In Mississippi, you can face harsh consequences and penalties if you are convicted of any number of sex offenses. It’s important to know what the laws are and what you can expect if you’re facing charges.
What are the rape and sexual assault laws in Mississippi?
Sex offenses in Mississippi carry serious penalties for a conviction. The following laws are in place for various crimes:
• Statutory rape: This crime involves engaging in sex with a child who’s at least 14 but younger than 16 or with a minor who’s not a person’s spouse and is three years younger than the offender when that offender is 17 or older. This offense can also be committed if a person has sex with a child younger than 14.
• Rape: This crime involves forcible sex with a person against their consent or sex with a person who has consumed alcohol or drugs or been forced to consume those substances and thus cannot give consent.
• Sexual assault: This crime is committed through an assault against a person for the purpose of raping them.
• Sexual battery: This crime occurs when sexual penetration happens to another person without their consent, a person who is physically helpless or mentally incapacitated, a child of at least 14 but under 16, a child younger than 14 unless the offender is two years within their age, or a child younger than 18 and the attacker is an authority figure.
• Sex with an inmate or parolee: It’s illegal for an authority figure to engage in sex with an inmate or parolee.
• Fondling: This crime occurs with a victim who is a child under 16, a mentally incapacitated or physically helpless individual, or a victim under 18 when the offender is an authority figure.
What are the penalties for sexual crimes?
There are stiff penalties for sex offenses. A person who is convicted of rape or sexual assault can face a life sentence in prison. For statutory rape and sexual battery, it’s possible to face up to five years to life in prison and fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. If the person has prior offenses on their record, the penalties can be increased.
If a person who is an authority figure is convicted of sexual battery against an inmate or parolee, they can face felony charges and be sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Fondling carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a $5,000 fine. However, if there are prior offenses, the prison term can be 20 years.
Sex offenses are viewed seriously and punished harshly if an individual is convicted. A strong defense is necessary for a case involving one of these crimes.