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Aggravated sexual assault versus sexual assault charges

Sexual assault is a serious crime that can land you in prison or with heavy penalties of other kinds if you're convicted. Sexual assault is actually another term for rape, which can be defined in several ways by law. Essentially, if a victim is forced to participate in any number of prohibited sexual activities, then that can be considered rape or sexual assault.

Another charge that some may face is called aggravated sexual assault. This is a charge your attorney will want to help you protect yourself against, because it's easy for a case to go from a simple sexual assault to an aggravated charge. This might be the charge if any of these events took place during the sexual assault:

-- If the victim had a fear of death or serious bodily injury to him or herself or another person

-- If a date rape drug was used

-- If the victim was under 14 years old

-- If the victim was elderly

-- If the victim was a disabled person

-- If a deadly weapon was present during the crime

-- If serious bodily injury or attempted murder took place.

There are some defenses to the charge of sexual assault. For instance, if the person who allegedly committed sexual assault actually was performing medical duties, then that would not constitute sexual assault. If the charge of sexual assault was placed against a consenting adult no more than three years older than the minor who was also consenting, then this could relieve the adult of a charge of statutory rape and sexual assault.

Source: FindLaw, "Texas Sexual Assault Laws," accessed June 07, 2016

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