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Can my friend be charged with Indecent Assault and Battery?

Boston, MA |

My friend was recently reported to the police for sexually touching a girl he was making out with. No charges have been filed yet, but they want to charge him with indecent assault and battery for grabbing her breast without her consent. Both are legal adults.

My question is this: is the context irrelevant to an indecent assault charge? My friend and this girl were aggressively making out when he reached up and put his hand on her breast. She told him to stop and he did. The touching lasted only momentarily. Can't my friend claim that he reasonably believed that he had consent given the circumstances? Most people would think that aggressive kissing and petting reasonably imply consent to further sexual touching, and he stopped at the first sign of objection from her.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Yes, your friend can claim the touching was consented to, based on the circumstances. If they are both adults, it comes down to the classic 'he said, she said' scenario. Most prosecutors, when presented with these facts, would be very hesitant to charge a felony. They would look and the age difference between the two of them, if one or both were intoxicated, and how did she report the offense. For instance, did she run out of the house screaming and called 911, or did she claim no consent 2 or 3 days later. My guess in the police would want to question him before charging anything. If they contact him for that, he should contact a local attorney. He has the right to have the attorney present during questioning.

    Answers posted here are suggestions only, and are not intended to replace advice given by an attorney that you hire.

  2. Yes, he can be charged. Will he be convicted is another matter. The fact that the girl reported it to the police should be a cause for concern. Probably time to consult with an attorney.

  3. Yes, these types of cases happen more often than you think. Your friend can be charged, and likely will be charged as the police have been contacted. Meet with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the case in more detail -- good luck.

    Chris Malcolm -- 617.645.0089

  4. These situations occur all the time. Yes, your friend can be criminally charged for this. It benefits him that he stopped when directed to stop.

    My question is who called the police? If it was the girl, that does not sound too good. It may have been a parent and might turn out that the girl does not wish to testify.

    If charged, it sounds like there would be a great deal of discovery before trial...Has she reported something like this before? Does she have a mental health issue? There are lots of paths to follow.

    Remeber, if your friend is found guilty, it could mean registering with the sex registry least 20 years, and, sometimes, a lifetime. So, it is VERY important to get an experienced attorney as soon as possible to be prepared to fight this aggressively!

    If your frined needs a free consultation, please have him contact me at 781.383.1940.

    Best of luck!

    Valerie J. Semensi, Esq.

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