Not that long ago a person was convicted after being charged with sexual assault on a woman that was unconscious behind a dumpster. The peculiar thing about this case is the fact that during the trial it was determined that California law requires prison time only in the case that the victim of sexual assault was capable of defending themselves. Hence, seeing how the victim was unconscious in this case, prison time was not required.
Hence, the defendant was then convicted of attempting to commit rape of an intoxicated person as well as sexually penetrating a person with a foreign object, as well as sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, but there was no prison time involved. Ultimately, the defendant ended up with only half a year in jail. The judge who was ruling the case stated that any longer sentence would have a very severe impact on him. Needless to say, such a sentenced sparked genuine public outrage, and was one of the main reasons why the lawmakers decided to update the sexual assault legislation in California to begin with.
The new bill is intended to prevent the judges from penalizing people who sexually assaulted other individuals while these were intoxicated or unconscious with mere probation. If this bill would have been accepted before, the above-mentioned person who sexually assaulted an intoxicated woman would have been sentenced to up to 3 years in prison.
So how is sexual assault defined and what does it mean? Well, sexual assault is any kind of sexual behavior or contact that took place without the explicit consent of the recipient. There are plenty of varieties of sexual assault and these include forced sexual intercourse, forced sodomy, incest, fondling, child molestation as well as attempted rape.
When it comes to rape, the vast majority of people will picture physically violent actions that lead to a violent sexual assault. In truth, there is more than one way to commit rape. We are talking about pills, about intimidation, threats – any actions that may lead to sexual contact against the will of the recipient are deemed as rape. There are also cases of so-called “Date Rape” and these are the hardest to rule out. After all, one of the parties is claiming that sexual intercourse took place without consent, but there are no physical injuries present and it is very challenging to establish the truth in such situations.
Do not forget about spousal rape – indeed, if someone decides to engage into sexual intercourse with a spouse without clear consent, it will be deemed as spousal rape and prosecuted accordingly.
Statutory rape is one of the worst scenarios – this is when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a minor who has not reached 18 years of age. Penalties for this type of rape are especially harsh.
Sure enough, regardless of the rape charges, the penalties are going to be severe. We are not only talking about expensive fines as well as potential jail or prison time – there is also the matter of being registered as sex offender for your entire lifetime. This means that you will have to inform any potential employers, banks you are going to get loans from and even your new neighbors that you were convicted for rape. Needless to say, this will ruin your reputation, most companies will not work with you and banks will not provide you with the loans you are going to need. Even neighbors are going to fear and despise you.
Of course, the worst thing that could happen is being falsely accused of raping someone. And, unfortunately, nowadays it is happening all too often. Those false accusations may well ruin your life, but regardless of how emotional you may be about it, it is imperative not to try to explain anything to the law enforcement officers before the arrival of the lawyer. This is when you will need the proper legal representation the most. Only a qualified Los Angeles sex crime attorney will have what it takes to fight for you and prove that you were falsely accused and therefore need to be set free.