Victims of sexual abuse and their families often struggle with how to find justice. If your family is in this tragic situation, you may be wondering:
- What are our options if the court fails to convict?
- Can third parties be held liable for covering up or enabling abuse?
- What are the benefits of filing a civil sexual abuse lawsuit?
Our Idaho sexual abuse victims' lawyers are prepared to help your family find justice.
All parties who played a role in committing or enabling sexual abuse must be held accountable for the harm they've caused.
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When an innocent person becomes the victim of a sexual predator, he or she may feel uncertain about reporting the crime to the authorities. Many of these victims may want to see their abusers brought to justice but are hesitant to press charges out of fear that this could just extend their trauma further. While we understand these anxieties, reporting your crime can help make sure the person who abused or assaulted you is taken off the street before he or she can harm another victim.
Idaho's Criminal Sexual Assault & Abuse Laws
If you’re curious about how your state’s sexual abuse laws could affect the criminal prosecution of your offender, we’ve provided a basic summary of Idaho’s sexual abuse laws in the section below. But remember that the criminal justice system is one of two legal avenues available for victims of sexual assault.
Taking legal action through a civil lawsuit can help provide the financial support victims need, which the criminal justice system often fails to provide.
Our Idaho sexual abuse and assault lawyers help these victims seek justice through the civil court system.
Benefits of taking legal action in a civil sexual abuse lawsuit include:
- Holding perpetrators liable
- Holding negligent third parties liable for enabling abuse
- Providing financial support for economic and noneconomic losses related to abuse
Laws Prosecuting Sex Crimes Against Children
Idaho has five state laws which are specifically used to prosecute sexual offenders who commit crimes against children:
Enticing Of Children
If an adult attempts to persuade or persuades a minor child under 16 years old to either leave their home or school, enter a vehicle or building, or enter a structure or enclosed area concealed from the public, that adult is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months of prison and/or a fine up to $1,000. On subsequent offenses, this charge is upgraded to a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Enticing a child through the use of the internet or other communication device is a related and more serious charge. A person may be considered guilty of this crime if he or she is 18 years of age or older and uses the internet or any device capable of communication to solicit, seduce, lure, persuade, or entice a child under 16 years old to engage in sexual acts. This crime is charged as a felony with a maximum imprisonment of 15 years.
Lewd Conduct With A Minor Child Under 16
Any adult who engages in any type of sexual activity with a minor under 16 years old is guilty of lewd conduct with a minor child under 16. This crime is a felony in Idaho and punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Sexual Exploitation Of A Child
A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a child when that person knowingly and willfully does any of the following:
- Possesses or accesses through any means (including but not limited to the internet) any sexually explicit content involving children
- Causes, induces, or permits a child to engage in sexual conduct for the purpose of producing sexually exploitative material
- Promotes, prepares, publishes, produces, finances, or is in any way involved with sexually exploitative material involving children
- Distributes sexually explicit content involving children
This crime is a felony punishable by 10-30 years in prison and/or a fine between $10,000-$50,000.
Ritualized Abuse Of A Child
Any person who commits sexual and/or violent acts against a child (anyone under 18 years old) as part of a ceremony, rite, ritual, or similar observance is guilty of ritualized abuse of a child. This crime is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Sexual Abuse Of A Child Under 16
A person over 18 years old who engages in any of the following behaviors with the intent of gratifying the sexual desires of the person, child, or a third party is guilty of a felony:
- Soliciting a minor under 16 years old to perform in a sexual act
- Causing or have any form of sexual contact not covered under the lewd conduct law
- Making photographic or electronic records of a minor child
- Inducing, causing, or permitting a minor child to witness a sexual act
Sexual abuse of a child under 16 is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Sexual Battery Of A Minor 16 Or 17 Years Of Age
In Idaho, it’s a felony for any person at least 5 years older than a minor child who is 16 or 17 years old to engage in any type of sexual activity with that child. This includes all of the acts listed in sexual abuse of a child under 16. This felony is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Criminal Statutes For Sexual Crimes Against Adults
In Idaho, there are three main laws used to prosecute sexual offenders who commit crimes against adults:
According to Idaho law, rape is defined as sexual penetration under any of the following circumstances:
- Where the victim is under 16 years old and the perpetrator is 18 years of age or older
- Where the victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is at least 3 years older than the victim
- Where the victim is incapable of giving legal consent because of mental illness, mental disability, or developmental disability
- The victim resists but the perpetrator uses force or violence
- The victim is unable to resist because of threats, bodily harm, or the administration of intoxicants, narcotics, or anesthetics
- The victim cannot resist due to a belief that the resistance would be futile or result in further injury
- The victim is unconscious or unaware of the nature of the sexual act
Rape is a felony in Idaho, punishable by 1 year to life in prison based on judicial discretion.
Sexual Abuse & Exploitation Of A Vulnerable Adult
In Idaho, a “vulnerable adult” is legally defined as any person 18 years of age or older who is unable to protect themselves from abuse, neglect, or exploitation because of a mental impairment which affects their judgment or behavior to an extent which limits their ability to make, communicate, or implement decisions.
Any person who subjects a vulnerable adult to any type of sexual contact is guilty of sexual abuse, a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $25,000.
If a person is involved in the production or possession of sexually explicit material involving a vulnerable adult, he or she is also guilty of a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Sexual Exploitation By A Medical Care Provider
In Idaho, it’s illegal for any physician, surgeon, dentist, psychotherapist, chiropractor, nurse, or another medical professional to engage in sexual contact with any of their patients or clients. This crime is known as sexual exploitation by a medical care provider and is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.
Seeking Justice For Sexual Assault Victims In Idaho
If you or a loved one has recently survived as the victim of a sexual crime, our Idaho sexual assault victims’ rights lawyers want to help. We can help you understand your legal options in a free consultation. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can find justice after becoming the victim of sexual assault or child sexual abuse.