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Sex Crimes
Minnesota Criminal Sexual Assault Lawyers, MN Criminal Sexual Conduct, Rape, Sexual Assault, Statutory Rape, Sexual Offender Treatment, Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse, Sex Crimes

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Minnesota Criminal Sexual Assault Lawyers, MN Criminal Sexual Conduct, Rape, Sexual Assault, Statutory Rape, Sexual Offender Treatment, Domestic Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse, Sex Crimes

 

Under Minnesota law, criminal sexual conduct or sex crimes may include: rape, statutory rape, unwanted sexual contact, criminal sexual assault, child pornography, child solicitation or child enticement, solicitation of mentally impaired persons, sodomy, incest, fornication, pimping, and prostitution. Some prohibitions, like those against sodomy and fornication, are technically still on the books, but rarely enforced.

The Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor has the following statistics on sexual conduct and sexual assault crimes:

  • The number of reported sex offenses in Minnesota increased almost threefold between 1971 and 1984, but has remained relatively constant since then.
  • The number of sex offenses (sexual assault, rape, sexual conduct) reported to the police increased from 2,303 offenses in 1971 to 6,589 offenses in 1984. In 1993, 6,439 sex offenses were reported, of which 49 percent resulted in an arrest.
  • Between 1981 and 1992, adult convictions for sex offenses involving force remained at the level of 145 to 190 each year, but convictions for child sexual abuse nearly tripled, rising from 160 to 461, and convictions for interfamilial sex abuse increasing from 3 to 154.
  • Reflecting these trends, about 90 percent of the victims of convicted sex offenders were children or adolescents. Nearly all of the victims of adjudicated juvenile offenders were under 18 years old, as were 84 percent of the victims of adult offenders (with 46 percent under age 13). Nearly all convicted sex offenders (97 percent) were male and most of their victims were female, although 18 percent of the victims of juvenile offenders and 13 percent of the victims of adult offenders were male.

Criminal sexual conduct is divided into four degrees depending upon the age of the victim, age of the accused, whether force is used, and the existence of any special relationship between the parties, such as parent-child or physician-patient. In Minnesota, judges are required to double the punishment imposed on a pattern sex offender, which is someone who repeats or is likely to repeat a sex crime, or someone who plans the crime. Moreover, if convicted of a sex crime, offenders must register with police departments across the state.

FIRST DEGREE. First Degree sexual conduct/assault requires sexual penetration with another person. Remember - A mistake regarding the complainant's age or consent by the underage person is not a defense to a sexual conduct crime.

  • Age Difference. The complainant is under 13 years of age and the actor is more than 36 months older than the complainant; or the complainant is at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age and the actor is more than 48 months older than the complainant and in a position of authority.
  • Fear of Great Harm. Circumstances existing at the time of the act cause the complainant to have a reasonable fear of imminent great bodily harm to the complainant or another;
  • Armed with Weapon. The actor is armed with a dangerous weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the complainant to reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon and uses or threatens to use the weapon or article to cause the complainant to submit;
  • Personal Injury. The actor causes personal injury to the complainant, and either of the following circumstances exist:
    • The actor uses force or coercion to accomplish sexual penetration; or
    • The actor knows or has reason to know that the complainant is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;
    • The actor is aided or abetted by one or more accomplices and force or coercion is used or the accomplice is armed with a dangerous weapon.
  • Significant Relationship. A significant relationship generally means that the parties live together. It is a crime if the actor has a significant relationship to the complainant and the complainant was under 16 years of age at the time of the sexual penetration.
Penalty. Not more than 30 years and a fine of not more than $40,000. There is a presumptive executed sentence of 144 months.

SECOND DEGREE. Second degree criminal sexual conduct/assault does not require penetration. Instead, it involves "sexual contact." Sexual contact has been defined by case law to mean touching of the genital area, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks with a sexual intent. The sexual touching may occur on the flesh or through the clothing.

  • Age Difference. The complainant is under 13 years of age and the actor is more than 36 months older than the complainant; or the complainant is at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age and the actor is more than 48 months older than the complainant and in a position of authority.
  • Fear of Great Harm. Circumstances existing at the time of the act cause the complainant to have a reasonable fear of imminent great bodily harm to the complainant or another;
  • Armed with Weapon. The actor is armed with a dangerous weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the complainant to reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon and uses or threatens to use the weapon or article to cause the complainant to submit;
  • Personal Injury. The actor causes personal injury to the complainant, and either of the following circumstances exist:
    • The actor uses force or coercion to accomplish sexual penetration; or
    • The actor knows or has reason to know that the complainant is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;
    • The actor is aided or abetted by one or more accomplices and force or coercion is used or the accomplice is armed with a dangerous weapon.
  • Significant Relationship. A significant relationship generally means that the parties live together. It is a crime if the actor has a significant relationship to the complainant and the complainant was under 16 years of age at the time of the sexual penetration.

