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How Are Sexual Assault Charges Prosecuted?

In order to prove a case of sexual assault, several elements must be established:

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Defenses Against Sexual Assault Charges

A common defense against sexual assault charges is to attempt to prove that the acts were consensual. If the defendant can prove this, the prosecutor will have a much more difficult time establishing the elements of a sexual assault. However, in regards to children or individuals lacking mental capacity, consent is not an accepted defense. Another defense may be to show that the victim was touched for a non-sexual purpose.

Penalties for Sexual Assault Convictions

Punishments for a sexual assault conviction depend on whether the crime was charged as a misdemeanor or felony. For a misdemeanor conviction, the defendant may have to serve up to six months in jail, a $2,000 fine, or both. For a felony account, the defendant may have to serve up to a year in county jail or up to a $2,000 fine. However, felony charges can carry larger sentences depending on the individual circumstances.

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