About Rape, Indecent Liberties, and Sexual Assault Defense

Criminal accusations are serious. Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center for a thorough rape, indecent liberties, and sexual assault defense. Call now!

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Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

November 03. 2022.

Missouri Sex Laws

 

Missouri has strict laws concerning rape and other sex crimes. This means that convicted sex offenders face very steep penalties and the convictions have lasting effects on their life. Even a mere accusation could permanently soil a person’s reputation and career.

Sexual assault cases may be more nuanced than they appear at first glance. Furthermore, false accusations of rape and other sexual offenses may occur and cause devastating effects on the accused.

Therefore, you need to familiarize yourself with the laws concerning rape, indecent liberties, and sexual assault defense routes. Also, at the slightest hint of an accusation, it would be helpful to hire a criminal defense attorney in Kansas City, MO, to fight for you in court.

What Do Indecent Liberties Mean?

 

Missouri Law does not have an offense called indecent liberties in its code. Nevertheless, indecent liberties are defined by law as causing another person to have sexual contact with you without their consent or through forcible compulsion. The definition of this crime includes most illegal sexual contact crimes as well as most sex crimes.

Some crimes in the Missouri statute that it would encompass are first and second-degree sexual misconduct, first and second-degree sexual abuse, and first, second, third, and fourth child molestation.

Charges for Indecent Liberties

 

Child Molestation

The revised statutes of Missouri from section 566.067 to 566.071 talk about the offense of child molestation in the first, second, third, and fourth degrees.

According to this code section, child molestation in the first degree happens when a person subjects a child under fourteen to aggravated sexual contact. Section 566.010 (1) further defines what aggravated sexual offenses are. This offense is a Class A felony, meaning it attracts a minimum of 10 years imprisonment up to life imprisonment. If the victim was under 12 when the crime was committed, the perpetrator would be ineligible for parole or probation.

In the second degree, it is a Class B felony where a 12-year-old or less is subjected to sexual contact (non-aggravated) or a person who is more than four years older than a victim who is less than 17 subjects them to sexual contact under aggravated circumstances. The penalty could be between five and fifteen years in prison.

Furthermore, child molestation in the third degree is a Class C felony where sexual contact occurs between the perpetrator and a child below the age of 14. It is punishable by three to ten years imprisonment and becomes a Class B felony when forcible compulsion is involved.

Lastly, child molestation is a Class E felony in the fourth degree. This is where the defendant is more than four years older than a child under seventeen and subjects the child to sexual contact. The accused could face up to four years in jail.

 

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct involving a child includes indecent exposure for gratifying sexual desire, whether of the culprit, a third party, or the child. It is a Class E felony, but if the person has committed a similar offense in another jurisdiction, it becomes a Class D felony, leading to a maximum of seven years in prison.

In the first degree, sexual misconduct includes:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual conduct in the presence of a third party
  • Sexual intercourse in public with a third party present

The offense is a Class B misdemeanor that could attract up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of $1000. However, if the person is guilty of a similar offense from another jurisdiction, the offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor attracting up to a year in jail and a $2000 fine.

Meanwhile, second-degree sexual misconduct happens when a person solicits sexual contact from another person in a way that is reasonably likely to cause harm. It is punishable by up to fifteen days in jail and a fine of not more than $700.

 

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse, in the first degree, occurs when someone has unwanted sexual contact with another person, either through forcible compulsion or when the person is incapacitated and unable to give informed consent. It is a Class C felony, but where the victim is below 14 or the offense is aggravated, it becomes a Class B felony.

In the second degree, sexual abuse occurs when one person subjects another to sexual contact without the person’s consent. It is a Class A misdemeanor unless aggravated, in which case it is a Class E felony.

What Is Rape?

 

Rape, in the first degree, occurs when a person has sexual intercourse with someone else through physical force or another form of forcible compulsion or with someone who is incapacitated or unable to give consent. This includes situations where the victim is drugged or mentally incapacitated, so they cannot give informed consent. This offense is a felony where the code prescribes life imprisonment or a minimum of five years in prison unless the offense is aggravated, in which case the minimum sentence is fifteen years.

Meanwhile, rape happens in the second degree when the culprit has sexual intercourse with the victim, knowing they do not have the person’s consent. This offense is a Class D felony. Meanwhile, statutory rape in Missouri has its own categorization and penalties. In order to learn more about your potential charges and penalties, it is important to speak with a Missouri sex crimes attorney.

Difference between Rape and Indecent liberties

 

Rape requires sexual intercourse to have happened. However, there is no such requirement needed to fulfill indecent liberties. Some believe that indecent liberties could also include cases where sexual intercourse occurred. However, such crimes are more likely to fall under rape or statutory rape.

 

Sex Offender Registration

 

In Missouri, there is mandatory sex offender registration for anyone who pleads guilty to, is convicted of, or enters a no-contest plea to the charge of a sexual crime. They are usually required to register in the sex offender registry at their local law enforcement after getting notified by the Department of Corrections. Registration is for life except with paroled sentences or probation. Such sentences require yearly re-registration throughout their duration.

Do You Need an Attorney?

 

Sex crimes in Missouri are not taken lightly by the law and state prosecutors. However, defenses such as mistaken identity, insanity or impaired mental capacity, consent, and so on are available.

When you’re facing a false accusations of rape or an unfair accusation, your best course of action may be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can mount a vigorous defense. For competent legal defenses and representation, consult the Missouri DWI & Criminal Center today!

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