Aggravated Sexual Assault

Were you or your loved one arrested or do you even think that you might be under investigation for an alleged aggravated sexual assault in the greater Abilene – San Angelo area? We encourage you not to speak to authorities and contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case as the charge is extremely serious.

Aggravated sexual assault is one of the most serious crimes in Texas. If you are convicted you could be facing life in prison plus a $10,000 fine and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Following the murder of Jessica Lunsford in Florida in 2005, that state passed a new law, and many states, including Texas, adopted similar laws that call for a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, plus lifelong probation for any adult convicted of sexually abusing a child 12 years of age or younger.

Jessica, who at the time of her abduction was 9 years old, was taken from her home and brutally sexually assaulted for 3 days before she was buried alive. Her killer was sentenced to death. He had a long record of molestation of children and other crimes.

Some of the key portions of the law here in Texas:

  • More Felonies:  Most sex crimes committed against children are now considered a higher felony degree and include harsher penalties. An example would be a person charged with directing or promoting a sexual performance by a child younger than 14. That is now a second-degree felony instead of a third-degree felony.
  • Statute of Limitations Extended: Sex crimes victims now have a window of 20 years after their 18th birthday to file charges for sexual performance by a child, aggravated kidnapping with intent to commit sexual abuse, and burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a sexual offense.
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences:  Now if a person is convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child, they now face a minimum of 25 years in prison and up to 99 years.
  • Ineligible for Probation: Jessica’s law increased the number of sex crimes against children younger than 14 to a list of offenses now not eligible for probation.
  • Electronic Monitoring: If convicted and released on parole the parolee may have real-time electronic monitoring 24/7/365 while on parole.

If you are being investigated for super aggravated sexual assault you will need an experienced sex crime defense team on your side. We defend clients across the Abilene area call us today to schedule a case evaluation.

AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT IN TEXAS

Texas Penal Code § 22.021(a)(1)(A) establishes that a person commits aggravated sexual assault if they intentionally or knowingly:

  • cause the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;
  • cause the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the alleged offender, without that person’s consent; or
  • cause the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender.

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.021(a)(1)(B), a person also commits aggravated sexual assault if they, regardless of whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, intentionally or knowingly:

  • cause the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
  • cause the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the alleged offender;
  • cause the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender;
  • cause the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender; or
  • cause the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the alleged offender;

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.021(a)(2), aggravated sexual assault also involves:

  • cause serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode;
  • by acts or words places the victim in fear that any person will become the victim of an offense under Texas Penal Code § 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) or that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person;
  • by acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim threatens to cause any person to become the victim of an offense under Texas Penal Code § 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) or to cause the death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person;
  • uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode;
  • acts in concert with another who engages in conduct described by Texas Penal Code § 22.021(a)(1) directed toward the same victim and occurring during the course of the same criminal episode; or
  • with the intent of facilitating the commission of the offense, administers or provides to the victim of the offense any substance capable of impairing the victim’s ability to appraise the nature of the act or to resist the act;
  • The alleged offender administers or provides flunitrazepam, otherwise known as rohypnol (roofies), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), or ketamine to the victim of the offense with the intent of facilitating the commission of the offense;
  • The alleged victim is younger than 14 years of age; or
  • The alleged victim is an elderly individual or a disabled individual.

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(c), a child is defined as a person younger than 17 years of age and Texas Penal Code § 22.04(c) defines an elderly individual as a person 65 years of age or older. A disabled individual is defined under Texas Penal Code § 22.021(b)(3) as “a person older than 13 years of age who by reason of age or physical or mental disease, defect, or injury is substantially unable to protect the person’s self from harm or to provide food, shelter, or medical care for the person’s self.”[/column]

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