Aggravated Sexual Assault Against a Child
There are 2 elements that make a sexual assault case “aggravated”: 1) young age (under 14) and 2) use of threats, force, weapons or drugs. If there is either element proven present in a sexual assault case, the charge will be aggravated.
A sexual offense committed by an adult against a child younger than 14 years turns into an aggravated sexual assault, on the basis of age. For more information about how age affects different sexual offense charges, click here. A child under the age of 14 cannot legally consent to any sexual contact, so any offense against him or her lacks consent for the purposes of prosecution. Unlike an aggravated sexual assault against an adult, there is no prerequisite of violence or force for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Its use, however, will make the charge all the more serious.
A person will face an aggravated sexual assault against a child charge if he or she intentionally or knowingly:
- causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child younger than 14 years of age by any means;
- causes the penetration of the mouth of a child younger than 14 years of age by the sexual organ of the actor;
- causes the sexual organ of a child younger than 14 years of age to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
- causes the anus of a child younger than 14 years of age to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
- causes the mouth of a child younger than 14 years of age to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.
If an actor commits a sexual offense against a child older than 14 but younger than 17, he or she can just as well be prosecuted for aggravated sexual assault. Similar to the adult aggravated sexual assault statute, an individual can be prosecuted for aggravated sexual assault of a child (one between 14-17 years of age) if he or she:
- causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode;
- by acts or words places the victim in fear that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person;
- by acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim threatens to cause the death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person;
- uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode;
- acts in concert with another who engages in conduct described by Subdivision directed toward the same victim and occurring during the course of the same criminal episode; or
- administers or provides flunitrazepam, otherwise known as rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate, or ketamine to the victim of the offense with the intent of facilitating the commission of the offense;
If the child is younger and force/violence was used, the charge becomes much more serious. The minimum term for imprisonment is increased to 25 years if 1) the child is under 6 years old or 2) the victim is younger than 14 and the actor’s conduct is contained within - of the above statute. Repeat offenders will face increased charges as well.
Recent Case Results
- State of Texas vs. ______, Aggravated Two Sexual Assault to Child, 17/14, NO BILLED
- State of Texas vs. ______, Aggravated Sexual Assault of two Children, 17/14, NO BILL (Client accused of sexually assault two children)
- State of Texas vs. ______, Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, 6/12, NO BILLED