The potential penalties for sexual assault in Massachusetts depend on the specifics of the charges. The state has two categories of sexual assault: indecent assault and battery, and aggravated sexual assault. Both crimes involve unwanted sexual contact that is manipulated, coerced, or forced on a victim, but aggravated sexual assault is reserved for penetrative acts (rape) or assault that causes severe injury or consequences for the victim.
Potential Sentences for Indecent Assault and Battery in Massachusetts
You could be charged with indecent assault and battery for any unwanted and offensive sexual touching of another person. An example of an unwanted sex act is groping someone at a party or grabbing a grabbing woman's breast without her permission.
Depending on the circumstances, a conviction for indecent assault and battery can result in:
- 2.5 years in jail. Less serious offenses may result in imprisonment in a house of correction for up to 2.5 years.
- 5 years imprisonment. You could face up to 5 years in state prison for indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older.
- Between 5 and 10 years imprisonment. Indecent touching of a person with an intellectual disability carries a minimum penalty of 5 years in a house of correction and a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison.
- 10 years imprisonment. You may be ordered to serve up to 10 years in state prison for indecent touching of a person with permanent or long-term physical or mental impairment, or indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
- Life imprisonment. A subsequent offense of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 could increase the prison sentence to life.
- Sex offender registration. A conviction will require a defendant to provide details to the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board and submit a DNA sample to the state's DNA database, potentially leading to a civil commitment as a sexually dangerous person. Sex offenders who intentionally fault to complete mandatory registration or provide false information face serious consequences, including additional prison or jail time.
Potential Sentences for Aggravated Sexual Assault in Massachusetts
Aggravated indecent assault includes rape charges, but it can form the basis of many additional charges depending on how the crime was committed. One of the most common ways a lesser charge can be elevated to aggravated indecent assault is if the victim suffers any physical harm. If the victim requires any medical attention due to injuries sustained during a sexual assault, the charge increases to aggravated sexual assault. Since these offenses carry longer prison sentences, it's vital to have an experienced sex crimes attorney standing by your side.
Aggravated indecent assault crimes include:
- Sex with a child. Anyone who is convicted of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
- Rape. Any penetration, unnatural sex acts, or sexual intercourse against a victim's will carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.
- Rape with a weapon. Any rape by force, such as the use of a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine-gun or assault weapon, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison with the potential for up to 20 years imprisonment.
- Rape with aggravating circumstances. Any rape or unnatural sexual intercourse committed with acts resulting in serious bodily injury, or is committed through a joint enterprise (more than one offender), or occurs during the commission or attempted commission of a felony offense carries a maximum of life imprisonment.
- Drugging a person for sex. The crime of deliberately drugging a person to make unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to physically or verbally withhold consent for sex carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment.
Let Us Advise You on Your Best Defense
At Nate Amendola Defense, we are committed to preserving your future and helping you achieve the best possible result in your case. We fight aggressively in court to avoid conviction and minimize the effects of criminal charges on your life. Contact us today to set up your free case review.