Sexual abusers and the organizations that enable them must be held accountable for their callousness. If your family has recently been affected by a sexual crime, you may be concerned with several questions:
- How long will the person responsible be incarcerated?
- Can we sue the organization or covered up or failed to prevent the abuse?
- How can a civil sexual abuse lawsuit help our family?
Our Connecticut sexual abuse victims' rights lawyers understand the pain your family is dealing with. We want to help you find justice.
Our lawyers are proud to help the families victimized by sexual assault find the justice they deserve.
"Great." They made sure the people responsible for our child's abuse were held accountable.
In Connecticut, sexual crimes are prosecuted using combinations of nine different laws. Most of these laws include both cases of child sexual abuse and sexual assault committed against adults, but the penalties may vary depending on the unique circumstances of each crime. We’ve summarized Connecticut’s sexual assault and abuse laws in the section below.
Your Rights As A Survivor Of Sexual Violence
If you or a loved one has recently suffered as a victim of a traumatic sexual assault or incident of child sexual abuse, it’s important to understand your rights. The criminal justice system will handle the process of prosecuting your attacker, but this is only part of the puzzle.
Survivors of crime often need to turn to civil courts in order to get the full support they need during recovery. Our experienced Connecticut sexual assault victims’ lawyers are proud to help survivors assert their legal rights and recover financial compensation for damages related to the crime, including medical bills, therapy, lost wages, and more.
For answers to your questions and concerns as a victim of a sexual crime, contact our Connecticut victims’ rights lawyers today and learn more in a free consultation.
First Degree Sexual Assault
In Connecticut, someone can be found guilty of first-degree sexual assault if he or she forces another person to engage in sexual intercourse through violence, threats, and other forms of coercion. These charges also apply when the victim is under 13 years old and the actor is more than two years older than the victim, when two or more other people are present during the act, and when the victim is mentally incapacitated and cannot consent to the sexual activity.
First-degree sexual assault can either be a Class A or Class B felony. Class A felonies are reserved for especially heinous crimes involving a victim under age 16 and the use of violence or threats of violence, or when the victim is under 13 and the offender is more than two years older. A Class B felony is punishable by 1-20 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine, while a Class a felony is punishable by 25-60 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.
Aggravated Sexual Assault – First Degree
A person can be charged and found guilty of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree if he or she commits first-degree sexual assault involving one or more of the following conditions:
- The offender is armed with and threatens to use a deadly weapon during the crime
- The offender intentionally disfigures or permanently disable the victim
- The offender puts the victim’s life in danger
- The offender is aided by two or more other people during the crime.
Aggravated sexual assault in the first degree can be either a Class A felony (25-60 years in prison; up to a $20,000 fine) or Class B felony (1-20 years in prison; up to $15,000 fine) depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime.
Aggravated Sexual Assault Of A Minor
Aggravated sexual assault of a minor charges apply if an offender commits sexual assault against a victim who is under 13 years old, and one or more of the following conditions apply:
- The offender kidnapped or illegally restrained the victim
- The offender stalked the victim
- The offender used violence to commit the sexual offense
- The offender caused physical injuries or disfigurement to the victim
- There were multiple victims under 13 years old
- The offender was not known to the victim
- The offender had previously been convicted of a violent sexual assault
This crime is a Class A felony punishable by a mandatory sentence of 25 years on a first offense and 50 years for any subsequent offense. These sentences are not eligible to be suspended or reduced by the court.
Second Degree Sexual Assault
A person can be convicted of sexual assault in the second degree for several different types of sexual offenses. This charge can be enforced on a statutory basis if one of the people involved in the sexual activity is younger than the age of consent, even if that person willingly engaged in the activity. A person may be found guilty of second-degree sexual assault if he or she has sex with another person and one or more of these conditions apply:
- The other person is between 13-15 years old and the actor is more than three years older
- The other person is impaired because of mental instability or disease which makes them unable to consent
- The other person is physically helpless
- The other person is younger than 18 years old and the actor is their guardian or responsible for their supervision
- The other person is in custody of law enforcement or detained at a hospital or other institution and the actor is in a position of authority
- The actor is a psychotherapist and the other person is their patient
- The actor is a healthcare professional who fraudulently claims the sexual activity is for medical reasons
- The actor is a school employee and the other person is a student
- The actor is an athletic coach who instructs the other person
Second-degree sexual assault can either be a Class B (1-20 years in prison; $15,000 maximum fine) or Class C felony (1-10 years; $10,000 max fine), which depends on the circumstances of the case. If the victim is under 16 years old, the charge will be brought as a Class B felony.
Third Degree Sexual Assault
Sexual assault in the third-degree charges apply to offenses where one person uses force or the threat of force to compel another person to engage in any form of sexual contact. This crime is a Class D felony (1-5 years in prison; maximum fine of $5,000) or a Class C felony (1-10 years in prison; maximum fine of $10,000) if the victim is under 16 years old.
Fourth Degree Sexual Assault
Someone can be found guilty of sexual assault in the fourth degree for incidents of sexual activity involving the following circumstances:
- The victim is under 13 years old and the offender is more than two years older
- The victim is between 13-15 years old and the offender is more than three years older
- The victim is mentally incapacitated or impaired because of mental disability or disease which leaves them unable to consent
- The victim is physically helpless
- The victim is less than 18 years old and the actor is their guardian or responsible for their welfare
- The victim is in custody of law enforcement or detained in a hospital or other institution and the actor has authority over them
- Sexual contact occurs without the other person’s consent
- Sexual acts involving animals and dead bodies
- The offender is a psychotherapist and the victim is their patient
- The offender is a healthcare professional who fraudulently claims the sexual contact is for medical purposes
- The offender is a school employee and the victim is a student enrolled at their school
- The offender is an athletic coach and the victim is one of his coaching subjects or under 18 years old
- The actor is 20 years old or older, in a position of authority over the victim, and the victim is under 18 years old
Fourth-degree sexual assault can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor (up to 1 year in prison; maximum $2,000 fine) or if the victim is under 16 years old, a Class D felony (1-5 years in prison, maximum fine of $5,000).
Sexual Assault – Third Degree With A Firearm
If a person commits sexual assault in the third degree (as outlined above) and uses, is armed with, threatens to use, displays, or suggests they have a firearm during the commission of the crime, they’ll be charged with sexual assault in the third degree with a firearm. This crime is a Class C felony or, if the victim is younger than 16 years old, a Class B felony.
Sexual Assault In The Spousal Or Cohabitating Relationship
Connecticut has a separate law for dealing with sexual assault within a marriage or cohabitating relationship. If one person forces the other to engage in sexual intercourse through the use of a dangerous weapon, physical force, superior physical strength, or any other form of force or violence, he or she will be found guilty of sexual assault in the spousal or cohabitating relationship. This crime is a Class B felony punishable by 1-20 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.