Sexual abuse charges carry with them not just harsh legal penalties, but also harsh social penalties because of the damage that can be done to your personal and professional reputation. The damage done to your reputation increases exponentially if you are charged with sexual abuse of a child. Most instances of sexual abuse lead to charges in the state where a crime occurred, but there are still some instances that could lead to federal charges for sexual abuse of a minor that could require the legal guidance from a skilled Ohio federal crime lawyer.
What Makes Sexual Abuse of a Minor a Federal Crime?
If abuse happened on federal lands, then sexual abuse of a minor can be prosecuted as a federal crime. Federal lands are defined by statute, but include areas such as military bases and Indian territories. Federal prisons and other detention facilities are also specifically named in the law as areas where sexual abuse of a minor is considered a federal crime.
Definition of Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Sexual abuse of a minor occurs when someone knowingly engages in a sexual act with another person who
- has attained the age of 12 years but has not attained the age of 16 years; and
- is at least four years younger than the person so engaging.
Under the law, an attempt at the action is also considered sexual abuse and faces the same penalties.
The penalties for sexual abuse of a minor include a prison term of up to 15 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and mandatory restitution to the victim.
There are additional laws that apply to the sexual abuse of children. If a child is under 12 years of age or the sexual act is engaged in by force or threat, it would be considered aggravated sexual abuse. If the action is sexual contact instead of a sexual act, the crime would be considered abusive sexual conduct.
Defenses for Sexual Abuse of a Minor
When prosecuting sexual abuse of a minor charges, the government does not need to prove that the defendant knew the age of the other person or knew of the age difference between the defendant and the victim. However, it is a defense if it can be proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant reasonably believed that the other person was at least 16 years old.
The law also provides for a defense if the defendant establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the persons engaging in the sexual act were married to each other at the time.
Let an Ohio Federal Crime Lawyer Help You
If you are facing a federal sex abuse of a minor charge, you are facing harsh criminal penalties and damage to your name that you will have to carry with you the rest of your life. But the law does provide you with an opportunity to defend yourself. You want an experienced attorney who can provide you with a strong defense in federal court. The Ohio federal criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates have years of experience handling federal cases and reaching the best possible outcomes for our clients.
Facing federal criminal charges? Contact us.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you’re probably wondering what your options are. An Ohio federal crime lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates has years of experience handling these types of cases and winning optimal outcomes for our clients. Call an Ohio federal crime lawyer today for a free consultation. To contact a criminal defense attorney, call us at (614) 500-3836 or email us via [email protected].