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Jan 16, 2024

What Is the Definition of Sexual Assault in Missouri?

Sex Crimes Articles

In Missouri, sexual assault generally falls under the criminal offenses of rape, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. These offenses vary in degree, with the most serious offenses carrying severe penalties, including jail time and fines.

Missouri Sexual Assault Laws

First-degree rape occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapacitated, is incapable of consent, or lacks the capacity to consent, or through the use of forcible compulsion. First-degree rape is a felony punishable by a minimum of five years in prison or life in prison if there are aggravating circumstances. Second-degree rape, a class D felony, occurs when a person knowingly engages in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent.

First-degree sexual abuse occurs when a person subjects another person to sexual contact when that person is incapacitated, is incapable of consent, or cannot consent, or through the use of forcible compulsion. First-degree sexual abuse constitutes a class C felony unless the victim is under 14 or when the crime qualifies as an aggravated sexual offense, in which case it is a class B felony. Second-degree sexual abuse occurs when a person purposely subjects another person to sexual contact without that person’s consent. Second-degree sexual abuse typically constitutes a class A misdemeanor.

An aggravated sexual offense occurs when it involves severe injury to the victim, the threatening display of a deadly weapon, subjecting the victim to sexual intercourse with more than one person, or when the defendant has committed a prior sex offense or commits the present offense as part of an established pattern of activity.

Penalties and Consequences for a Sexual Assault Conviction in Missouri

Penalties for a sexual assault conviction depend on the grading of the offense. Class A misdemeanor convictions carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Class E felony convictions carry a penalty of up to four years in prison, while class D felonies carry a penalty of up to seven years. Class C felony convictions have prison sentences of three to 10 years, while class B felony convictions carry penalties of five to 15 years.

The first-degree rape statute outlines the penalties imposed for a conviction. Typically, a conviction carries a prison term of at least five years or a life term, while an aggravated sexual offense carries a minimum term of 15 years. Rape of a child under 12 results in a life sentence, with the possibility of parole after a minimum of 30 years, under certain circumstances.

A sexual assault conviction also has long-term consequences, including sex offender registration requirements and a criminal record that can make obtaining housing, employment, or financial services challenging.

Contact a Seasoned Sex Crimes Attorney Today

If you have been arrested and charged with sexual assault in Missouri, you need a dedicated legal advocate who will fight to protect your rights and future. Contact Richard H. Sindel, Inc., today for a confidential consultation to discuss your legal options with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.