Baton Rouge Sex Crimes Lawyer
Sex crime allegations and convictions can change someone’s life forever. People can spend years of their lives behind bars, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and wind up with a lifetime registration as a sex offender. If you are in this situation, you need a Baton Rouge sex crimes lawyer from the Law Offices of Ossie Brown on your side. We will protect the legal rights of Louisianans facing sexual abuse charges. Additionally, we will help our clients obtain the best possible case outcome. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation with our team of top-notch criminal defense attorneys today.
What are the Main Types of Sex Crimes in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, there are two main types of sex crimes: sexual battery and rape.
According to Louisiana law, sexual battery is a type of sex offense that involves the intentional, non-consensual touching of a person’s genitals or anus. Sexual battery can also occur when someone forces a victim to touch their genitals or anus. This sexual touching can occur with or without clothes on the victim or the perpetrator. The following situations may also warrant a sexual battery charge or conviction:
- The victim is younger than 15 years old and the perpetrator is at least 3 years older than the victim.
- The perpetrator is older than 17 years of age (the age of consent in Louisiana) and the victim cannot defend themselves due to a physical disability, lack of understanding about the sexual crime, or due to “unsoundness of mind.”
- The perpetrator is older than 65 years of age and they do not have consent from the victim to engage in sexual touching.
Second degree sexual battery is basically the same thing as regular sexual battery, except the perpetrator inflicts severe bodily harm upon the victim during the act.
Oral sexual battery occurs when the perpetrator non-consensually touches the victim’s genitals or anus with their mouth or tongue. This sex crime can also occur if the perpetrator forces the victim to touch their genitals or anus with their mouth or tongue.
Lastly, misdemeanor sexual battery occurs when a perpetrator non-consensually touches the victims breasts or buttocks or the perpetrator forces the victim to touch their breasts or buttocks.
Rape occurs when a perpetrator engages in oral, vaginal, or anal sex without the victim’s consent. There must be some kind of penetration with a body part or object in order to charge someone with rape. There are three degrees of rape according to Louisiana law.
RS 14:42 states that first degree rape occurs when someone engages in non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal sex when the:
- Perpetrator uses force in response to the victim’s resistance
- Perpetrator threatens physical bodily harm so that the victim will not resist
- Offender is armed with a weapon, such as a gun, so the victim will not resist
- Crime is committed by two or more people
- Victim is younger than 13 years of age or older than 65 years of age
- Victim is partially or completely paralyzed through quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Victim is mentally disabled
RS 14:42.1 states that second degree rape occurs when someone engages in non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal sex when the:
- Perpetrator threatens the victim with severe bodily harm so they don’t resist
- Perpetrator uses force in response to the victim’s resistance
- Date rape drug (Rohypnol) or another drug is given to the victim without their knowledge so that they are unconscious during the sex crime, and therefore not able to consent or fight back
RS 14:43 states that third degree rape occurs when someone engages in non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal sex when the:
- Victim can’t resist due to intoxication or lack of understanding about the sex offense and the perpetrator knew (or should have known) about the victim’s incapacitation
- Victim is temporarily or permanently unable to understand what is happening and the perpetrator knows (or should have known) about the victim’s incapacitation
- Perpetrator lies about being someone else in order to convince the victim to submit to the act
Sex Crime Penalties in Louisiana
Louisianans who engage in non-consensual sexual misconduct can face criminal charges and penalties. Below, our sex crime lawyers list the potential consequences associated with sex crime charges in Louisiana.
Sexual Battery Penalties
Sexual battery penalties can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of the crime. If a perpetrator is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then they can face anywhere from 10 years to 99 years of prison time with or without hard labor.
If the perpetrator was older than 17 and the victim was younger than 13 at the time they committed the sex crime, then the perpetrator must spend at least 25 years behind bars. An adult offender must also spend 25 years behind bars if their victim was mentally or physically incapacitated.
Second degree sexual battery penalties are different than regular sexual battery penalties. Someone who is found guilty of this sex crime can spend up to 15 years behind bars with or without hard labor. If an adult offender (older than 17 years of age) commits this crime against a child (younger than 13 years of age), then they can spend 25 to 99 years behind bars. Lastly, if the victim was mentally or physically disabled or elderly at the time that the sex crime was committed, then they can also spend 25 to 99 years in prison.
