An assault can be an attempt or threat to do bodily harm to the victim and it doesn’t require that the defendant actually touch the victim. All that matters is the defendant meant to create a fear in the victim’s mind that the defendant intended to do the victim bodily harm to the victim. As a result, an actual touching of the victim isn’t necessary to complete an assault, and no injury need be inflicted.
Rape is an extremely serious crime. A conviction for aggravated rape can carry a life sentence. Rape charges also have a tendency to play with the emotions of a jury. Most juries want to believe a crying victim over defendant charged with rape. If you feel that you have been unfairly or vindictively accused of rape, the attorneys at The Noonan Defense Firm will do everything in their power to clear your reputation, including soliciting the testimony of witnesses, exploring evidence pertaining to the plaintiff, and, in the appropriate circumstances, obtaining DNA samples to help prove your innocence.
With statutory rape, the prosecution only needs to prove the defendant had natural or unnatural intercourse with a child under age sixteen. Contrast this with forcible rape where the prosecution must show that the defendant used force or threats of bodily injury to get a child under age sixteen to have intercourse against his or her will. Whether or not the child consented, and whether force or threats of bodily injury where employed, are the main elements the prosecution has to prove in a prosecution for forcible rape of a child.
Indecent exposure is a crime governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 53. Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor offense unlike open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, which is a felony offense. A conviction for Indecent exposure can result in imprisonment in a jail for up to six months.
Prosecutions for the offense often involve situations where children were subjected to the exposure. Charges for masturbating in a public place comprise a majority of the open and gross lewdness charges. Its important to note that the victim “alarmed or shocked” to the point of suffering emotional distress and simply being offended is not enough to sustain a conviction. A finding of guilty is based largely on the temperament of the member of the public that witnessed the exposure.
As a general rule, cases of statutory rape are pursued more zealously when there’s a wide gap in age between the suspect and the victim: a 40-year-old man bedding a 15-year-old girl is more likely to be actively prosecuted than an 18-year-old college student and his underage girlfriend. Lately, there has been a groundswell of opinion that it’s overkill to prosecute teenagers and young adults for statutory rape, since a conviction will affect them for the rest of their adult lives (and may even unfairly tag them with a “sex offender” designation).
Massachusetts law officials, along with federal law enforcement officers, run hundreds of sting operations by entering chatrooms and posing as purveyors of illicit child pornography. They also will pose as minor children that are interested in having sex with adults. Law enforcement officers posing as minors may even ask if they can send pornographic images or ask adults to send them pictures. Law enforcement officers may even pose as minors interested in having sex with an adult. Once an adult sends the illegal images or the adult agrees to meet with someone whom they believe is a minor, investigators record their IP address and begin an investigation.
Fortunately, Massachusetts law does give defendants some leeway for fighting unfair charges of rape. Under this state’s “first complaint” doctrine, only the first person the alleged victim told about the rape is allowed to testify in court; previously, a district attorney was free to call on the testimony of numerous such witnesses, which often prejudiced the defendant’s case (and gave the victim ample scope to enlarge and dramatize the details of the rape). Second, it’s increasingly common to invoke DNA evidence in contested cases of rape; some alleged perpetrators have been wrongly imprisoned for years until DNA results cleared them of rape charges.