Sexual Assault of a Child

As difficult as it is to be facing a sex crime, being accused of sexually assaulting a child is more severe. However, the charge or allegation alone does not tell the full story. Now is the time to be proactive. You need my firm on your side – to gather all the facts and tell your side of the story. Do not talk to the police, your accuser, or their family in an attempt to clear your name as this could be damaging to your defense.

When you hire The Wilder Law Firm, you will be putting more than 25 years of experience to work for you so that we can develop the most effective defense for the facts of your case. We will investigate all aspects of your case, gather all the evidence, and make sure you fully understand what you are facing. Together, we will establish the strongest defense for you. Call us at 469-551-8609 for immediate help.

What is Sexual Assault of a Child?

In Texas, a child is anyone under the age of 17. Anyone 20 years of age or older who decides to have sex with anyone under the age of 17, even if consent is given, commits the offense known as sexual assault of a child (also known as “statutory rape”). A 17, 18, or 19 year old can legally have sex with someone under 17 years of age in limited circumstances. Specific charges regarding sex with a child will depend on the sexual acts involved. For example, a sexual encounter with a child involving violence or coercion will be charged as sexual assault of a child. On the other hand, a situation where sexual contact occurs, but penetration does not, may be charged as indecency with a child

We Will Fight These Allegations – Here’s How

We leave no stone unturned in our search to ensure we find the most effective way to defend you. This starts with a thorough investigation into the allegations and/or charges against you. While a sexual assault of a child allegation can seem overwhelming, there is hope! There are many defense options to consider when being accused, two of which are known as affirmative defenses. A few common defenses are:

  • Age and Consent
  • Legally Married
  • Lying/False Allegations
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Reasonable Doubt

Age and Consent

The first affirmative defense concerns the age of the people involved. If the age of the two people are within three years of each other, any consensual sexual act would not be a crime. For example, if two people are in a consensual relationship, but one is 16 years old and the other is 18 years old, and their sex is consensual (meaning it does not happen by use of force or coercion) the adult party can defend themselves against a sex with a minor charge. The three year window is from date of birth to date of birth. So if the adult is three years and one day older than the minor, the person would not have a valid or legal defense to the sexual act. Consent, at that point, does not matter. 

Legally Married

The second affirmative defense to a sexual assault of a child charge is if the parties are legally married. But again, if the sex was a result of violence, force, or coercion, this is not a valid defense. 

Lying/False Allegations

A third defense that you can make to a sexual assault of a child charge is that the alleged victim is lying. While many people do not like to believe that anyone would lie about sexual assault, and especially not a child, this does happen. It is a known fact that a percentage of children who make sexual allegations against adults are not telling the truth. At times a child will lie when parents are going through a divorce and fighting over the children. A child could lie to try and get to live with a more lenient parent. Additionally, one parent might coerce their child into lying about the other parent to gain custody. Just the allegation could convince a family court to grant custody to the other parent.

Mistaken Identity

Another defense applies when the child was sexually assaulted but accused the wrong person. In this situation, it is common for the child to reach out for help, but they do not want to blame the actual person, so they tell the truth about the sexual act but do not tell the truth about who actually committed the act.

Reasonable Doubt

At times the evidence and allegations just do not add up. There may not be a specific defense listed above, but there just is not enough credible evidence to prove that anything happened.

It is important to know that not knowing the true age of the child is not a defense. A child could tell you they are 17 (when they are 16 or younger), and that is not a defense. A child could show you a fake ID that you honestly believed was valid, and that is not a defense. A child can lie about their age to get into an adult chatroom to meet people for sex, and the fact that they lied to get into the adult room is not a defense.

As your lawyer, I will thoroughly investigate all the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations. I will determine each and every defense that applies to your case so we can formulate the most effective defense possible.

Penalties for Sexual Assault of a Child

You want to avoid the penalties for sexual assault of a child if at all possible because they are severe. These penalties are as follows:

Indecency with a Child: 

Sexual Assault of a Child:  

  • A prison sentence for 2-20 years.
  • A fine up to $10,000.
  • Registration as a sex offender.

Sexual Assault of a Child Under 14 Years of Age:  

  • A prison sentence for 5-99 years or life.
  • A fine up to $10,000.
  • Registration as a sex offender.

Sexual Assault of a Child Under Six Years of Age:  

  • A prison sentence for 25 years to life.
  • A fine up to $10,000.
  • Registration as a sex offender.

Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child:  

  • A prison sentence for 25 years to life. The sentence must be served day for day with no good time credit and no parole.
  • A fine up to $10,000.
  • Registration as a sex offender (upon release from prison).

Depending on the specific charge and facts, deferred adjudication and probation can be options which could keep you out of prison.

Other consequences of sexual assault of a child include:

  • Restrictions regarding where you can live.
  • Restrictions on where you can work and what jobs you can hold.
  • Inability to get certain professional licenses or loss of professional license.
  • Permanent criminal record.
  • Citizenship denial or deportation. 
  • Removal of permanent resident status or visa.
  • Visitation or custody loss of your children.
  • Right to possess firearms will be lost.
  • Voting rights loss.

Your Future is Our #1 Priority

If you or a loved one are accused or charged with sexual assault of a child, put The Wilder Law Firm in your corner. We know how to effectively defend those who hire and trust us with their future. This will be a trying time for you. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure that we formulate the best personalized defense for you and that your rights are protected. Contact us immediately at 469-551-8609 to start on your defense today.

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We are passionate and determined about what we do, and we fight for our clients. If you’ve found yourself or a loved one in trouble, don’t give up hope. We have a criminal defense attorney who can help.

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