Sex crimes cover a variety of conduct including Rape, Date Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Statutory Rape, Child Molestation, Prostitution, Internet Sex Crimes, Child Enticement and Possession of Child Pornography.
What is criminal sexual conduct?
In Minnesota, the crimes of Rape, Date Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, Statutory Rape, Child Molestation and other sex crimes are now charged under the crime of “Criminal Sexual Conduct.” There are five degrees of criminal sexual conduct. The degree charged will depend upon the age of the alleged victim and age of the defendant, the type of relationship between the two and the nature of the sexual conduct.
First degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious. If you are convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct will be sentenced to at least 12 years in prison. This is true even if this is your first encounter with law enforcement (i.e. you have no criminal record).
Can the government prosecute me based only on the word of my accuser?
Yes. These are extremely serious charges that can be alleged and charged based solely upon the word of the accuser. This means that the Government does not need to prove that a sex crime occurred through the use of corroborating evidence (e.g., DNA or incriminating emails).
How do you defend against charges of criminal sexual conduct?
The defense will vary from case to case. Developing an effective defense starts with a thorough analysis of the Government’s evidence. The Government’s evidence and investigative techniques must be thoroughly analyzed so it can be determined if any evidence can be suppressed (thrown out of the case) or rebutted.
In order to rebut accusations of criminal sexual conduct, most cases will require a criminal defense investigator. An investigator will seek to find favorable defense evidence by interviewing all possible witnesses and by gathering evidence on the accuser (e.g., a background check, interviewing current and former friends, employers, and seeking out evidence of the accuser’s mental state or hospital records).
What is the punishment for criminal sexual conduct?
If you are convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct, you may be sentence to at least 12 years in prison. It does not matter if you have no prior criminal record. This is in addition to many other requirements and conditions.
What should I do if I am accused of a sex crime?
If you are accused of a sex crime or you are being investigated for one you should speak to an attorney immediately to learn about your rights, your defense, and the legal system. Contacting an attorney early on is critical. Do not discuss the accusations with anyone other than your lawyer. Contacting an alleged victim can only make your situation worse and it can lead to further criminal charges such as witness tampering.