California Legal Team

If you have been victimized by sexual harassment in the workplace, contact our office today to speak immediately with our attorneys.

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Educate Yourself On Sexual Assault vs Rape

sexual assault vs rape

Sexual assault and rape are two criminal terms that send shivers down the spine of many people. Both acts are a violation of consent and can leave a victim struggling to recover from trauma. How does one classify the difference between sexual assault vs rape?

  • Rape is any form of unwanted penetration including anal, vaginal or oral.
  • Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact. This can refer to molestation and fondling, but also includes rape.

Rape is included under the umbrella as sexual assault. When sexual assault includes any form of penetration, it is classified as rape. Sexual assault is often used synonymously with rape.

Rape Vs Sexual Assault – How They Are Handled In The California Court Of Law

California, as a state, prohibits any unwanted touching of another person’s intimate parts with their sexual assault laws. These “intimate parts” cold be the victim’s sexual organ, anus, groin, buttocks of any person, and the breasts of a female. When the sexual assault further includes nonconsensual intercourse, it is charged as rape. Rape, therefore, is an aggravated crime of sexual assault where sexual intercourse has occurred without consent through the use of force, violence, threats or deceit.

There is a lot of public pressure associated with sex crime convictions and the penalties have increased over time – to the point where sexual assault is considered a felony. The potential consequences (both criminal and non-criminal) for perpetrators can be severe. Being charged with a sexually-related crime can fall into a number of different statutes, namely sexual battery, rape and forcible penetration with a foreign object.

To prove a case of sexual battery there are several things that need to be proven.

  1. The defendant touched the victim in intimate areas while the victim was restrained. This can be via direct contact to the victim’s skin or indirect contact through clothing.
  2. The touching of the victim was against their will, and no consent was given.
  3. The defendant had the intention of engaging in unwanted touching with the purpose of sexual gratification, sexual arousal, or sexual abuse.

In California law, the conviction of rape is punishable with a sentence of imprisonment in state prison for 3, 6 or 8 years. This sentence can increase under varying circumstances such as if the rape victim is a minor who is over the age of fourteen years of age, the victim is a child under the age of fourteen, or the defendant did not commit the criminal act alone. In addition to these imprisonment penalties, there is also the inclusion of a heavy fine.

Any person convicted of any sexual crimes are registered as a sex offender on a database that is controlled by government. This information can be given on request from neighbors and employers. In addition, sex offenders are prohibited from living nearby schools and other areas that have a lot of children.

Repercussions Of Being A Victim Of Sexual Assault

Being the victim of sexual assault in its many forms can leave one full of shame, fear, anger and emotional trauma. Many victims struggle to make, and sustain, relationships after experiencing such trauma.

State laws are constantly changing. Your legal expert will have the knowledge and information to fight your best case, up to date with legislature. California state has severe penalties for cases of sexual battery and, because the result rests heavily on statement, they can be some of the most complicated cases. This is when a legal expert in the field is a great asset due to their experience and knowledge.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault let California Legal team help you – contact our office today to speak immediately with our attorneys.


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