If you've been accused of sexual assault, then you are probably panicking, and rightfully so. These charges can have grave repercussions, so it is crucial that you react in a calm and collected manner. To help you out, here is an explanation of what constitutes sexual assault and what you should do to prove your innocence:
What is sexual assault?
There are several different types of sexual assault, and each has a different level of severity. It is important to understand which you are accused of so that you can defend yourself in court.
- Groping: to touch another person in a sexual way without their consent. This is one of the least serious forms of sexual assault, but it still represents a large violation of the assaulted party's rights. Most groping is never reported, and very few convictions are made.
- Rape: to forcibly penetrate another party orally, anally, vaginally, or in any other way. Rape is often confused with the umbrella term of sexual assault, but rape has a very specific definition. If penetration did not occur, then the crime was probably not rape.
- Child Sexual Abuse: when an adolescent or adult engages in sexual activities with a young child. The severity of the crime depends heavily on the different between the two parties, and there might be no crime at all if the activity took place in a state with Romeo and Juliet laws, the two parties are both over 14 years of age, and both parties are within 3 years of age of one another. That being said, the sexual exploitation of a minor generally carries a very heavy sentence, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years or life depending on whether it is the first offence.
What should you do if you are accused of sexual assault?
If you are taken into custody, then you do not want to incriminate yourself. You are not obligated to say anything, so you should refrain from doing so. Even if you think that you are defending your innocence and explaining the situation, those words might be used against you as evidence during your trial.
Therefore, the first thing that you should do is speak to a lawyer. There are lawyers who specialize in sexual assault, and these individuals are likely to have the experience, skill, and familiarity with the field to prove your innocence. Such a lawyer will get all the pertinent facts, help you establish what crimes you were guilty of (if any), and then help you get the minimum sentence.