Indecent assault and battery is a felony sex crime in Massachusetts. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13H defines indecent assault and battery of a person aged 14 or older. Anyone convicted of this charge faces jail and must register as a sex offender.
What is Indecent Assault and Battery?
In order to get a conviction for indecent assault and battery the Commonwealth would have to prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt,
- The alleged victim was at least fourteen years old or older;
- The you intentionally touched the alleged victim without legal justification or excuse;
- That the touching was “indecent”;
- The alleged victim did not consent.
What is “Indecent”?
Massachusetts courts define indecent as “fundamentally offensive to contemporary standards of decency”. This means any body part considered to be “private,” i.e., breasts, buttocks or genital area. However, there are no specifically defined areas. Indecent is open to interpretation so long as a reasonable person would consider the contact to be offensive or immoral.
Specific intent is not required. Only a general intent to commit the crime is required. Finally, 6 years is the statute of limitations for indecent assault and battery cases.
Are There Any Defenses to Indecent Assault and Battery?
An experienced criminal attorney can find the best defenses based on the facts of the case. Often, consent is an issue in an indecent assault and battery case. Another defense is whether the touching was intentional.
What are the Penalties for Indecent Assault and Battery in Massachusetts?
If you are convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person aged fourteen or older, you face up to 5 years in a state prison or 2 and a half years in a house of corrections for a first offense. Then, you will also have to register for a sex offender. These consequences are severe so it is crucial you speak with an experienced defense attorney right away.
Before committing to criminal defense Patrick Donovan served as an Assistant District Attorney. Attorney Donovan uses that training and experience to get the possible for everyone he represents. As a Massachusetts criminal attorney, Patrick Donovan has successfully represented people charged with sex crimes including indecent assault and battery.
Attorney Donovan’s office is located in Quincy. He offers a free consultation and night and weekend appointments.