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Pennsylvania
Rape Defense Lawyer

Sexual Assault Attorney

Sexual assault and rape are viewed as especially heinous offenses in Pennsylvania. Even if you are falsely accused, these types of allegations can ruin your relationships and reputation. If you are facing sexual assault charges, your friends and family members might not give you the support that you need during your criminal case. DiCindio Law understands how traumatic it can be to face sexual assault charges. We can provide guidance during the process and aggressively defend you against the allegations.

Understanding Sexual Assault Charges In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, sexual assault is defined in 18 Pa. C.S. 3124.1. Sexual assault happens when someone has sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with someone else without the victim’s consent. It is a different offense than rape, which occurs when sexual intercourse is performed by using force or a threat of force or when the victim is impaired, unconscious, or unable to consent. Sexual assault is also different from involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, which includes any type of deviate intercourse performed in the absence of consent, including oral sex, penetration with objects, anal sex, and others. While rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse are first-degree felonies, sexual assault is a second-degree felony.

You might be charged with sexual assault if the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to prove all of the elements of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse or rape when the prosecutor believes that he or she has enough evidence to prove you committed a sex act without the victim’s consent.

Institutional Sexual Assault

Under 18 Pa. C.S. 3124.2, institutional sexual assault can be charged if you have sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or indecently touch a patient, detainee, or inmate in an institutional setting.

This type of charge can be filed against an employee of the following types of institutions:

  • County correctional authorities
  • Department of Corrections
  • Youth forestry camps
  • Youth development centers
  • Juvenile detention centers
  • Licensed youth residential facilities
  • Facilities for the mentally ill or mentally disabled

Institutional sexual assault is a third-degree felony. The victim’s consent is not a defense to this type of charge. All sexual activity between institutional employees and the people who are housed in these types of facilities is unlawful.

This statute also bans teachers, volunteers, and school employees who have direct contact with students to engage in sexual activity with students. It also prohibits sexual contact with a child in a daycare facility where you work or volunteer.

What Are The Penalties For Sexual Assault?

If you are charged with and convicted for second-degree felony sexual assault, you can be sentenced to serve up to 10 years in prison and be fined up to $25,000. Institutional sexual assault and sexual assault by sports officials, volunteers, or non-profit employees are third-degree felonies. If you are convicted of one of these offenses, you will face up to seven years in prison and be assessed a fine of up to $15,000.

If the prosecutor has enough evidence, you could be charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse or rape, depending on the circumstances. In that case, a conviction would be a first-degree felony. If the victim is an adult, you would face up to 20 years in prison. If the victim is a child younger than age 13, the maximum sentence for rape would be 40 years. Finally, if a child victim suffered serious bodily injury, you could face up to life in prison if you were convicted of rape of a child.

Rape In Pennsylvania

Under 18 Pa. C.S. 3121, rape is defined as having sexual intercourse with a victim without his or her consent by using force, threats of force, or compulsion. Rape can also be charged when the person is impaired and is unable to consent or who has a mental disability that prevents him or her from consenting. Rape is a first-degree felony that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If you are convicted of raping someone to who you administered a substance so that he or she would be incapable of resisting, you can be sentenced to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. If you are convicted of raping a child younger than age 13, you can face up to 40 years in prison. If you are convicted of raping a child younger than age 13 who suffers serious bodily injury, you can be sentenced to serve the rest of your life in prison.

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Registering As A Sex Offender

People who are convicted of sexual assault must register as sex offenders. Sexual assault is a Tier III offense that requires lifetime sex offender registration.

If you are convicted of institutional sexual assault, the length of registration will depend on the facts. Institutional sexual assault of a prison or jail inmate is a Tier I offense that requires you to register as a sex offender for 15 years. You can then petition to have your name removed from the sex offender registry. If you are convicted of institutional sexual assault in a school or daycare facility, it is a Tier II offense that will require you to register as a sex offender for 25 years. However, if you are convicted of institutional sexual assault on a juvenile detainee at a youth correctional facility, it is a Tier III offense requiring lifetime registration.

Failing to register as a sex offender when you are required to do so is a separate crime. If you are required to register and do not do so, you could face additional penalties.

Collateral Consequences Of A Sexual Assault Or Rape Conviction

If you are convicted of sexual assault or another sex crime, you will face ongoing consequences long after you complete your sentence.

Some of the collateral consequences of a sex offense conviction include the following:

  • Deportation
  • Trouble getting into college
  • Difficulty with receiving private financial aid
  • Trouble finding a job
  • Trouble finding housing
  • Inability to get housing assistance
  • Trouble getting loans
  • Loss of visitation or child custody rights
  • Inability to own firearms
  • Denial of citizenship or a visa

How A Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me Can Help

When you are facing sexual assault charges, getting immediate help from a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible is critical. An experienced sexual assault lawyer at DiCindio Law can help to prevent you from making mistakes that could harm your defense. We are prepared to fight for your rights and aggressively defend against rape or sexual assault charges. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, contact Mike DiCindio, Esq today at 610.220.4691!

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