There are few crimes that carry the shame and stigma of child molestation, and few crimes that demand as rigorous a defense. These cases frequently draw media attention, and prosecutors often seek to make examples of defendants. It is essential to begin building a strong defense to child molestation charges immediately.
If you are facing child molestation charges in the Pennsylvania area, call Brian Manchester, an experienced child molestation defense attorney in Pennsylvania. Call today. It is important to start working on your defense right away.
What is Child Molestation?
There is no single crime labeled “child molestation” in Pennsylvania. Rather, it is a legal concept that includes a number of sex crimes involving children. Essentially, child molestation is any indecent or sexual activity involving a child, usually younger than 13 or 14. Multiple child molestation charges are often filed against the same defendant, increasing both penalties and the odds of conviction.
Most Serious Child Molestation Crimes
The most serious types of child molestation are child rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child. Both of these are punishable by as many as 40 years in prison or, if the child is seriously injured, a maximum life sentence.
Rape of a child is defined as engaging in any sexual intercourse with a child younger than 13. Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child is essentially the same thing, but instead of straight sexual intercourse the focus is on “deviate” intercourse, including anal and oral sex and penetration using foreign objects (unless for medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures).
Indecent Assault of a Child
Indecent assault is another possible child molestation charge. This occurs when an offender has any “indecent contact” with a victim, or brings the victim into contact with semen, urine or feces for sexual purposes, and where the victim is younger than 13. “Indecent contact” includes any touching of another person’s private parts for purposes of sexual stimulation or gratification.
Indecent assault of a child younger than 13 is punishable by as many as seven years in prison. A related statute, aggravated indecent assault, makes it a crime to penetrate the genitals or anus of a child younger than 13 for any reason other than good-faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures. This is punishable by as many of 10 years in prison.
Committing aggravated indecent assault on a child younger than 13 while using force or the threat of force, while the child is unconscious or unaware, while the child is drugged, or where the child suffers from a mental disability that renders them unable to consent is a separate crime with penalties that include as many as 20 years in prison.
Indecent Exposure To a Child
Another common child molestation charge is indecent exposure. Under this statute, it is a crime for a person to expose his genitals in a public place or where he knows or should know his conduct will offend others. Indecent exposure is generally punishable by as many as two years in prison, but if the person knows or should know that the people who can see him include children younger than 16, the penalties jump to as many as five years.
If you or a loved one are in the Pennsylvania area and have been charged with child molestation, call Brian Manchester, an experienced child molestation defense lawyer in Pennsylvania. He can help you build the defense you need today.