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Penalties For Child Sexual Abuse

Penalties For Child Sexual Abuse

Accused of Sexual Abuse? Fight Your Punishment

Every sex crimes charge or investigation must be taken seriously. A critical part of dealing with serious charges is understanding what penalties you face — so you can defend yourself and reach the best possible outcome.

At the law firm of Sweeney & Associates, LLC, in Massachusetts, we have defended countless clients against serious charges alleging sex crimes against children.

Don't face your sexual abuse charges alone. We can answer your questions during a free, absolutely confidential case evaluation.

Penalties For A First-Offense Child Sexual Abuse Charge

In Massachusetts, the following penalties apply to child sexual abuse crimes:

  • Rape of a child under 16 - Up to life in state prison
  • Statutory rape - Up to life in state prison
  • Aggravated statutory rape (based on size of age difference) - Up to life in state prison but a minimum of 10 years
  • Assault of a child under 16 with intent to commit rape - Up to life in state prison
  • Indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 - Up to 10 years in state prison or up to 2.5 years in jail
  • Unnatural and lascivious acts with a child under 16 - Up to five years in state prison or up to 2.5 years in jail

If you are charged with statutory rape, all the prosecution has to prove is that you had sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under 16 years old. Whether you believe the child was 16 or older does not matter.

For example, you could meet a 15-year-old girl in a club who looks or says she is older than 21, and even though it would be reasonable for you to believe the girl was at least 21, you can still be convicted of statutory rape because the girl was under 16.

If you are charged with the indecent assault and battery of a child under the age of 14, the law deems that the child was incapable of consenting to any sexual act because the child was under 14.

The law defines rape as sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse. Unnatural sexual intercourse includes digital (finger) penetration, anal or oral intercourse, including fellatio and cunnilingus. Insertion of an object into the genital or anal opening is also considered rape.

Don't Talk to Police Without A Lawyer

An independent investigation of the facts, medical report analysis and an evaluation of witness credibility by an experienced defense lawyer are critical to successfully getting charges dismissed or punishment mitigated.

If you are under investigation for committing a sex crime against a child or have been arrested, the most important thing to do is remain silent and contact an attorney.

Do not speak to the police, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or anyone else who wants to question you.

Law enforcement authorities only want a statement from you so they can make a stronger case against you, even if they say they just want to hear your side of the story. You will not be able to explain yourself to the police on your own in a way that does not seriously risk self-incrimination.

Most sex crime convictions are based in large part on the statement made by the defendant to the police. Do NOT make the same mistake. You have the right to shut up, so do it!

These types of cases often come down to credibility, especially when the crime isn't reported until months or years after it occurred because there is rarely any physical evidence to support the allegation at that point.

Contact Our Sexual Abuse Defense Lawyer For Immediate Counsel


If you have been contacted by the police or have already been arrested and charged with a sex crime, don't speak with anyone without an attorney present, and don't sign anything.

Contact our firm today because your reputation and future depend upon getting experienced, effective sexual abuse defense representation from our Quincy attorneys.

Free Case Evaluation

Sweeney & Associates, LLC is proud to offer prospective clients a complimentary initial case evaluation. We understand that every case is unique and will take this time to get to know the details of your situation and begin discussing your legal options for achieving the best possible outcome. As we understand that the reputation of you and your family is at stake, this consultation is completely confidential.

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