As mentioned on last week's blog post, a teacher was arrested and charged for committing various sex crimes, including sexual assault. Though all criminal charges should be taken seriously and carry harsh penalties, there are some crimes that carry with it a social stigma, even when one is eventually cleared on all charges. Sexual offenses, including sexual assault, are a crime that, even if one is accused of, they may end up with a tarnished reputation. This can affect not only their relationships with loved ones and employment opportunities, but getting placed on the sex offender's list may also limit where someone can reside. So it is important for Maryland residents to know what sexual assault entails.
Though the laws vary state by state, generally sexual assault is any crime in which the victim is subjected to unwanted and offensive sexual touching by the offender. A number of crimes come under its ambit, from sexual groping all the way to attempted rape.
In order to prove sexual assault, it must be shown that sexual contact either took place by force, coercion or that the victim was incapacitated at the time. Incapacitation refers to the victim's mental inability to understand the nature of the sexual acts. This may be through various drugs or alcohol.
It is essential to aggressively fight sex crime charges from the onset and without wasting any time. Charges are separate from a conviction and Maryland residents faced with charges should consider various tactics to protect their rights, including consulting an attorney who can advocate for their rights and present them with the options that best suit their circumstances.
Source: FindLaw, "Sexual assault overview," Accessed on Feb. 8, 2016