Penalty. Not more than 25 years and payment of a fine of not more than $35,000.

THIRD DEGREE. Third degree criminal sexual conduct is similar to first degree in that it requires sexual penetration. Penetration is liberally construed to included penetration of the anal or genital openings and specifically includes digital and oral penetration. Third degree sexual conduct is generally charged for behavior that is not as extreme as first degree sexual assault.

  • Age Difference. The complainant is under 13 years of age and the actor is more than 36 months older than the complainant; or the complainant is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and the actor is more than 24 months older than the complainant. In any such case it shall be an affirmative defense, which must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence, that the actor believes the complainant to be 16 years of age or older. Consent by the complainant is not a defense.
  • Force or Coercion. the actor uses force or coercion to accomplish the penetration
  • Mental & Physical Infirmity of Victim. The actor knows or has reason to know that the complainant is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
  • Position of Authority. The complainant is at least 16 but less than 18 years of age and the actor is more than 48 months older than the complainant and in a position of authority over the complainant. Neither mistake as to the complainant's age nor consent to the act by the complainant is a defense.

Penalty. If the actor in such a case is no more than 48 months but more than 24 months older than the complainant, the actor may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years. Otherwise a person convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 15 years and a payment of not more than $30,000.

FOURTH DEGREE. A person who engages in sexual contact with another person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree if any of the following circumstances exists:

  • Age Difference. The complainant is under 13 years of age and the actor is no more than 36 months older than the complainant. Neither mistake as to the complainant's age or consent to the act by the complainant is a defense. In a prosecution under this clause, the state is not required to prove that the sexual contact was coerced. Additionally, if the complainant is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and the actor is more than 48 months older than the complainant or in a position of authority over the complainant fourth degree sexual conduct may be charged. Consent by the complainant to the act is not a defense. In any such case, it shall be an affirmative defense which must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the actor believes the complainant to be 16 years of age or older.
  • Force or Coercion. The actor uses force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact.
  • Mental & Physical Infirmity of Victim. The actor knows or has reason to know that the complainant is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
  • Position of Authority. The complainant is at least 16 but less than 18 years of age and the actor is more than 48 months older than the complainant and in a position of authority over the complainant. Neither mistake as to the complainant's age nor consent to the act by the complainant is a defense.
  • Significant Relationship. The actor has a significant relationship to the complainant and the complainant was at least 16 but under 18 years of age at the time of the sexual contact.

Penalty. A person convicted may be sentenced to not more than ten years and a payment of a fine of not more than $20,000.

FIFTH DEGREE. A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree:

(1) if the person engages in nonconsensual sexual contact; or

(2) the person engages in masturbation or lewd exhibition of the genitals in the presence of a minor under the age of 16, knowing or having reason to know the minor is present.

"Sexual contact" does not include the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the buttocks. Sexual contact does includes the intentional removal or attempted removal of clothing covering the complainant's intimate parts or undergarments, and the nonconsensual touching by the complainant of the actor's intimate parts, effected by the actor, if the action is performed with sexual or aggressive intent.

. Penalty. A person convicted may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year and payment of a fine of not more than $3,000. The charge may be increased to a felony with imprisonment for not more than five years and payment of $10,000, if the person has prior violations.

AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE

In today's world much hysteria and controversy swirls around sexual abuse. A person accused may find that even if acquitted they are looked upon with suspicion and fear. The allegation itself can carry with significant stigma and social repercussions. Too often, prosecutors charge out criminal sexual conduct cases based solely on an allegation. There is often little physical evidence. Though it may seem the case is weak, an aggressive and proactive defense is necessary. That may include hiring experts to review witness interviews for suggestive language and improper techniques.

If you are accused take these steps:

  1. Do not give any statements to law enforcement and do not discuss the case with any other people until you have retained legal counsel;
  2. Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer;
  3. Write down the names of potential helpful witnesses;
  4. Only after retaining a lawyer should you make written notes regarding the allegations. these should be provided to your lawyer.

For a FREE and confidential consultation regarding a criminal sexual assault matter call our attorneys at 612.240-8005






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