Understanding the Complicated World of Sex Crimes
According to a study done at The University of Texas at the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault about 6.3 million Texans have experienced some form of sexual assault in their lifetime. A sex crime is any type of crime or act that is involves any form of sexual assault, rape, molestation, illegal child pornography, and or sexual harassment. The state of Texas is known to be highly aggressive towards prosecuting sex crime cases, especially when the case in question is against minors. In this article, you will learn exactly the differences of the laws and what to do if accused of a sex crime.
Types of Sex Crimes
Many people are unclear as to what exactly are the differences between these terms. The various types of sex crimes are clearly explained:
Sexual harassment does not have to be of sexual nature in order to be accused. Even offensive statements about and individuals sex can fall under the category of sexual harassment, man or woman. Various other more common scenarios like physical or verbal harassment of a physical nature, unwanted sexual advances, and even requests for sexual favors could be considered sexual harassment in Texas, according to the EEOS (U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
Child Sexual Abuse
Even though men and women can be victims of sexual harassment, children are far more at risk and frequent victims in the state of Texas. In one year, 65,000 cases of child abuse were confirmed in Texas, according to the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas. The definition of child abuse is part of the Texas Family Code, which was created to protect the child from the abuser with civil action like removing the child from the home. According to Chapter 261 of the Family Code (recodified in 1995), “child abuse is an act or omission that endangers or impairs a child’s physical, mental or emotional health and development.”
Some forms of child sexual abuse are:
- Sex Trafficking
- Exhibitionism (exposing yourself to a minor)
- Phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction with sexual intent
- Sharing, producing, and owning pornographic content containing children
Though, sexual abuse can happen at any given age, molestation however, is specific to younger children. At such a young age, the child’s gentiles are far too small for sexual intercourse. Since a young child cannot perform these actions, molestation occurs when:
- The child is touched in an inappropriate manner
- Performs oral sex
- Watches an adult masturbate
Children are effected by molestation for life with psychological symptoms like post-traumatic disorder, depression, anxiety, and even bulimia nervosa. With as many as 80% of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder at age 21.
Rape is a form of sexual assault that is classified as the legal definition for sexual intercourse without consent. “Statutory rape” is commonly used to refer to sexual penetration that is illegal because it involves a youth, however, In the state of Texas, there is no specific statutory rape statue. This is covered under § 22.011 (Sexual Assault “Against a child”), § 22.021 (Aggravated Sexual Assault “Against a child”) and Indecency with a Child § 22.11. Other forms of sexual assault consist of:
- Attempted Rape
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
- Forcing someone to perform sexual acts
In many cases it is important to understand what exactly “force” means. In the context of sexual assault, it doesn’t only mean physical force, it could also include emotional or psychological force, or even a manipulation.
The possession, distribution, and/or production or child pornography is already a federal crime. The law states, according to 18 U.S.C. § 1466A (2008), child pornography is any drawing, photograph, video, etc. of minors in sexually explicit scenes or acts. In the state of Texas any child sexual crime is treated heavily and can lead to a minimum conviction of five years to twenty years in prison along with heavy fines. Plus, extra time in a supervised sex offender release program and mandatory registration into the states sex offender public database.
Why Defend These Types of Cases?
It is true, the number of these cases have increased in the past ten years. Commonly, the people who are being accused and prosecuted are usually citizens that have no prior legal problems and lead upstanding lives. Resulting in their reputation destroyed by the allegation, leading to them lose their marriage, job, children and other relationships.
Due to the ease of access to the internet, what appears to occur very often is curious and bored people get mixed up in a problem on the internet and end up digging themselves in a hole deeper than they could ever imagine. With pop-ups and software’s that are designed to trap the user. Many sex crimes defense attorneys believe that these people are like addicts and need treatment instead of long sentences in prison. Many law offices understand the criminal issues at hand, but are extremely concerned when state federals find delight in destroying lives of these upstanding citizens that truly may just need counseling and support.
Sex crime allegations occur all the time in Texas and many of those allegations are false. Houston sex crime defense attorney Mary E Conn, stated a study done by OSU that said, “over 10,000 people are falsely imprisoned every year in America.”
What to Do If Accused of a Sex Crime
If you or someone you know is a subject of a child sex abuse accusation, it is important you take the proper steps to protect your reputation and future immediately. In many cases, these allegations are conquerable, but whoever is being accused must act quickly.
Following a sex crime investigation, you will most likely be contact by the local police or even the Department of Family Based Services. These people will proceed to ask you information about your case, do not speak to these people. Instead, tell them you would like to speak to your sex crimes lawyer, or you could simply refer them to your attorney. Avoid contact with any other children that may be involved in your life and most importantly, as mentioned above do not talk to anyone but your lawyer.