Knowledgeable Fort Wayne Attorney Provides Sex Crime Defense
Experienced criminal defense lawyer asserts your rights against sex offense allegations
Sex crimes are unique in that you are never free of the charge even after you’ve served your time. If convicted, you must register as a sex offender, which can doom you to a life of isolation and suspicion. At The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey, you’ll get skilled legal representation from an assertive attorney determined to see your rights respected while working toward the best possible resolution of your case.
Various sex crimes and penalties under the Indiana Code
Sexual offenses depend on a number of facts, such as the intent of the accused, the status of the alleged victim, and whether force was used to accomplish the act. Prosecutors have the burden of proving each element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If they cannot, they must charge a lesser offense or drop the charges altogether.
Common sex crime charges under the Indiana Code include:
- Child molestation — This offense includes sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct and fondling or touching with sexual intent a child less than 14 years of age. It can be a Level 3 or Level 4 felony. Sentencing can be enhanced by such factors as the accused being 21 or older, serious injury to the victim, presence of a deadly weapon and use of force or date-rape drugs.
- Child seduction — Sexual misconduct with a minor aged 16 or 17 is a Level 5 or Level 6 felony when committed by certain adults, including stepparents, adoptive parents, guardians, custodians, childcare workers, teachers, foster home caregivers and military recruiters.
- Child solicitation — A person who entices a child under the age of 14 to either participate in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct, or fondling with intent commits a Level 5 felony, but aggravating factors — such as use of a computer — can raise it to a Level 4 felony.
- Criminal deviate conduct — This offense is similar to rape, but does not involve sexual intercourse and is a Level 3 felony.
- Indecency — A person who knowingly engages in sexual conduct in a public place, or appears naked in public to be seen by a child under 16, commits public indecency, which is a Class A misdemeanor. A similar offense is indecent exposure, which can be a Level A, B or C felony.
- Possession of child pornography — Those who knowingly possess child pornography, defined as a depicture of sexual conduct by a child under 18 lacking any literary, scientific, or educational value, can be found guilty of a Level 6 felony.
- Prostitution — Knowingly or intentionally performing or agreeing to perform sexual acts for payment is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense.
- Rape — This offense includes sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent or with a victim who is legally unable to consent. Rape is a Level 3 felony but can be charged as a Level 1 felony if certain aggravating factors exist, such as use of force or drugs.
- Sexting — In Indiana, an adult can have consensual sex with a minor who is at least 16 years of age but may not send sexual images to that minor without committing a felony. Receiving sexual images from a minor can also implicate state and federal child pornography laws.
- Sexual battery — Touching another person with sexual intent and without consent is a Level 6 felony but becomes a Level 4 felony if the alleged victim was unable to consent due to a mental disability.
- Sexual misconduct with a minor — An adult who intentionally engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct or fondling with a minor aged 14 or 15 commits a Level 5 or Level 6 felony. Sentencing can be enhanced by such factors as the accused being 21 or older, serious injury to the victim, presence of a deadly weapon and use of force or date-rape drugs.
- Statutory rape — Intercourse with a minor who has not reached the age of 16 is illegal since the minor does not have the legal capacity to consent. This offense can be charged as child molestation or sexual misconduct with a minor. Indiana has a “Romeo and Juliet” defense in a case where two minors are involved, one under 16 and the other under 18.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may have viable defenses. If you’ve been arrested or charged, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who is willing and able to fight for your rights.
Contact a determined Indiana criminal defense lawyer for sex crime charges
If you have been arrested for a sex crime, The Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey is prepared to help. For a free consultation and cost-effective representation from an experienced Fort Wayne attorney, please contact the firm online or call us at 260-222-7364.