Louisiana Sexual Crime Statutes – Sexual Assault & Abuse Victims’ Lawyers

Louisiana Sexual Crime Statutes – Sexual Assault & Abuse Victims’ Lawyers2018-09-19T16:42:29+00:00
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Survivors of child sexual abuse and sexual assault often struggle to move on from their trauma. If you or a loved one recently suffered as the victim of a sexual crime, you may have worries like:

  • Will the person responsible be brought to justice?
  • What if there's no arrest or conviction?
  • How can filing a civil sexual abuse lawsuit help?

Our Louisiana sexual abuse victims' lawyers are here to help your family get through this dark time.

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If your family has recently been affected by sexual assault, child sexual abuse, or another sex crime, you may be wondering how the legal system will prosecute those responsible for the crime. We’ve summarized Louisiana’s sexual crime statutes below as a reference for victims.

While you may feel hesitant to report the crime, remember that speaking out can prevent other victims from suffering harm at the hands of the same sexual predator.

Criminal Laws On Sexual Misconduct In Louisiana

Be aware that while it’s important to seek criminal prosecution, the civil court system is more equipped to fulfill the needs of victims. From Shreveport and Monroe to Lafayette and New Orleans, some of the unique benefits offered by a civil sexual abuse lawsuit include:

  • The ability to hold negligent third parties accountable for enabling abuse
  • The option to hold perpetrators liable, even in some cases without criminal convictions
  • Financial compensation for economic and personal losses

Our Louisiana sexual assault victims’ lawyers help families like yours recover the compensation you need and deserve after suffering trauma as a victim of a sexual crime. We can help answer your questions regarding both court systems in a free consultation.

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General Sexual Assault Laws In Louisiana

In Louisiana, most sexual crimes committed against adults are prosecuted under one or more of the following statutes:

Rape

Anyone who engages in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent is guilty of rape. In Louisiana, rape can be charged in one of three degrees of severity:

First Degree

First-degree rape involves nonconsensual sexual intercourse committed against a victim who is over 65 years of age or under 13 years of age under any of the following circumstances:

  • The victim resists the act but is overcome by force
  • The victim is prevented from resisting because of threats of serious bodily harm
  • The offender is armed with a dangerous weapon
  • Two or more offenders participated in the act
  • The victim cannot resist because of a physical or mental impairment

Rape in the first degree is a felony punishable by a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole, probation, or a suspended sentence. If the victim was under 13 years of age, the district attorney has the option to seek the death penalty.

Second Degree

Rape will be charged under the second degree if it was committed under either of the following circumstances:

  • The victim is prevented from resisting the act because of force or the threat of force, in circumstances where the victim reasonably believes that resisting would not prevent the rape.
  • The victim is incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of the act because the offender has drugged the victim with a narcotic, anesthetic agent, or other controlled substance.

Anyone convicted of rape in the second degree faces a sentence of 5-40 years in prison, with at least two years of the sentence imposed without the possibility of probation, parole, or a suspended sentence. Upon conviction, these offenders must register as sex offenders for life.

Third Degree

Sexual intercourse which occurs under any of the following circumstances is considered third-degree rape in Louisiana:

  • The offender intentionally mislead the victim to believe that the offender was her husband
  • The victim was temporarily or permanently unable to understand the nature of the act and the offender was aware or should have been aware that the victim was incapacitated
  • The victim was unable to resist or understand the nature of the act because of intoxication or another reason and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was incapacitated.

Third-degree rape is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Sexual Battery

Sexual battery involves an offender intentionally touching a victim’s anus or genitals using any instrument or part of the body, or causing the victim to touch the offender’s anus or genitals under any of the following circumstances:

  • The victim did not consent to the touching
  • The victim willingly participating but is under 15 years of age and is at least three years younger than the offender
  • The victim is 65 years of age or older
  • The victim is physically incapable of resisting the act because of a physical disability
  • The victim is incapable of understanding the nature of the act

Sexual battery is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison without the possibility of probation, parole, or suspension. If the offender is 17 years or older and the victim is either under 13 or over 65, the offender faces imprisonment at hard labor for 25-99 years. At least the first 25 years of this sentence will be ineligible for parole, probation, or suspension.

Second Degree

Second-degree sexual battery occurs when an offender engages in either of the following sexual acts with another person and the offender intentionally inflicts serious bodily injury on the victim:

  • Touching of the victim’s anus or genitals by the offender
  • Forcing the victim to touch the anus or genitals of the offender

This crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison without probation, parole, or suspension. If the offender is 17 years of age or older and the victim is under the age of 13, the offender faces 25-99 years in prison, with at least 25 years being ineligible for parole, probation, or suspension.

In cases where the following circumstances were involved, offenders aged 17 and older will be punished by imprisonment at hard labor for 25-99 years with at least the first 25 years being served without the possibility of parole, probation, or suspension:

  • The victim is unable to resist the act because of a physical disability
  • The victim is incapable of understanding the nature of the act and the offender is aware or should have been aware of this incapacity
  • The victim is 65 years of age or older

When someone convicted of second-degree sexual battery is released, they will be electronically monitored by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for the rest of their life.

