Criminal Sex Acts & Texas’ Legal System
Posted On July 23, 2018
The US State of Texas treats matters of morality with an above-average degree of seriousness. The state has engraved on its statutes several sexual acts which it deems prohibitive and unlawful. The most common of these acts is the sexual assault or rape of another, unwilling sexual participant. It’s not rare for innocent people to be accused of sex crimes in Houston. If you need to talk with someone about your case, call a Houston sexual assault lawyer for help.
In the proceeding discussions, we are going to list and explain the two main forms of sex crimes which are listed and prohibited under the Texas Law and criminal offenses.
Commonly called rape, this entails committing several sexual acts and practices that are prohibited under the Texas sexual assault law without the consent of the individual concerned. Its finer details, especially as regards its statute, classification, elements, and penalties are explained below.
The portion of the law of Texas that prohibits sexual assault is the Texas Sexual Assault Statute (Penal Code, Title V, Chapter 22, and Section 22.011)
It is categorized as a second-degree felony. It is hence more critical than the third-degree felonies, state felons, and other misdemeanors. It is nonetheless less severe than the first-degree felony and capital felony. Its punishment ranges from 2-20 years prison sentence and a further fine of no more than $10,000. It is also subject to community supervision.
Elements of Sexual Assault
In the State of Texas, sexual assault is the involuntary act of sex that is targeted at a child or unwilling adult. (For the sake of the law, a child is deemed to be anyone not older than 17 years). To be deemed to be sexual assault, the act has to incorporate one or more of the following preconditions:
- It must have been performed without the consent, active participation, and willingness of the said victim
- Some form of force or physical violence must have been incorporated
- The victim must have been threatened or intimidated to give in to the act
- The victim must have been unable to resist the act even if he or she wanted to
- The defendant must have had some form of authority or exercised some form of care over the said victim
Penalties and Sentences
As stated, sexual assault is classified as a second-degree felony in the State of Texas. Apart from the penalties and sentences stated above, the offense can also be elevated to a first-degree felony. This happens if the victim is a person who is ineligible to be married by the defendant.
The same case applies if the victim was ineligible to appear to have been married by the defendant. Under this circumstance, the victim may be sentenced to 5-95 years in a state prison and fined no more than $10,000.
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT
Aggravated sexual assault is a more serious form of sexual assault. It is a form of rape that is directed mainly to minors and vulnerable persons. It also entails the use of violence, force, and other forms of threats to subjugate the victim.
It is prohibited under the Texas Sexual Assault Statute (Penal Code, Title V, Chapter 22, and Section 22.021.)
The sex crime is classified as a first-degree felony. It, together with other crimes under this classification is the second most serious crimes in the State of Texas. A violation of the statute carries 5-99 years of prison term and a fine not exceeding $10,000 with the possibility of community supervision.
Elements of Aggravated Sexual Assault
For a sex crime to qualify as an aggravated sexual assault under the Texas sexual assault law, it has to satisfy a couple of preconditions. The following are some of those preconditions:
- The victim sustains serious bodily injuries or nearly passes on
- The victim was kidnapped, placed in a near death situation, or placed under the custody of another person in the entire duration
- A deadly weapon was utilized during the crime period
- A third party was involved in the commission of the said crime
- Certain drugs such as “date rape drug” were utilized with the aim of quelling the resistance of the victim
- The victim in question is younger than 14 years
- The said victim is an elderly or a disabled person
Penalties and Sentences
Being a first-degree felony, the penalties that come along with this act is equally severe. It attracts a minimum prison term of 25 years in case the victim is no more than 6 years. The same term applies if the victim is 14 years or younger but a deadly weapon is used or exhibited.
Please note that state laws are constantly changing. This happens by the ways of the introduction of new legislation, state referendums, constitutional amendments, and rulings in higher courts. In light of this, the finer details stated above may not hold indefinitely. It is in your best interest to carry out some research from time to time to keep pace with such changes.