The penalty for oral sexual battery is 25 to 99 years in jail with or without hard labor. Finally, the penalties for misdemeanor sexual battery include up to 6 months behind bars and a $1,000 fine.
The penalty for first degree rape is life behind bars at hard labor without the possibility of parole. Under Louisiana law, the district attorney can seek the death penalty for rapists whose victims were under the age of 13. However, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the death penalty is not a proportional punishment for child rape (Kennedy v. Louisiana), especially if the child didn’t die during the sexual assault and death was never intended by the perpetrator.
If someone is accused and convicted of second degree rape, they can face 5 to 40 years in jail at hard labor. Lastly, the penalty for third degree rape is up to 25 years behind bars at hard labor.
Other Sex Crimes
Other sex offenses worthy of criminal charges in Louisiana include:
- Child Pornography: It is illegal to possess, produce, promote, distribute, or have the intent to distribute child pornography. Possible penalties include 5 to 20 years behind bars without the benefit of parole and a $5,000 fine (RS 14:81.1).
- Sexting: It is illegal for people under the age of 17 years old to use a phone or computer to send sexually explicit content to another person. Penalties for a first offense include up to 10 days in jail and/or a $100 to $250 fine. Penalties for a second offense include 10 to 30 days in jail and/or a $250 to $500 fine. Lastly, penalties for a third offense include 30 days to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $500 to $750 (RS 14:81.1.1).
- Indecent Behavior With Juveniles: This crime is basically sexting a person under the age of 17 years old when there is an age difference of more than 2 years. The sexting could include words, pictures, video, or audio. Offenders can face up to 7 years in jail with or without hard labor and/or a fine of up to $5,000. If the victim is under 13 years old and the offender is older than 17 years old, the offender can face 2 to 25 years in jail at hard labor (RS 14:81).
- Sexual Abuse of a Animal is engaging in sexual contact with an animal, participating in sexual contact with an animal and someone else, coercing someone to engage in sexual contact with an animal, possessing/buying an animal with the intent to engage in sexual contact with it, allowing sexual contact with an animal to occur, or filming/possessing/distributing pornographic content of sexual contact with an animal. Penalties for a first offense include up to 5 years in jail with or without hard labor and/or a fine of up to $25,000. Penalties for a second offense include up to 10 years in jail with or without hard labor and/or a fine of up to $25,000 (RS 14:89.3).
Sex Offender Registration in Louisiana
Louisianans who are convicted of a sex crime must register as a sex offender. Generally, sex offender registry is required for the more severe sexual assault cases such as rape and sexual battery. Louisianans convicted of a misdemeanor sex crime generally don’t have to register as a sex offender. But it’s always a good idea to speak with a Baton Rouge criminal defense lawyer to make sure.
A convicted sex offender must give their name, home address, fingerprints, DNA sample, and a picture to local police to have on file. If you are convicted of a sex crime and you fail to register as a sex offender, you could face additional penalties including 2 to 10 years in jail at hard labor and/or a $1,000 fine. Penalties for second and subsequent convictions include 5 to 25 years in jail at hard labor and a $3,000 fine.
Possible Defenses for Sex Crimes
Louisiana law makes it very clear that a sex offender cannot use “lack of knowledge about a victim’s age” as a defense. However, a Baton Rouge sex crimes attorney at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown could possibly use the following defenses in your favor:
- False accusation
- Mistaken identity
- Lack of evidence
- Unreliable witness
- Faulty forensic tests
- The sexual contact was consensual
When you hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer at our law firm, we will analyze the details of your case and help you determine which defense could work in your favor.
Call a Baton Rouge Sex Crimes Lawyer at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown TodayIf you have been charged with a sex crime in Louisiana, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience. Luckily for you, our Baton Rouge legal team has decades of combined experience in defending clients charged with all sorts of crimes. We have what it takes to protect your rights and fight for the best case outcome possible. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation with us today.
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