If someone is accusing you of rape or another sexually-motivated crime, it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with Pennsylvania’s laws pertaining to sexual offenses. If the state is filing criminal charges against you, it will be up to the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed.
If you are found guilty of rape or another sexual offense, you could face prison, fines, or both.
Under Pennsylvania law, sexual assault victims who are over the age of 18 have up to 12 years to report the sexual assault, whereas young victims, under 18 born before August 27, 2002 can file criminal charges against their alleged abuser up to 12 years after their 18th birthday.
Is rape a misdemeanor or a felony?
Under Section 3121, rape is a felony of the first degree when the offender engages in sexual intercourse with a victim:
- By using force,
- By threat of forcible compulsion that prevents the victim of resisting,
- Who is unaware that they are being raped, or who is unconscious,
- Who is significantly impaired because the offender administered, without the victim’s knowledge, drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicants as to prevent resistance, or
- Who is mentally disabled and therefore incapable of consenting.
Under Section 31221.1, statutory sexual assault is a felony of the second degree.
A person commits statutory sexual assault when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a minor who is under the age of 16 and the offender is: 1) 4 to 7 years older than the minor, or 2) 8 to 11 years older than the victim.
Statutory sexual assault is prosecuted as a felony of the first degree when the offender has sex with a minor that is under the age of 16 and the offender is 11 or more years older than the minor.
Under Section 15.66, a felony of the first degree is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000.
A felony of the second degree is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000.
We are only scratching the surface on sexual offenses criminalized under Pennsylvania law. Other common offenses include sexual assault (second degree felony), aggravated indecent sexual assault (second degree felony), involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (first or second degree felony) and more.
If you’re facing criminal charges for a sex offense, you need an aggressive defense. Call Crisp & Associates, LLC for a free consultation!