Indecent assault and battery
Should you talk to the police when facing a sexual assault
In most instances, indecent assault and battery entails touching areas of the body that are considered private, such as the breasts, belly, buttocks, thighs, and pubic region. Other parts of the body — clothed or unclothed — that, if deliberately and unjustifiably touched, would breach our “current views of personal integrity and privacy”
A defendant may also order or command the alleged victim to touch themselves, a private part of the defendant or another person, or the victim themselves, as well as touching the alleged victim with the defendant’s own private part.
Since indecent assault and battery is not a “real motive offense,” it does not have to be committed for the purpose of sexual pleasure or arousal. The legislation forbids the act itself, not the motivation behind it.
Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under the Age of 14 is governed by G.L. c. 265, 13B, which is similar to simple Indecent A&B except that the government must show that the alleged victim was under the age of 14 at the time of the crime and does not have to prove that the alleged victim did not consent to the alleged indecent assault and battery.
What to expect when facing an indecent assault and battery
While being accused of a sex offense is often unsettling, being charged with indecent assault and battery is both unsettling and perplexing, due to the crime’s ambiguity and frequent misinterpretation. Indecent assault and battery is described as the unintentional touching of another person’s “private parts,” such as the genitals, buttocks, and breasts, without their consent. This touching, on the other hand, must be more than accidental contact. Indeed, by today’s social standards, this touching must be both deliberate and inherently offensive.
Attorney Kevin J. Mahoney is a Cambridge criminal defense attorney who has successfully represented hundreds of people convicted of sex offenses such as sexual assault and battery. Call us at 617-492-0055 to schedule a free in-office consultation if you or a loved one has been charged with a sexual crime.
G.L. c. 265, 13H, codifies and describes the offense of indecent assault and battery. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty in order to convince a jury of his or her guilt.
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The prosecutor has the duty of arguing that the defendant tried to indecently attack the alleged victim beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defendant accidentally touched the suspected victim, he or she is not guilty of the crime. An “accident” is an occurrence that occurs without the defendant’s knowledge or consent. It was an unpredictable act that no one anticipated or wanted to happen.
To defend himself or herself, a defendant can use reasonable force. Where a defendant: (1) had reason to believe he or she was being attacked or was about to be attacked, putting his or her personal safety in jeopardy; (2) took reasonable steps to avoid physical combat before using force; and (3) used just as much force as was reasonably necessary to eliminate the danger, the defendant is found not guilty of the crime. If the defendant was protecting another person from being assaulted, he or she would be entitled to the same defense.
Attorney Spring will try to bring this evidence at trial if the complaining witness has a criminal record or a history of committing violent acts. A witness’s criminal conviction is usually admissible after a certain amount of time has elapsed (convictions for misdemeanors happening during the last five years usually are admissible; convictions for felonies happening during the last 10 years usually are admissible). If the defendant claims self-defense, knowledge of the accused victim’s history of violent conduct (also known as “prior bad act” evidence) is normally admissible. Attorney Spring has a lot of experience with these kinds of cases.
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In criminal law, the word “attack” applies to a battery attempt. It means that someone deliberately puts someone in a position where they have a fair fear of harm. Sexual harassment is distinct from other forms of assault. Force, abuse, or the threat of force is used to make non-consensual sexual contact.
The severity of the penalty varies by jurisdiction. In Pennsylvania, for example, depending on how many times a person has committed this form of assault, it is known as a first- or second-degree misdemeanor.
The act of revealing one’s private parts to other people is known as indecent exposure. Although an individual could expose himself to another person, indecent assault necessitates interaction with the victim in some way.
Yes, you can contact a criminal defense attorney if you have been convicted or are under investigation for committing this crime. An attorney will examine the facts of your case and decide the best course of action for fighting the claim.