Sexual Assault The Experience of a Former Prosecutor

Corpus Christi Sexual Assault Attorney

Defending Against Sexual Assault Allegations

Sexual assault, commonly referred to as rape, involves nonconsensual sexual contact or penetration. Texas law defines various instances when it is considered that an alleged victim did not give consent to participate in or submit to the conduct. The issue of consent only involves matters between two adults. Whether consent was given is irrelevant if the act was allegedly committed against a minor. Sexual assault is a felony, with penalties including imprisonment for up to 99 years and a requirement to register as a sex offender. Because of the serious consequences of a conviction and the complexities of these matters, if you have been charged, waste no time in hiring a criminal defense attorney for your case.

An experienced and fierce sexual assault lawyer in Corpus Christi, I, Robert J. Gonzalez, know what it takes to fight these allegations. Before beginning my practice as a defense attorney, I was a Municipal Court Judge and a prosecutor. I have in-depth knowledge of the court system and know the other side's tactics in building and arguing a case. With me on your side, you will receive comprehensive legal representation informed by unique insights and legal experience. I will employ my extensive resources and impressive talents to seek a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Discuss your case with a Corpus Christi sexual assault attorney by contacting me at (361) 309-9332 today.

What Is Considered Sexual Assault in Texas?

Texas Penal Code § 22.011 is the statute concerning sexual assault. The offense involves unwanted and unlawful sexual conduct between two people when the alleged offender acted intentionally or knowingly.

Sexual conduct includes the alleged actor:

  • Penetrating another person’s anus or sexual organ,
  • Penetrating another person’s mouth with the actor’s sexual organ, or
  • Causing anyone’s sexual organ to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of anyone else, including the actor themselves.

The primary factor in a sexual assault case is the issue of consent. The act is considered illegal when the other person does not permit the actor to engage in it with them.

Under Texas law, sexual conduct is nonconsensual if it were achieved:

  • Through force, violence, coercion;
  • Through a threat of force or violence that the other person believed the actor could carry out;
  • When the actor knew that the other person was unconscious or unable to resist;
  • When the actor knew that a mental disease or defect prevented the other person from understanding what was happing or from opposing;
  • When the actor knew that the other person was unaware of the act happening;
  • When the actor administered a substance to the other person, impairing the other person;
  • Through threat of force or violence against any other person;
  • When the actor is in any of the following roles in relation to the other person and threatens to expose the other person’s dependency on them:
    • Mental health services provider,
    • Clergyman,
    • Employee of a residential care facility,
    • Coach or tutor, or
    • Caregiver;
  • When the actor uses their role as a public servant to force the other person to participate; or
  • When the actor is a medical professional performing an assisted reproductive procedure and uses material from a donor the other person did not consent to.

What Is Sexual Assault of a Child?

Similar to sexual assault involving adults, sexual assault of a child occurs when someone causes penetration or contact between the mouth, anus, or sexual organs of a minor or any other person, including the actor themselves.

The offense also involves contact of the child’s:

  • Anus with the mouth or sexual organ of someone else, or
  • Mouth with the anus or sexual organ of another person.

Consent is not an issue in cases of sexual assault committed against a child. Regardless of whether the child knowingly and willingly agreed to participate or submit, a person can still be charged if the minor was someone under 17 years of age. Additionally, it’s not a defense for the alleged actor to claim that they weren’t aware of the child’s age.

What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault of an adult or minor is one of the most severe crimes.

Generally, it is a second-degree felony, with potential penalties including:

  • 2 to 20 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

The offense could be elevated to a first-degree felony if it were committed against a minor the actor was prohibited from marrying.

A first-degree felony is punishable by:

  • 5 to 99 years of imprisonment and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

A conviction for sexual assault – whether charged as a first- or second-degree felony – can also trigger a sex offender registration requirement.

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Fighting a Sexual Assault Charge

An allegation of sexual assault is serious, but the case isn’t hopeless. Although it is important that these matters are appropriately pursued, it’s equally important to ensure that someone isn’t wrongfully convicted or subject to unnecessarily harsh punishments. Depending on the facts, defenses can be raised, such as false accusations or consensual conduct. Allow me to review your case and determine a path forward.

Speak with a Corpus Christi sexual assault lawyer by contacting me at (361) 309-9332. Your initial consultation is free.

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