If you or a loved one recently became the victim of a sexual crime, you may be struggling with difficult questions like:
- Will the person responsible go to prison?
- What if the court fails to convict?
- Can third parties be held liable for enabling the abuse?
- How can a victims' rights lawyer help?
We understand the painful difficulties your family is facing and we know how to help.
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Is your family looking for accountability, justice, and financial support after you or a loved one has become the victim of sexual assault or child sexual abuse? You may be wondering how the Alabama criminal justice system may handle the prosecution of the sexual predator responsible for the crime. We've summarized Alabama's criminal sexual assault statutes below, which can give you a rough idea of how much time your offender may face. But these laws do change, so you may need to discuss the details of your case with an experienced victims' rights lawyer.
How A Victims’ Rights Lawyer Can Help
Crimes of a sexual nature are taken seriously by police departments. However, these criminal investigations don’t always prioritize the needs of victims. Instead, the criminal justice system focuses on punishing offenders. If you or a loved one has recently become a victim of sexual assault or child sexual abuse, it’s important to protect your legal rights.
Our experienced Alabama sexual assault lawyers can help you hold responsible any parties who may have allowed your assault to occur because of negligence. To find out more about how you can get all the support you need during this difficult time, contact us today for a free consultation.
Sex Crime Laws In Alabama
If you or a loved one has recently become the victim of a sexual crime, you may be wondering how your state’s sex crime laws might apply to your case. We’ve briefly summarized all of Alabama’s sexual assault and child sexual abuse laws below.
While criminal prosecution is an important part of the healing process for many victims, it’s important to remember that criminal courts are focused on punishment. In order to hold all negligent parties responsible and ensure you get the support you need, it may be necessary to speak with a civil Alabama sexual assault victims’ lawyer.
Child Sexual Abuse Laws
Alabama has several laws on the books which specifically apply to sexual crimes committed against children.
Electronic Solicitation Of A Child
Electronic solicitation of a child is a Class B felony in Alabama, punishable by no less than two years and no more than 20 years in prison. Anyone who uses electronic means to knowingly attempt to persuade a child to engage in sexual activity can be found guilty of this crime. This includes the use of the computers, the Internet, cell phones, video game systems, cameras, and any other electronic communication or storage device. This law can also be enforced as a statutory charge in cases where the minor consented to the solicitation but was younger than Alabama’s Age of Consent (16 years old).
Enticing Child To Enter Vehicle, House, Etc., For Immoral Purposes
Alabama has a law which specifically prohibits adults from enticing, persuading, inviting, or attempting to entice, persuade, or invite a minor into any vehicle, room, house, office, or another setting for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. This is a Class C felony and punishable by no less than one year and one day and no more than 10 years in prison.
Facilitating Solicitation Of Unlawful Sexual Conduct With A Child
Anyone who facilitates unlawful sexual conduct with a child through the dissemination of the child’s name, telephone number, place of residence, geographical locational, physical characteristics, or any other identifying information is guilty of a Class C felony under Alabama law. This crime is punishable by at least one year and one day in prison, with a maximum sentence of 10 years.
School Employee Engaging In Sexual Activity With A Minor Student
In Alabama, it’s illegal for a school employee to engage in sexual contact with any student under 19 years of age – even if the sexual activity is consensual. This crime is classified as a Class B felony and punishable by no less than two years and no more than 20 years in prison.
Alabama classifies sexual abuse into two categories:
- First-degree – First-degree sexual abuse applies in situations where someone forces sexual contact against the victim’s will or engages in sexual contact with someone who is unable to consent because they’re physically helpless or mentally incapacitated. Sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class C felony, punishable by no less than one year and one day and no more than 10 years in prison
- Second degree – A person can be charged with sexual abuse in the second degree if he or she subjects someone else to unconsented sexual contact when the reason for the inability to consent is something other than being under the age of consent. This charge also applies to cases when someone 19 years old or older subjects someone to sexual activity who is under 16 but older than 12 years old. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $6,000. If it’s a second offense within one year, the charge is bumped up to a Class C felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Transmitting Obscene Material To A Child By Computer
Anyone who uses a computer to transmit obscene material to a child is guilty of a Class B felony in Alabama – punishable by 2-20 years in prison. This applies to transmissions that either originate or are received in Alabama and includes all types of sexual content. Anyone charged with this crime will be tried as an adult regardless of their age, and the records for these cases are not sealed or subject to expungement.
Sexual Assault Laws
Alabama has separate laws for handling sexual crimes committed against adults. We’ve briefly summarized these sexual assault laws below:
In Alabama, rape cases are broken down into either the first or second degree:
- First-degree rape – Someone can be charged with rape in the first degree if they engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force, with someone who is incapable of consent because they’re physically helpless or mentally incapacitated, or if he or she is 16 years or older and engages in sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 12 years old. First-degree rape is a Class A felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of a life sentence.
- Second-degree rape – Second-degree rape charges apply to cases in which someone 16 years or older engages in consensual sexual intercourse with someone less than 16 and more than 12 years old. There also must be at least a 2-year age difference between the two parties. Someone can also be charged with second-degree rape if the other person is incapable of consent because of mental disabilities. This crime is a Class B felony and punishable by 2-20 years in prison.
It’s illegal to knowingly marry or engage in sexual intercourse with someone you know to be, either legitimately or illegitimately:
- An ancestor or descendant by blood or adoption;
- A brother or sister of whole or half-blood or by adoption;
- A stepchild or stepparent while the marriage creating the relationship still exists;
- Aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces – both whole or half-blood relatives
Alabama classifies incest as a Class C felony, punishable by a minimum of one year and one day in prison and a maximum of 10 years.
Someone may be charged with sexual misconduct in any of the following scenarios:
- A male engages in sexual intercourse with a female without her consent, or with her consent where the consent was obtained by some form of fraud or artifice.
- A female engages in sexual intercourse with a male without his consent
- He or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person, even if it’s consensual.
Sexual misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in prison and a fine of up to $6,000.
Sexual torture charges may be levied against anyone who uses inanimate objects to penetrate another person’s vagina, anus, or mouth with the intent to inflict sexual torture or abuse. This crime is a Class A felony, punishable by anywhere from 10 to 99 years in prison and a maximum fine of $60,000. In cases where the defendant was 21 years old or older and the victim was six years old or younger, there is a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.