Sexual Assault is commonly called “rape” or “date rape.” The crime generally involves a male who is accused of having non-consensual sex (or engaging in a non-consensual sexual act) with another person. One common scenario involves a male who is accused of sexually assaulting a person by force or threat of force.
Another common scenario involves a male who is accused of engaging in what he believes is consensual sex or a consensual sexual act, but the other person later claims he or she was unable to consent, because the person was unconscious, physically unable to resist or (because of some mental disease or defect) was incapable of understanding the nature of the act or the person’s right to say no.
So-called date rapes usually involve a male who engages in what he believes is consensual sex with another person, only later to find out the person claimed he or she was too intoxicated by alcohol or drugs to consent. Cases involving females accused of sexual assault are rare, but they do happen. Regardless of the gender of the accused, sexual assault charges are some of the most severe legal accusations in the Texas justice system, and should only be defended by an expert sexual assault attorney.
About Sexual Assault Charges
In Texas, Sexual Assault is typically a Second Degree felony (except the charge is a First Degree Felony, if the complainant was a person whom the accused was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the accused was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married). Tex. Pen. Code § 22.011.
As a Second Degree Felony, Sexual Assault carries a potential sentence of 2-20 years imprisonment, plus a $10,000 fine and lifetime registration as a sex offender. It is also a “3g” offense, which means a person convicted of the offense and sentenced to prison must serve at least 50% of the sentence before being eligible for parole. It also means that a judge may not place a person so convicted on ordinary community supervision (however, the judge may place the person on deferred adjudication). Tex. Code Crim. Pro. Art. § 42.12 3g.
The prosecution must prove that a person intentionally or knowingly caused the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without the other person’s consent; caused the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the accused, without the other person’s consent (The age of consent in Houston, TX is 17.); or, caused the sexual organ of another person, without that other person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sexual organ of any other person, including the accused. In these cases, the age of consent is taken into account.
Sexual Assault FAQ
While people suspected of sexual assault or other sex crimes often believe they can only help themselves by talking to the police and denying all wrongdoing, oftentimes the opposite is true. For example, denying the accusation while also giving police a small amount of background information – let’s say you tell the police how you first met the accuser at Woodrow’s Bar in Houston, but that you were never alone with her – might confirm an important detail in the accuser’s story, which the police may use against you in writing about their investigation. A police report sent to a prosecutor might state, “Suspect admitted that he met with the Complainant at Woodrow’s Bar in Houston.”