to be severe. If you’re convicted of the offense, you could do as much as five years in prison. 

There’s another consequence that most people don’t consider. With a felony conviction on your record, you could face years of struggling. You might find it difficult to get work or housing. There’s no escaping the black mark on your criminal record and the requirements to register as a sex offender.

Do You Need a Sex Crime Attorney?

Although statutory rape is a law intended to protect minors and punish the offenders, innocent people can be hurt. The situation isn’t always as clear as it seems. For example, you could sleep with a young girl who has a fake ID showing she is over the age of consent. Having sex with her could still result in criminal charges.

If you’re being charged with third-degree sexual assault, you deserve a fair trial. This means hiring an aggressive attorney who will stand up for your rights. An experienced lawyer will listen to the details of your case. Then, they can craft a defense strategy. 

In some cases, your lawyer may be able to get the charges dismissed. If this happens, you can move on with your life with no criminal conviction following you around. Even if the charges stick, your lawyer can work towards minimizing your sentence. As there are no minimum sentences for this crime, you could walk away with a limited sentence. Brett V. Beaubien is ready to take on your case.

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