Indecent assault and battery is a felony sex crime in Massachusetts. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13H defines it. Also, anyone convicted of this must register as a sex offender.
What is Indecent Assault and Battery?
A conviction for indecent assault and battery requires the prosecutor to prove four elements:
- The alleged victim was at least fourteen years old or older;
- Intentionally touched the alleged victim without legal justification or excuse;
- Also, That the touching was “indecent”;
- And, The alleged victim did not consent.
What is makes it an “Indecent Assault”?
It is defined as “fundamentally offensive to contemporary standards of decency.” That means certain body parts are “private.” For example, breasts, buttocks, or genital areas are “private” areas. However, there are no specifically defined areas. Also, indecent is open to interpretation so long as a reasonable person would consider the contact to be offensive or immoral.
This is a general intent crime. General intent crimes do not require proof the person intended to commit a crime. Therefore, the prosecutor does not need to prove the defendant intended to commit this crime. Another general intent crimes are statutory rape.
The statute of limitations is 6 years in Massachusetts.
An experienced criminal attorney can find the best defenses based on the facts of the case. Often, consent is another possible defense. Also, 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 as a sex offender. In conclusion, the 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 outcome for everyone he represents. As a Massachusetts criminal attorney, Patrick Donovan has successfully represented people charged with sex crimes.
Attorney Donovan’s office is located in Quincy. He offers a free consultation and night and weekend appointments.