Sexual offenses are notoriously difficult to prosecute in Mississippi. In many cases, there are often no witnesses and, even if there were, sexual offenses are often committed in private. This means that there is often little or no physical evidence. However, that doesn’t mean that the offenders always get away with their crimes.
What is sexual battery?
Sexual battery is any sexual contact with another person without their consent. This includes sexual touching, as well as rape and attempted rape. In Mississippi, sexual battery is a felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison for a first offense and 40 years for a subsequent offense.
Children and mentally disabled persons
Sexual battery also includes sexual contact with a child or mentally disabled person. In these cases, the penalties are often more severe. A child, in this case, is anyone under the age of 16. Also, if the defendant is at least 36 months older than the child, they may face the penalties for the sexual battery of a child.
Mentally disabled persons are also seen as being unable to give consent. This includes people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and intellectual disabilities.
What if there’s no force used?
Even if the sexual contact is consensual, it can still be considered a sexual offense if force was used or threatened. This includes using physical force, as well as threats of violence or death. It may also include using drugs or alcohol to take advantage of the other person.
Sexual battery is a serious crime with severe penalties. If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual battery, it’s important to understand the charges and take the time to come up with the best possible defense. Remember that especially if you’re innocent, you have legal options, and you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your rights.