What is First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?
It is a FELONY. A person is guilty of this level if the following is admitted or proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
Adult complaining witness: the actor engaged in sexual penetration and one or more of the following circumstances exist:
b. The complaining witness was mentally or physically helpless and the actor knew it at the time;
Child complaining witness:
b. There was sexual contact and the complaining witness was under age 14 and:
- The complainant had a reasonable fear of imminent great bodily harm because the actor used threats, coercion, force, or a dangerous weapon;
- The complaining witness was mentally or physically helpless and the actor knew it at the time;
c. There was sexual contact and the complaining witness was under age 14 and the actor is more than 36 months older;
d. There was sexual contact and the complaining witness was at least age 14 but not age 16 and
- The actor is more than the complainant and
- The actor is in a position of authority over the complainant
e. There was sexual contact and the complaining witness was under 16 and the actor had a significant relationship with them or authority over them;
f. There was sexual contact and the complaining witness was under 16 and
- suffered personal injury
- involved multiple acts over an extended period of time, or
- used force, threats or coercion to accomplish the act.
Once again, mistake of age or consent are not defenses to these offenses. The penalties presume a prison sentence of 90 months upon conviction, and can only be stayed under narrow conditions. Conviction for this offense requires predatory registration. This is the specific charge when someone is accused of rape.
If you want to read the MN Statute outlining this offense, you can review it here.
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Do I need a lawyer if I’m charged with a sex crime?
YES! Accusations of criminal sexual conduct can have immediate consequences, such as the separation of family members or the loss of employment. Convictions for the same can have far reaching collateral consequences for the rest of a person’s life, including loss of housing or licensures, social isolation, and financial hardship. To adequately defend these charges, a defendant needs a lawyer with experience.
When Catherine represents people charged with sex crimes, she talks to them about what happened from their perspective and puts together a defense strategy that often involves talking to witnesses, gathering social media evidence, and making special motions in court.
She understands that accusations of rape, solicitation, or any other sex crime can ruin someone’s life and she’s committed to helping people fight the charges. She has won serious criminal sexual conduct trials, gotten charges dismissed, and kept people out of prison.
She knows how to work a case, and will help resolve the matter in the best interests of the client. Not every case ends up in trial, and Catherine is just as committed to negotiating a resolution that works for the client as she is to winning in front of a jury. Every situation is different and requires a unique approach. She will customize a defense that works for every client.
Catherine is an experienced criminal defense lawyer that defends against all criminal sexual conduct, solicitation, child pornography, and other sex crimes in state and federal court. If you or someone you love has been accused of a sex crime, Catherine can help. Call for a free consultation.