SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES/CHARGES

 

INDECENT ASSAULT AND BATTERY ON A PERSON AGED FOURTEEN OR OLDER

This is not only one of the more common sexual assault type cases in District court but also one of the most serious An indecent assault and battery is an intentional and unjustified touching of a private area, including, but not limited to, the breast, abdomen, thigh, buttocks, genital or pubic areas of a female or the buttocks, genital or pubic areas of a male. Whether the body part is a “private area” is determined in the context in which the touching occurred. Consent is a defense to this charge.

To be convicted, the prosecutor must prove all of the following six elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The alleged victim was over the age of fourteen.
  2. The defendant intended to engage in the touching;
  3. The defendant committed the touching;
  4. The touching was harmful or offensive;
  5. The touching was indecent. A touching is indecent when it is contrary to societal norms and is offensive to current moral values in that would be considered “immodest, immoral and improper.”  “common understanding and practice” measure indecency. This definition gives persons of normal intelligence an opportunity to know what is proscribed. And;
  6. There was no justification or excuse for the touching.

INDECENT ASSAULT AND BATTERY ON A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF FOURTEEN

The biggest difference between this charge and when the victim is over 14, is that a child under the age of fourteen is deemed incapable of consenting to any of the conduct for which the defendant is prosecuted under this law. Thus, like statutory rape, indecent assault and battery of a child under the age of fourteen is a strict liability offense, meaning that proof of absence of consent is not required.
An indecent assault and battery on a child is an intentional and unjustified touching of a private area of a child, including, but not limited to, the breast, abdomen, thigh, buttocks, genital or pubic areas of a female or the buttocks, genital or pubic areas of a male.

To be convicted, the prosecutor must prove all of the following six elements beyond a reasonable doubt

  1. The alleged victim was under 14 years of age, regardless of any mistake as to the alleged victim’s age by the defendant;
  2. The defendant intended to engage in the touching;
  3. The defendant committed the touching;
  4. The touching was indecent; and
  5. There was no justification or excuse for the touching.

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