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Sexual assault defense attorney John E. MacDonald wants all of his clients to have access to legal resources to help them understand their case and be aware of the potential penalties. Here are the Rhode Island sexual assault laws and penalties.
A person is guilty of first degree sexual assault if he or she engages in sexual penetration with another person, and if any of the following circumstances exist:
(1) The accused, not being the spouse, knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapacitated, mentally disabled, or physically helpless.
(2) The accused uses force or coercion.
(3) The accused, through concealment or by the element of surprise, is able to overcome the victim.
(4) The accused engages in the medical treatment or examination of the victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or stimulation.State of Rhode Island – http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/statutes/title11/11-37/11-37-2.HTM
Every person who shall commit sexual assault in the first degree shall be imprisoned for a period not less than ten (10) years and may be imprisoned for life.
A person is guilty of a second degree sexual assault if he or she engages in sexual contact with another person and if any of the following circumstances exist:
(1) The accused knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapacitated, mentally disabled or physically helpless.
(2) The accused uses force or coercion.
(3) The accused engages in the medical treatment or examination of the victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or stimulation.
Every person who shall commit sexual assault in the second degree shall be imprisoned for not less than three (3) years and not more than fifteen (15) years.
A person is guilty of third degree sexual assault if he or she is over the age of eighteen (18) years and engaged in sexual penetration with another person over the age of fourteen (14) years and under the age of consent, sixteen (16) years of age.
Every person who shall commit sexual assault in the third degree shall be imprisoned for not more than five (5) years.
Every person who shall commit assault with intent to commit first degree sexual assault shall be imprisoned for not less than three (3) years or more than twenty (20) years.
In addition to all other statutory costs and assessments, every person, adjudged guilty of the provisions of § 11-37-8.1 or 11-37-8.3, whether by trial, plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere, shall pay a special assessment of one hundred dollars ($100). In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person convicted under §§ 11-37-8.1 – 11-37-8.3 may be required, as part of the sentence imposed by the court, to pay the cost of any necessary medical, psychological, or psychiatric treatment of the child resulting from the act or acts for which the defendant is convicted.
No person shall be charged under § 11-37-3.1 unless and until the police department investigating the incident obtains from the victim a signed complaint against the person alleging a violation of § 11-37-3.1.
Any person who shall be indicted for first, second, or third degree sexual assault and/or first or second degree child molestation sexual assault and/or § 11-37-8 may also be charged in the same indictment with either or all of the offenses described in §§ 11-37-2, 11-37-4, 11-37-6, 11-37-8, 11-37-8.1, and 11-37-8.3. If upon trial the jury shall acquit the person of any of the charges of sexual assault and shall find him or her guilty of any of the other offenses, judgment and sentence may be entered against him or her accordingly.
If a person is convicted of a second or subsequent offense under the provisions of §§ 11-37-2, 11-37-4, 11-37-8, 11-37-8.1, and 11-37-8.3, the sentence imposed under these sections for the second or subsequent offenses shall not be less than twice the minimum number of years of sentence for the most recent offense.
The following words and phrases, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings:
(1) “Accused” means a person accused of a sexual assault.
(2) “Force or coercion” means when the accused does any of the following:
(i) Uses or threatens to use a weapon, or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon.
(ii) Overcomes the victim through the application of physical force or physical violence.
(iii) Coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence on the victim and the victim reasonably believes that the accused has the present ability to execute these threats.
(iv) Coerces the victim to submit by threatening to at some time in the future murder, inflict serious bodily injury upon or kidnap the victim or any other person and the victim reasonably believes that the accused has the ability to execute this threat.
(3) “Intimate parts” means the genital or anal areas, groin, inner thigh, or buttock of any person or the breast of a female.
(4) “Mentally disabled” means a person who has a mental impairment which renders that person incapable of appraising the nature of the act.
(5) “Mentally incapacitated” means a person who is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his or her conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or other substance administered to that person without his or her consent, or who is mentally unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in the act.
(6) “Physically helpless” means a person who is unconscious, asleep, or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.
(7) “Sexual contact” means the intentional touching of the victim’s or accused’s intimate parts, clothed or unclothed, if that intentional touching can be reasonably construed as intended by the accused to be for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or assault.
(8) “Sexual penetration” means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, and anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, by any part of a person’s body or by any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body, or the victim’s own body upon the accused’s instruction, but emission of semen is not required.
(9) “Spouse” means a person married to the accused at the time of the alleged sexual assault, except that such persons shall not be considered the spouse if the couple are living apart and a decision for divorce has been granted, whether or not a final decree has been entered.
(10) “Victim” means the person alleging to have been subjected to sexual assault.
The Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Office of John E. MacDonald are well versed with the Rhode Island Sexual Assault Laws and have extensive experience defending First Degree Sexual Assault, Second Degree Sexual Assault and Third Degree Sexual Assault cases in Rhode Island.
If you have been charged with a sexual assault offense and need experienced legal representation, call 401.421.1440 the Rhode Island Sexual Assault Defense Attorneys at the Law Office of John E. MacDonald for a free consultation to review your case.
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