Skip to main content

Criminal Defense Attorney

Anchorage, AK |

A loved one is being charged with child sexual abuse. He just turned 20, and the child is 13. So far we've had no luck finding a lawyer. How long could he be facing in prison? (The only other crime he's committed was shoplifting.)

Attorney Answers 5


  1. It depends on the abuse, but years and years in prison is possible.

    My standard disclaimer: I am not offering legal advice or services, assume all of my advice is completely incorrect, assume I do not know the law in your state and assume that I am just making suggestions for starting points for when you do speak with an attorney. Do NOT rely on anything I write and contact a lawyer in your area immediately after reading my posting.


  2. Certainly we would need more information about the case and current charges to give you a more specific answer, but he certainly may be facing years in prison. Keep looking for an attorney. Good Luck!


  3. The answer depends upon a number of variables. First, it will depend upon the type of sexual abuse. It will also depend upon whether there was force used and if there was any injury involved.

    Sexual abuse can vary from simple touching of the private parts of another to outright rape or sodomy. As a result, the amount of punishment can vary widely. In this particular instance, with a child of only 13 and the perpetrator is 20, the likelihood is he would face upstate prison time if convicted of the top count.

    Of course, there can be mitigating circumstances, such as emotional problems, retardation or any number of other variables. It would be important to seek a psychiatric review of your relative to discover if there's anythign in their history that could act as a mitigating factor.

    Certainly, it would also benefit your relative if they sought out a therapist to seek aide from them so that this type of behavior is never repeated. However, it would be important to use a psychiatrist rather than a psychologist during this period so that there is a physician's privilege that attaches to anything said in private during any session.

    One more thing that may be important is to have a PETscan done of his physical brain. I had a case like this once where an entire portion of the client's brain had atrophied due to a trauma and it caused him to do something bad to an infant. As a result of discovering this type of information, I was able to save him 10 years in jail, although he was punished nonetheless, it was a much lighter sentence than the DA wanted.


  4. The answer depends upon a number of variables. First, it will depend upon the type of sexual abuse. It will also depend upon whether there was force used and if there was any injury involved.

    Sexual abuse can vary from simple touching of the private parts of another to outright rape or sodomy. As a result, the amount of punishment can vary widely. In this particular instance, with a child of only 13 and the perpetrator is 20, the likelihood is he would face upstate prison time if convicted of the top count.

    Of course, there can be mitigating circumstances, such as emotional problems, retardation or any number of other variables. It would be important to seek a psychiatric review of your relative to discover if there's anythign in their history that could act as a mitigating factor.

    Certainly, it would also benefit your relative if they sought out a therapist to seek aide from them so that this type of behavior is never repeated. However, it would be important to use a psychiatrist rather than a psychologist during this period so that there is a physician's privilege that attaches to anything said in private during any session.

    One more thing that may be important is to have a PETscan done of his physical brain. I had a case like this once where an entire portion of the client's brain had atrophied due to a trauma and it caused him to do something bad to an infant. As a result of discovering this type of information, I was able to save him 10 years in jail, although he was punished nonetheless, it was a much lighter sentence than the DA wanted.


  5. Our law firm has defended persons accused of child sexual abuse for almost thirty years. The one thing we have learned is your loved one needs to hire a lawyer in the county where the charges were filed. If you cannot find a lawyer on your own you should contact the local "bar association" in the county and ask for lawyers that have extensive experience in this highly specialized area of law.
    Best of luck.

    Paul J. Wallin
    Wallin an dKlarich