Aggravated Sexual Assault

Contact a Denton County Criminal Defense Attorney

As with most states, Texas takes a hard stance against sexually-motivated crimes by punishing offenders with tough prison sentences and other consequences.

The two main Texas statutes describing improper sexual contact and unlawful sexual acts are:

  • Texas Penal Code 22.011 (prohibiting sexual assault)
  • Texas Penal Code 22.021 (prohibiting aggravated sexual assault)

Read the law here:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.22.htm

Sexual Assault in Denton, TX includes:

  • Penetrating the anus or sexual organ of another by any means without the other person’s consent;
  • Penetrating the mouth of another person with the defendant’s sexual organ, without the other person’s consent;
  • Causing the sexual organ of another person, without his or her consent, to penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the defendant or a third person;
  • Doing any of the above acts to a child (a child’s consent to any of the acts is immaterial);
  • Causing the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the defendant or a third person, or causing the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of the defendant or a third person (the child’s consent is immaterial).

A person does not have to scream or attempt to fight off the defendant in order to be found not to have given consent.  In fact, consent will not be found in a number of situations, including when:

  • The victim is compelled to submit by means of physical force or violence
  • The defendant threatens to harm the victim or any other person and the victim believes the defendant can, in fact, carry out the threat
  • The victim did not consent and the defendant knows the victim is either unconscious or unable to resist
  • The defendant knows the victim is suffering from a mental disease or defect that makes the victim unable to either know the nature of what is happening or resisting it
  • The victim has not consented and the defendant knows the victim is unaware the act is occurring (such as where the victim is in a deep sleep)
  • The defendant impaired the ability of the victim to appraise him- or herself of his or her actions or to control them with a substance (such as administering a “date-rape” drug)
  • The defendant is a public servant, such as a police officer, a mental services provider, a clergyman, or employee of a residential facility and the victim is either coerced (by a public servant), has his or her emotional dependency exploited (mental services provider or clergyman), or where the victim is a resident of the same facility (employee of a residential facility).

The national statistics and further resources regarding definitions and penalties of sexual crimes can be read here:

https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=317

Aggravated Sexual Assault in Denton, TX – TPC 22.021

A sexual assault (as defined above) becomes an aggravated sexual assault if any of the following conditions apply during the commission of the sexual assault:

  • The defendant causes serious bodily harm or attempts to kill the victim or another person during the sexual assault
  • The defendant places the victim in fear that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be inflicted on any person during the sexual assault
  • The defendant utters words in the presence of the victim that threaten to cause death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person during the course of the sexual assault
  • The defendant uses or displays a deadly weapon during the course of the sexual assault
  • The defendant acts in concert with at least one other person who also sexually assaults the victim during the same episode (a “gang rape”)The defendant administers or provides the drug flunitrazepam / rohypnol to the victim to facilitate the offense
  • The victim is either a child under the age of 14 years old or is an elderly or disabled individual.

Aggravated Sexual Assault may be only one charge, but others can be found by the court.  Here are a few charges which are often associated with sexual assault:

  • Robbery
  • Drug Possession
  • Domestic Violence

Penalties for Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault

Penalties for sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault in Denton are severe and can include prison as well as other burdensome requirements.

Aggravated sexual assault is punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison.

Sexual assault can result in up to 20 years in prison.

A person faces a minimum of 25 years in prison if the victim was under the age of 6 years old; or if the victim was under the age of 14 years old and threatened with violence.

If you have been charged with sexual assault, please contact our Denton County criminal defense attorneys, for a free consultation.

Sexual Assault Registration Requirements

Not only are the above punishments possible, but a conviction for sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault will also result in registration requirements. A defendant convicted of either of these offenses must register as a sexual offender, usually in effect for the remainder of his or her life.

This requirement would follow the offender wherever he or she moved. These registration lists are made public, which may cause the defendant’s reputation in the community to suffer, and other areas of life will most certainly be impacted:

  • Getting/maintaining a job
  • Applying for a home
  • Applying to college
  • Going to social events
  • Joining organizations

Defenses to Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault

Defendants charged with sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault may find that there are few defenses available to them. Consent is the primary defense to these types of charges. Except in cases of a minor child (any child under the age of 17 years old), a voluntary and consensual sexual encounter will not give rise of a charge of sexual assault.

The law does not punish a defendant whose sexual partner freely and voluntarily engaged in a sexual act but then later regretted that act. To establish consent, a number of facts will be relevant including:

  • How the encounter began as witnessed by others
  • The 911 call by the victim or other person (if a recording exists)
  • The prior history between the defendant and the victim (i.e., were these two in a serious and sexual relationship prior to the accusations or had they met for the first time just hours before the alleged assault)
  • The results of any sexual assault exam performed by a medical professional.
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