After you are arrested for a sex crime in Massachusetts, it’s vital that you seek the advice of an experienced attorney. The potential penalties imposed by the court range from several years to life in prison, plus the creation of a criminal record and the possibility of registration as a sex offender. The earlier you hire an attorney, the better your chances of avoiding conviction.
Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction in Massachusetts
Sexual assault defendants do not have the same options after an arrest that many others do. For example, sex crime defendants are not entitled to a clerk's hearing before being charged—and once you are charged, your accuser does not have the ability to drop the charges.
Massachusetts also imposes minimum mandatory sentences for certain sex offenses. If convicted, these defendants cannot serve anything less than the minimum term of imprisonment and fines required by the law.
Sexual assault crimes in Massachusetts may include:
- Rape. Any sexual intercourse on a victim who is compelled to submit by force or by threat is punishable by up to 20 years in state prison, while a subsequent conviction for the offense carries up to life in prison. Rape that results in serious bodily injury (Aggravated Rape) carries up to life in prison. Drugging Persons for Sexual Intercourse carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life, while Rape while Armed with a Firearm carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, and up to life.
- Statutory Rape (Rape of a Child). There is one prevailing statutory rape law in Massachusetts, and it applies to all sexual intercourse with children under the age of 16. Consent is not a valid defense in these cases, nor is claiming that you did not know the victim was underage. There is no mandatory minimum, but even a first offense could result in a life sentence in state prison.
- Statutory Rape With Aggravating Factors. Aggravating circumstances in a statutory rape charge carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in state prison, with a potential for a life sentence. These factors may include an age gap of more than five years between the defendant and a victim under twelve years old, an age gap of more than ten years between the defendant and a victim under sixteen years old, or if the defendant is a mandated reporter (such as the child’s teacher, doctor, nurse, counselor, religious authority, or child care worker).
- Assault With Intent to Rape. A first offense conviction may result in up to 20 years in state prison, with life in prison for a subsequent offense. If the attacker was armed with a firearm, a conviction carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years in state prison, with a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison for further offenses.
- Assault With Intent to Rape a Child Under 16. A defendant of this charge faces up to life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 5 years in state prison for subsequent offenses. The same offense, while armed with a firearm, carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in state prison, or a mandatory minimum 15 years in state prison for a subsequent offense), both with the potential of life in prison.
- Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person 14 or Older. Touching a victim in their private areas may be charged as Indecent Assault and Battery instead of Rape if it does not involve the use of force. Indecent Assault and Battery carries up to 5 years in state prison, but can be increased to 10 years in state prison if the victim is disabled or is over 60 years old.
- Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14. If a child under 14 was assaulted by a mandated reporter or during the commission of a felony, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in state prison and a potential life sentence.
- Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person With an Intellectual Disability. A person who knowingly has sexual relations with a person who has an intellectual disability may spend a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 10 years in state prison. A second offense carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in state prison. However, the law may not consider it indecent assault and battery if both people involved in the act have an intellectual disability.
At Nate Amendola Defense, we help clients resolve sexual assault cases with the minimum possible disruption to their lives. Contact us today to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.
Have You Been Arrested For Sexual Assault in Massachusetts?
If you've been arrested on a OUI/DUI charge, domestic violence, disorderly conduct, or drug possession, you should speak to an experienced defense attorney attorney as soon as possible. You can contact us online or call our office directly at 781-661-5450 to schedule your free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.We have been proudly servicing clients throughout Hingham, Massachusetts and surrounding areas.