Oral Sexual Battery

A person is guilty of oral sexual battery if he or she intentionally touches the anus or genitals of a victim using his or her mouth or tongue, or causes the victim to touch their anus or genitals using the victim’s mouth or tongue under any of the following circumstances:

  • The victim is under 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender
  • The act is without the victim’s consent and the victim was prevented from resisting because of a physical disability or mental incapacity
  • The victim is 65 years of age or older

The default sentence for oral sexual battery is a maximum sentence of 10 years However, if the offender is at least 17 years old and the victim was younger than 13 years old, the offender will face 25-99 years with at least 25 years of the sentence served without the benefit of parole, probation, or a suspended sentence. People convicted of this offense will be electronically monitored for the rest of their life after being released from prison.

Statutes Involving Sexual Crimes Committed Against Minors

If your child has been the victim of child sexual abuse in Louisiana, the offender will likely be prosecuted according to one or more of the following statutes:

Misdemeanor Carnal Knowledge Of A Juvenile

A person is guilty of misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile if that person engages in consensual sex with another person under the following circumstances:

  • The other person is at least 13 years old but less than 17 years old
  • The other person is not the spouse of the offender
  • The age difference between the two people is more than two years but less than four years

This crime is punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine up to $1,000.

Felony Carnal Knowledge Of A Juvenile

If an offender who has committed the offenses listed under misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a child has a previous conviction for this crime or any other crime that requires registration as a sex offender, that offender will be charged with a felony instead. This felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison a fine up to $5,000.

This felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison a fine up to $5,000.

Indecent Behavior With Juveniles

A person is guilty of indecent behavior with juveniles if he or she engages in any of the following acts with the intent of arousing the sexual desires of either party:

  • Any lewd or lascivious act upon or in the presence of any child under age 17, when the age difference between the two parties is greater than two years
  • Transmission or delivery of textual, visual, written, or oral communication depicting lewd or lascivious acts sent to a person the offender believes is under 17 years old and at least two years younger than the offender.

This crime is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. If the offender is at least 17 and the victim is under 13, the punishment is 2-25 years imprisonment at hard labor.

Pornography Involving Juveniles

In Louisiana, punishments for involvement with child pornography vary depending on how the offender was involved in the crime:

  • Anyone who possesses pornography involving juveniles will face imprisonment at hard labor for 5-20 years and a fine up to $50,000
  • Anyone who distributes or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography will face a fine up to $50,000 and 5-20 years of hard labor imprisonment

On subsequent convictions for either of these offenses, the perpetrator will face up to 40 years of imprisoned hard labor without the possibility of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Other offenses and punishments include:

  • Parents, legal guardians, and custodians who consent to their child’s participation in pornographic material will be imprisoned at hard labor for 5-20 years and fined up to $50,000
  • Anyone who is involved in the promotion, advertisement, or production of child pornography will face 10-20 years of hard labor imprisonment and up to a $15,000 fine.

If the victim is under 13 years of age and the offender is at least 17 years of age, the offender will face a sentence of 25-99 years in prison, with at least the first 25 years of the sentence being ineligible for parole, probation, or suspension.

Molestation Of A Juvenile Or A Person With A Physical Or Mental Disability

A person is guilty of molestation of a juvenile if that person commits any lewd or lascivious act upon the person or in the presence of a child under 17 years old, where the age difference between the two people is greater than two years. This crime may involve the use of force, violence, duress, psychological intimidation, threats of physical harm, or the use of influence as an authority figure.

A person is guilty of molestation of a person with a physical or mental disability if that person is 17 years of age or older and engages in the conduct described above against a person with a physical or mental disability.

Penalties for these crimes vary depending on circumstances:

  • If the victim is at least 13 years old but not yet 17, the offender will face 5-10 years of hard labor and/or a $5,000 fine
  • If another incident occurs during a period of more than one year, the offender will face 5-40 years of hard labor and up to a $10,000 fine
  • If the offender has control or supervision over the juvenile victim, the offender will face 5-20 years and up to a $10,000 fine
  • If the offender is an educator of the juvenile, the offender will face 5-40 years and up to a $10,000 fine
  • If the victim was under 13 years old, the offender will face 25-99 years of hard labor

Anyone convicted of these crimes will be electronically monitored by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for the rest of their life upon release from prison.

Human Trafficking Of Children For Sexual Purposes

A person is guilty of this crime if he or she is involved in the recruitment, transportation, selling, or purchasing of a person under 18 years of age for the purpose to exploiting them for commercial sexual activity. People who advertise, benefit, or in any way facilitate the sex trafficking of minors can also be found guilty of this offense, including parents who allow their child to engage in commercial sexual activity

Anyone who is convicted of human trafficking of children for sexual purposes may face 5-25 years of hard labor imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000. If the victim is under 14 years of age, the penalty will be 25-50 years in prison and a fine up to $27,000. These perpetrators must also register as sex offenders for 25 years if the child is over 14 years of age, and for life if the child is under 14 years of age.

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