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There is a Difference Between Rape and Sexual Assault

Many people in Pennsylvania are aware that rape is a significantly more serious offense than sexual assault. In Pennsylvania, there are more differences between rape and sexual assault than most people realize. There are specific reasons for a criminal charge after sexual activity.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is an act in which a person intentionally sexually touches or engages with another person without that person’s consent or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. Sexual assault can take many forms.

There are different types of sexual assault. This includes statutory sexual assault. Should a legal adult have sex with an individual who is 16 or younger, they can be charged with statutory sexual assault. In this case, it doesn’t matter if the sex with a minor is determined to have been consensual. Should the perpetrator be 11 or more years older than the victim, they can be charged with a first-degree felony. This offense can’t be applied to married couples.

Rape

This is considered any type of unwanted penetration. It is done with physical force. An offender needs to realize rape is a complicated offense. There are many situations where someone will be charged with rape if the victim can’t object to the sexual activity and provide explicit consent, like if they’re unconscious, intoxicated or mentally incapacitated.

Felony

There are three types of penalties for sexual violence in Pennsylvania.

First Degree Rape – Should a person be found guilty of this; they could be incarcerated for up to 20 years. They may also be required to pay criminal fines of up to $25,000.

Second Degree Rape – A person found guilty of this could be incarcerated for up to 10 years. They may also be required to pay criminal fines of up to $25,000.

Statutory Sexual Assault – This is classified as a second-degree felony. It can be increased to first-degree rape charge if the suspect was 11 or more years older than the victim.

It is important to realize not everyone accused of rape is guilty. Every sexual assault or case involving sexual violence is different. When someone believes they have been falsely accused of a sex crime, they should immediately contact an experienced criminal attorney in Philadelphia. They will know how to gather all the facts of a case as well as evidence. These legal professionals will provide the best possible legal defense in this situation.

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