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Sexual Assault Charges in Schools

Published: Apr 30, 2018 in Sex Crimes

Instances of sexual assault are painfully frequent in our schools. Many instances of school sexual assaults involve rape, but other cases involve consensual sexual acts that are qualified as illegal because of the age difference between the participants. When a school employee has any sexual contact with a minor student, it is generally considered sexual assault. Another form of sexual assault that affects schools is hazing. Often, this involves aggressive sexual acts not consented to by all parties.

If you’re being accused of committing school sexual assault, call a Houston sexual assault lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a free case consultation.

What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault?

The penalties for sexual assault depend on several factors, including the severity of the assault, the victim’s age, and the methods for overcoming consent. Texas Penal Code Section 22.011 creates three categories of sexual assault:

Simple Sexual Assault
The core of this offense is penetrating or contacting the sex organ, anus, or mouth of another person without consent. Alternatively, any sexual contact between an adult and a minor under 17 years of age, regardless of consent, is considered a sexual assault. This offense is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000.

Aggravated Sexual Assault
When sexual contact involves violence or abduction, it will be considered aggravated sexual assault. Sexual assault can also be aggravated by age-related factors. For example, any assault on a child under the age of 14 is considered aggravated. As a first-degree felony, aggravated sexual assault is punishable by a prison term of five to 99 years and fines of up to $10,000.

Super Aggravated Sexual Assault
This applies if the sexual assault is perpetrated against a child under the age of six, or against a child that is under 14 years old when assault causes serious bodily harm. Still a first-degree felony, super aggravated sexual assault involves a 25 year mandatory minimum term of incarceration.

In all of its forms, sexual assault is charged as a felony. A conviction for an offense of this level involves more than just fines and prison time. You will face restrictions on your right to own firearms, and have difficulty finding employment and housing prospects upon your release from prison. Finally, any conviction for sexual assault will result in life-long registration as a sex offender.

What Other Crimes Can Apply to School Sexual Assault?

Conduct that is offensive or sexually-motivated may be punishable even if it doesn’t rise to the level of sexual assault. Unwanted physical contact, such as a slap on the butt or the groping of breasts, may be charged as simple assault, which according to Texas Penal Code section 22.01 involves causing any physical contact with another person that is known to be “provocative or offensive.” This is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine.

Facing Sexual Assault Charges? Call Us Today

At The Law Offices of Ned Barnett, we understand that your future is on the line when you face a school sexual assault charge. This is why we advocate for our clients from the earliest stages of the criminal justice process. With an aggressive defense plan, we never lose sight of our goal of obtaining the best case resolution possible in your case.

If you have been charged with a sex crime, contact us today at (713) 222-6767 for your free and confidential evaluation.