Facing a charge of jail sexual assault (sexual assault is known as “criminal sexual conduct” in Minnesota) is obviously a serious problem. Any sort of sexual activity between a law enforcement or correctional facility officer and a detainee or inmate is illegal. It doesn’t matter whether or not the sex was consensual.
Not only can this charge lead to severe legal penalties, it can also change your life and career forever. As a result, you’ll need a skilled, experienced attorney on your side. At Sand Law, you’ll find that type of representation. We’ll make sure your rights are always protected, and we’ll do everything we can to clear your name.
Types of Sexual Assault
There are many different kinds of sexual assault. According to federal law, it means any type of sexual behavior or contact performed by one individual with the consent of another person. Any of the following can fall into this category:
- Attempted rape
- Forced sexual intercourse
- Forced sodomy
- Fondling of a sexual nature
But there are many other forms of sexual assault as well. In Minnesota, criminal sexual conduct can mean penetration with an object or a body part. When Person A forces Person B to touch Person A, that’s also considered criminal sexual conduct. As serious as a rape allegation is, an allegation of forced touch is also serious.
How is Sexual Assault Defined in Minnesota?
The State of Minnesota defines criminal sexual misconduct as falling into one of five categories, or degrees. The first four degrees are felony offenses, while fifth degree criminal sexual misconduct is considered to be a gross misdemeanor. As you will see, the penalties can be extremely severe.
Penalties for Sexual Assault
Here is a brief look at each degree of sexual assault in Minnesota, and the penalties for each.
This is when a defendant allegedly performs penetration with an object or a body part. When it involves a minor under the age of 13, it also includes intentional touching of the minor’s genitalia with aggressive or sexual intent. There are other situations where a sexual crime would rise to this level. These include an armed defendant, or a situation where the victim was in fear of being harmed. The maximum penalty is 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. The mandatory minimum prison sentence is 12 years.
This includes the intentional touching of a victim’s genital region over clothes. Penalties range from 7 ½ years in prison to 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.
Jail sexual assault often falls into this category. When the defendant is in a professional position, such as a correctional facility officer, and has sexual relations with a victim who is in custody, it is considered to be third degree criminal sexual conduct. If convicted, the defendant could face up to a $30,000 fine and 15 years in prison.
This is sexual contact that happens under the same circumstances as third degree criminal sexual conduct. The difference is that there is no penetration involved. The maximum penalties are a $20,000 fine and 10 years in prison.
Fifth degree criminal sexual conduct includes having non-consensual sexual conduct with a victim. This could include masturbating or exposing genitals in front of the victim, or trying to remove the victim’s clothing in a sexual manner. A person who does not have any prior sexual-related convictions, the maximum penalties are a $3,000 fine and a year in prison. If the person does have a prior sex crime conviction, those penalties increase to $14,000 and seven years in prison.
How a Talented Attorney Will Defend Your Case
At Sand Law, we will work tirelessly to advocate on your behalf. First, we’ll learn everything we can about you as well as your case. At the same time, you’ll get to know us and the way we work.
Your attorney will look at all of the unique aspects of your specific case, foreseeing any conceivable issues that could arise. Then, he or she will come up with the best possible defense strategy. We’ll stay in touch with you through every step of your case, keeping you completely informed at all times. You’ll have peace of mind knowing we’ll always execute your defense strategy in an aggressive manner.
Sexual Assault Charge Defenses
Jail sexual assault isn’t like any other criminal sexual conduct case. The reason is you can’t claim consent as a legal defense. As you learned earlier, it’s illegal for corrections or law enforcement officers to perform any sort of sexual act with an inmate or detainee. It doesn’t matter that the act would be consensual if it happened outside of a correctional facility.
The most basic defense will be innocence. You may have been in a different area when the alleged encounter occurred. In order to be successful, however, you’ll have to provide clear, compelling evidence. This could mean a receipt from a restaurant or a movie theater, or something else that proves you weren’t there. There are some instances where DNA evidence can prove whether or not a defendant was present at the time that an alleged crime occurred.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault in Minnesota?
As of September 15, 2021, the statute of limitations for criminal sexual conduct no longer exists. That means the alleged victim can report a case whenever they feel comfortable doing so. Under previous law, victims of alleged criminal sexual conduct only had six years to make a report. The new law applies to any cases that occur after Sept. 15, 2021.
Hire a Sexual Assault Defense Attorney
At Sand Law, our attorneys will fight to do everything we can to clear you of a criminal sexual conduct charge. We know how horrible the consequences of a conviction can be, and we’ll provide you with the best representation possible to help you avoid them.