North Carolina Sexual Offense with a Child by an Adult Lawyers

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 What Is Rape?

The modern definition of rape can vary widely. Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman was traditionally seen as forcible and against the woman’s will. However, many states do not put as much emphasis on the “forcible” requirement now, so situations like a man having sex with a drugged woman, or a man using false pretenses to have sex with a woman, could be considered rape.

Rape laws in North Carolina apply not only to acts between men and women but also to acts between individuals of the same gender.

What Is Statutory Rape?

Statutory rape is generally defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor. A minor is a person too young to give consent legally. A minor is anyone under the legal age of consent, which is an age that varies from state to state. In North Carolina, the age of consent is 16 years old.

What Does North Carolina Consider Statutory Rape?

There are three separate statutory rape criminal statutes in North Carolina. Each of these criminal statutes focuses solely on vaginal intercourse and excludes any other sexual act. Among the differences between the crimes are the ages of the victims and perpetrators.

Is There Any Difference between Statutory Rape and a Statutory Sexual Offense in North Carolina?

Yes. All statutory rape crimes in North Carolina involve only vaginal intercourse. A statutory sexual offense occurs if a person commits a sexual act other than vaginal intercourse with a minor. Sexual acts other than vaginal intercourse are defined by North Carolina law as follows:

  • Cunnilingus
  • Fellatio
  • Analingus
  • Anal intercourse
  • Penetration of the genital or anal opening of a body by an object for a non-medical purpose

What Is a Statutory Sexual Offense with a Child by an Adult in North Carolina?

A statutory sexual offense with a child occurs when an adult engages in a sexual act other than vaginal intercourse with a minor under 13 years of age. A person must be at least 18 years old to commit the crime.

What About Homosexual Statutory Rape?

There are two types of statutory rape between homosexuals:

  • Man/Boy: Prosecution is almost certain for the man.
  • Woman/Girl: Mostly untested. There was controversy surrounding the first case to gain publicity. The 18-year-old woman allegedly exploited the 14-year-old girl. Some argued that it was discrimination against homosexuals.

Will I Be Charged with a Statutory Sexual Offense If I Only Touched the Victim?

No. Statutory sexual offenses involve sexual acts with minors. If the perpetrator merely touches the victim without their consent, then the action is sexual battery, not a statutory sexual offense. Physical contact involving a person’s anus, sexual organ, groin area, breast, or buttocks is done for sexual gratification or arousal or the emission or placement of semen, urine, or feces.

Is Sexual Assault the Same as Sexual Battery?

All activities that constitute sexual battery fall under the broad definition of sexual assault. However, sexual assault also includes all other forms of unwanted sexual contact that are not included in rape, such as penetration of a sexual organ with an object and fellatio. In North Carolina, sexual battery is treated as a separate crime from other forms of sexual assault.

How Does North Carolina Define Sexual Battery?

As defined by North Carolina law, sexual battery is the act of engaging in sexual contact with a victim against their will or by force for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal. It is also possible to be charged with this crime if the victim is physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or mentally disabled. The perpetrator knew or should have reasonably known this.

What Is Sexual Contact?

North Carolina defines sexual contact as touching another person’s sexual organ, groin, anus, breast, or buttocks or using any other aforementioned body parts to touch them. You can also achieve sexual contact by emitting, ejaculating, or placing urine, feces, or semen on another’s body.

Will I Go to Prison for Sexual Battery in North Carolina?

Sexual battery is classified as a Class A1 misdemeanor, which means that, at worst, a person will face jail time. Class A1 misdemeanors can result in active, intermediate, or community punishment. It is unlikely that the defendant will receive more than 150 days in prison if this is their first misdemeanor conviction, but it is possible if they have previously been convicted of misdemeanor crimes.

What Is the Difference Between the Three Different Kinds of Punishment?

The main difference between the three types of punishment for a Class A1 misdemeanor is whether a person will serve jail time or probation.

Active punishments consist entirely of jail time. An intermediate punishment may include jail time along with supervised probation, or it may be solely probation. On top of supervised probation, intermediate punishment can also include other forms of alternative punishment, such as enrollment in a court drug treatment program, community service, and house arrest.

The person sentenced to a community punishment will undergo either supervised probation or unsupervised probation, as well as a fine, community service, house arrest, or other alternative punishments.

What Is the Penalty for Committing Rape?

Rape is generally considered the most serious crime after a homicide. Rape penalties vary from state to state, but typically a lengthy sentence of many years or life in prison is the maximum punishment.

Are There Any Defenses to Statutory Rape?

Statutory rape can be defended in a few ways:

  • Mistake of age: In general, the defendant can argue that they believed that the victim was over the age of consent. It is important to note, however, that this defense varies from state to state. In some states, statutory rape is a crime of strict liability, regardless of what the defendant believed.
    • Other states limit the use of mistake of age to certain circumstances. Some states will allow the defense if the defendant can demonstrate a reasonable basis for their mistaken belief. Although some states allow it, mistake of age is NOT a valid defense in North Carolina.
  • Rape by fraud: The defendant argues that the minor purposely misrepresented their age to have sex with the defendant. Therefore, the defendant is the victim of a minor’s twisted desire to have sex with someone older than the law permits. Due to the fact that this defense is so new, it will be difficult to determine whether it is legitimate or not.
  • “Romeo and Juliet”: Age differences between partners are considered exceptions to statutory rape in many states. North Carolina allows for consensual sex between minors who are at least 12 years old and no more than four years apart.
  • Mental Incapacity: The defendant argues that they are insane.

What Is the Punishment for Commission of a Sexual Offense with a Child by an Adult?

Adults who commit a sexual offense with a child are guilty of a Class B1 felony. This particular crime, however, carries a harsher punishment than a typical Class B1 felony, with a minimum punishment of 300 months in prison.

An aggravating factor, such as mutilation or infliction of pain on the victim, may lead to a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole for the perpetrator. For the rest of their life, the person will be monitored by the state.

Do I Need a Criminal Lawyer?

If you are convicted of a statutory sexual offense with a child as an adult, you will have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life, which is why it is crucial to seek legal representation to help you fight the charge. A North Carolina criminal lawyer will help you determine the best defenses and options to get the case dismissed or reduced.


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