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Statutory Rape Real Representation for Real People

Denton Statutory Rape Defense Attorneys

A Legal Team that Cares in Denton County

In Texas, sexual assault of a child is a serious offense that carries heavy punishments.

The American criminal justice system states that every person is “innocent until proven guilty.” However, for charges of statutory rape and sexual assault of a child, the opposite often seems to be the case. The accusations alone lead people to believe that the accused actually committed the alleged offense. Also, the legal process for disputing statutory rape is a nightmare for defendants, their families, and their friends, which makes a person feel that there is no hope.

At Marsala Law Group, we know that there are two sides to every story and that an accusation does not equate to guilt. That is why we scour every detail to develop and present compelling arguments in statutory rape cases. Our attorneys have extensive experience and know how effectively fight charges.

For the focused legal representation you need in Denton, call us at (940) 386-6848 or contact us online today.

What Is Statutory Rape?

As defined in Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code, statutory rape is a type of sexual assault that occurs between an adult and a victim under the age of 17 who is not the spouse of the defendant.

Sexual assault is defined as:

  • Inappropriate sexual contact,
  • Penetration of the anus, sex organ, or mouth of a child, or
  • Contact of a child’s sex organ, anus, or mouth with the sex organ, anus or mouth of another

Statutory rape differs from child molestation and aggravated sexual assault of a child in that the act would not have been a crime had both parties been above the age of consent.

Statutory rape laws in Texas are gender-neutral. Thus it does not matter what gender the adult or minor are.

The penalties for being convicted of this second-degree felony offense include 2 to 20 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

What is the Age of Consent in Texas?

In Texas, the legal age at which a person can consent to sexual activity or contact is 17. Anyone who engages in a sex act with someone age 16 or younger, regardless of whether or not the act is consensual, can be charged with statutory rape.

Romeo and Juliet Laws

Many states have enacted certain provisions known as “Romeo and Juliet laws” to reduce or eliminate some instances of alleged statutory rape. Texas is one such state. Romeo and Juliet Law in Texas provides protection to teens who have a sexual relationship with someone who is technically under the age of consent, but where there is a slight age difference.

If all of the following statements are true, an individual in Texas cannot be convicted of statutory rape and will not be required to register as a sex offender for having sex with a minor:

  • The defendant is less than 3 years older than the victim.
  • The victim was at least 14 years of age when the sexual relationship began.
  • The defendant was not a registered sex offender at the time of the alleged act.
  • The sexual act was consensual.

Other Defenses for Statutory Rape

If an individual does not qualify for a defense under Texas’ Romeo and Juliet laws, they must be prepared to aggressively defend their case. The fact that the relationship was consensual or that the defendant was unaware of the victim’s age is not a valid legal defense in statutory rape cases.

That being said, there are certain defenses and other strategies that an experienced attorney can use to reduce or dismiss charges.

Possible defenses include:

  • Marriage: Because statutory rape charges have a consensual component, an exception is made for married couples. If an individual under 17 years of age is the spouse of the defendant, then the “age of consent” rule is waived, and sexual assault charges cannot be filed.
  • Medical: According to Texas Law, “It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that the conduct consisted of medical care for the child and did not include any contact between the anus or sexual organ of the child and the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the actor or a third party.”
  • Evidence: The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that statutory rape occurred. A skilled defense lawyer can cast on the victim’s testimony by investigating all the facts surrounding the alleged incident, questioning evidence, and identifying the victim’s ulterior motives, such as looking for a settlement payment or getting revenge.
  • Stress: Using the defense that the defendant committed the criminal act under great duress or other mitigating circumstance is not likely to get statutory rape charges dropped completely; however, it may help reduce the sentence.

What To Do If You’ve Been Charged with Statutory Rape of a Minor?

If you have been charged with statutory rape in Denton it’s imperative to contact a lawyer right away. Our attorneys, Dominick Marsala and Jenna Magaña, have over 20 years of combined experience and have effectively helped clients in Denton County and the surrounding areas.

To get started on your case, call us at (940) 386-6848 or submit an online contact form today.

Our Victories

Recent Case Results
  • A.G. – Denton Misdemeanor Assault Family Violence Not Guilty

    State presented seven eye-witnesses to dispute our claim of self-defense.

  • A.P.G. – Denton Aggravated Sex Assault of Child & 3 Counts of Indecency with a Child Not Guilty - Jury Trial
  • C.D. – Denton Felony Violation of Protective Order Case Dismissed

    Dismissed and we are now suing the arresting agency.

  • Dr. J.B. – DWI with Multiple Drug Charges Cases Dismissed

    All drug cases dismissed as well as a subsequent DWI while the client was on Probation.

  • Dr. R.C. – Tarrant DWI Not Guilty
  • E.D.M. Denton Felony Assault with Priors Reduced to Misdemeanor Time-Served

    Charge reduced; client served one day in jail.

  • E.H. – Denton Misdemeanor Assault Family Violence Case Dismissed
  • H.R. – Denton Felony Aggravated Assault Not Guilty

    Not guilty verdict despite 3rd party-eye witness who testified my client went out to his car and grabbed a tire iron and chased after the victim and beat him repeatedly over the head. This is self-defense at it's finest.

  • J.G. - Denton Felony Drug Charge Case Dismissed

    Dismissed due to invalid search.

  • J.P. – Dallas Felony Indecent Exposure Case Dismissed

    Original offer was 5 years in prison. After our investigation prior to trial, we discovered enough inconsistencies to convince the DA to dismiss!

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The Marsala Law Group Difference

Reasons to Choose Our Team
  • Honest Legal Counsel

    We firmly believe honesty is the best policy. Our team will provide you with transparent updates and realistic outcomes.

  • Personalized Attention & Service

    Each case and each client is different. We provide focused representation that is specific to your case and your needs.

  • Available 24/7 for You

    Our lead attorney is personally available to each and every client. We are there for you day or night.

  • We Care About the Outcome

    We truly care about each and every client. We understand this is a vulnerable time in your life and we are committed to being with you every step of the way.

Trusted Representation

Real Reviews from Former Clients
    Listens. Works for you. Fights for you.

    “You can trust him with your future.”

    - Jonathan M.
    This attorney really cares about his clients and the outcome of their case.

    “I have personally seen him go the extra mile for myself as well as others and he has a talent for getting the truth heard, even when it seems impossible.”

    - Paul S.
    He is the epitome of a professional and a magician in the courtroom.

    “I would recommend him to anyone asking about anything.”

    - Chris
    I can't praise him enough and I thank God for him.

    “Mr. Marsala is a fantastic lawyer he is very professional and gave me hope where there wasn't none.”

    - Cathy F.
    He always handles everything with professionalism, speed, compassion, and like we are the most important case in his life.

    “We feel indebted to him for all of his hard work and would recommend anyone to him.”

    - Friddle
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Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Our Team Is Available 24/7 for You Call (940) 386-6848 or fill out the form below. 
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