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Fort Worth criminal defense attorney sexual assault

Because children’s brains are not fully developed and they have not had the same life experiences as adults, it is assumed that children cannot consent to sexual activities. In the eyes of the law, this makes any sexual conduct between a child and an adult non-consensual and therefore unlawful. However, the “age of consent” or age at which a person is considered to be capable of agreeing to sex, varies from state to state. This can make it difficult to know when a sexual relationship is in violation of the law. If you have been charged with sexual assault of a child or accused of statutory rape, you could be facing life-altering criminal consequences. That is why it is important to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Texas Law Regarding Statutory Rape

The age of consent is 17 in Texas. This means that it is unlawful for an adult to participate in sexual activities with someone who is 16 years old or younger. Texas law does not use the term “rape” for nonconsensual sex but instead refers to the act as sexual assault. Many people do not realize that they can be charged with sexual assault of a child even if the underage person agreed to the sexual activity. Sexual activity does not need to be forced or involve drugs such as Rohypnol in order to be a criminal offense. Sexual assault of a child is a second-degree felony in Texas. If convicted, you could be imprisoned for 2-20 years and fined up to $10,000. If you are accused of participating in non-penetrative sexual activities with a person under 17, you could be charged with indecency with a child. This is also a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. You will also be required to register as a sex offender.

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Fort Worth sex crimes attorney

Although any type of criminal charge is a grave matter, being charged with a crime against a child can be especially devastating. Many people are quick to assume that just because a person has been charged with a child-related crime, he or she must be guilty of the offense. This is especially true of sex crimes against children. It is important to understand how Texas law defines indecency with a child when considering how to build a strong defense against these serious allegations. 

Texas Law Regarding Indecency With a Child

There are two reasons a person may be charged with indecency with a child in Texas. The first is if they are accused of engaging in non-penetrative sexual contact with someone under 17 years of age. A person may be convicted of indecency with a child if it can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they touched the genitals, breast, or anus of the child, either above or under the child’s clothing, and this contact was intended to arouse or gratify their sexual desires. It is also against the law for a person to touch a child with their own genitals, breast, or anus.

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