Understanding Sex Crimes
If you were accused of a sex offense, it is imperative that you understand the laws and penalties regarding these crimes. Taking a strong stand against these allegations could make all the difference in your future.
Sex crimes carry with them extremely negative connotations, perhaps more so than any other crime. For this reason, even the mere hint of a sex offense allegation could be enough to ruin someone’s reputation permanently. Every state has different laws regarding sex crimes, so it is important that you are aware of the consequences in your state. As the laws are somewhat similar, the State of Texas serves as a good model of what one might expect.
Sex crimes range from child pornography to indecent exposure to indecency with a child to prostitution, each with their own penalties. Throughout the different charges, however, one thing remains the same. Following a conviction of a sex crime, they will have to register permanently as a sex offender. This will restrict where they can live as well as where they can work. The sex offender registry is open to the public and contains the offender’s name, address, and the details of their crime.
The possession, production, or distribution of child pornography is not only against state laws but federal laws as well. According to 18 U.S.C. § 1466A (2008), child pornography is any drawing, photograph, video, etc. of minors in sexually explicit scenes or acts. Anyone who is convicted of this offense could be placed in prison anywhere from five years to twenty years. They could also be given heavy fines.
Indecency with a child is any sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 17. It does not matter if the minor was the same sex or opposite sex as the offender, they can still be found guilty. Examples of indecency with a child include sexual contact and indecent exposure, but not actual intercourse. Anyone convicted of indecency with a child could be convicted of a second degree or third degree felony. The lesser charges will be brought against the individual if they were less than three years older than the victim and the sexual contact was not done out of force or against the minor’s will.
The most serious type of child sex crime is the continuous sexual abuse of a child. This is defined as abusing a child more than twice within a 30 day period. The offender in these cases had to be over the age of 17 and the child had to be younger than 14. The abuse could include aggravated kidnapping, indecency with the child, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and sex trafficking. Child sexual abuse is taken so seriously in Texas that is it charged as a felony of the first degree. This could result in life imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or any prison term between 25 and 99 years.
Another sex crime is indecent exposure. The simple definition of indecent exposure is public nudity. Thus, urinating in public, skinny-dipping, or flashing could all be considered indecent exposure. In less serious cases, this offense could be charged as a misdemeanor, but more offensive cases could be a felony. According to the Texas Penal Code, indecent exposure is defined as exposing one’s private parts for the purpose of arousal or sexual gratification. It also includes carelessness for those around them who might be offended by their behavior.
Similar to indecent exposure is public lewdness. There are certain acts which, if done in public where it could cause offense to those around them, constitute public lewdness. Any act of sexual intercourse or any type of sexual contact in public could result in a Class A misdemeanor conviction. For more information regarding sex crimes in Texas, contact a legal representative as soon as possible.