Mississippi Statutes On Sex Crimes From Our MS Sexual Abuse Lawyers

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Greg Zarzaur - Jackson, MS Abuse Guardian

Hi - I’m Greg. I am an experienced attorney licensed to practice law in Alabama and Mississippi. I am passionate about representing the most vulnerable in sex abuse cases. My team and I are ready to help you.

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Abuse Guardians, a distinguished nationwide union of attorneys committed to advocating for survivors of sexual abuse, joyfully proclaims the appointment of Greg Zarzaur, hailing from Zarzaur Law Firm, as the honored Abuse Guardian for the state of Mississippi. This esteemed selection stands as a testament to Greg Zarzaur's exceptional capabilities, resolute dedication, and extensive history in advocating for the rights of survivors.

Central to the essence of Abuse Guardians is an exceptional alliance of legal professionals who have united with the shared goal of providing specialized representation for survivors of sexual abuse. Employing a rigorous and meticulous selection process, the organization ensures that only the most empathetic and devoted attorneys are welcomed into its fold. The selection committee of Abuse Guardians meticulously evaluates each candidate, closely examining their track record, legal proficiencies, and demonstrated unwavering commitment to pursuing justice on behalf of survivors. This comprehensive scrutiny guarantees that survivors in need receive the highest quality of legal representation and steadfast support, embodying the core principles championed by Abuse Guardians.

Greg Zarzaur, Esq.
Sexual Abuse Attorney

Zarzaur Law Firm
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Birmingham, Alabama 35203

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Finding a Trusted Jackson Sexual Abuse Attorney

In the United States, sexual assault laws vary from state to state. Some states have comprehensive statutes that help prosecute all types of offenses involving unwanted sexual contact. Others have laws that are outdated and fail to account for the wide range of sexually violating acts. Mississippi falls into the second category. It’s only one of two states without criminal statutes for offenses like unwanted touching or fondling.

Laws Governing Sexual Abuse in Mississippi

In Mississippi, these types of offenses are classified as misdemeanor assaults rather than sexual offenses. Because of these outdated laws, many victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse in Mississippi fail to find justice through the criminal courts.

To make matters worse, victims of unwanted sexual contact often fail to report the crime because of law enforcement’s inadequate handling of the situation.

Fortunately for victims, the civil court system offers a form of alternative justice. A sexual assault lawsuit can help hold offenders and third parties who could have prevented the crime liable for the harm they’ve caused.

From Jackson and Hattiesburg to Columbus and Oxford, sexual abuse survivors can also recover financial support for the variety of damages they suffer after surviving a sexual assault.

Our Mississippi sexual abuse victims lawyers help survivors of these crimes assert their right to justice through civil sexual abuse lawsuits.

Overview of Mississippi Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

If you or a loved one has recently become a victim, you may be wondering how the offender will be punished. Looking over Mississippi’s sexual assault laws can give you an idea of what sentence the offender may face if your case falls under one of these statutes.

However, because of the complex nature of sexual offenses and the fact that these laws may change soon, you should speak with an experienced Mississippi child molestation lawyer if you want to gain a better understanding of how the criminal prosecution of your case may be handled.

Sexual Offenses With Child Victims

In Mississippi, there are several criminal statutes that apply to sexual offenses committed against children.

Sexual Battery Or Fondling Of A Child

This law prohibits people in positions of authority over children from sexually penetrating a child. This includes teachers, ministers, priests, counselors, doctors, parents, stepparents, legal guardians, relatives, and caretakers. A person is guilty of sexual battery or fondling of a child if they engage n sexual penetration or any other type of sexual contact with a child. This felony offense is punishable by 2-30 years in prison for a first conviction and up to 40 years for a second conviction, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

Child Enticement

A person can be charged with child enticement if he or she maliciously, willfully, or fraudulently leads, takes, carries away, decoys, or entices away any child under 14 years old with the intent to keep the child away from their parents or for the purpose of prostitution, sexual abuse, or marriage. This crime is punishable by up to ten years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Child Exploitation

Someone is guilty of child exploitation if he or she causes or permits a child to engage in sexually explicit behavior for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the behavior, including the use of computers, photography, videos, film, or any other medium. This law also applies to offenders who send, receive, or transport sexually explicit images involving children and those who attempt to convince a child to meet in person for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

On a first offense, child exploitation is punishable by 5-40 years in prison and a fine between $50,000-$500,000. On subsequent offenses, this felony is punishable by 20 years to life in prison and a fine between $100,000-$1,000,000.

Condoning Child Abuse

In Mississippi, it’s a crime for anyone living in a household with a child to knowingly condone an incident of child abuse, including sexual abuse. This misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Carnal Knowledge Of A Child

This law is used to prosecute adults who have sex with their unmarried stepchildren or adopted children who are older than 14 but younger than 18 years old. This offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Sexual Involvement Of School Employee/Duty To Report

If a school employee is accused of fondling or engaging in any type of sexual contact with a child under 18 years old, the principal and the superintendent of the school are legally required to report the alleged crime to the district attorney in the jurisdiction where the school is located. They also must report the incident to the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services.

If a principal or superintendent is notified of an alleged case of sexual abuse and fails to report it, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. Those who fail to report can also be subject to liability in civil court, while those who file reports are protected from civil liability.

Adultery And Fornication Between Teacher And Pupil

It’s illegal for any teacher and any student under 18 years old, not married to each other, to have sex with each other. The teacher can face 3-6 months in prison and up to a $500 fine for violating this statute.

Disseminating Sexual Material To Children; Computer Luring

Anyone who provides sexually explicit material to someone under 18 years of age is guilty of disseminating sexual material to children. This crime is punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine between $500-$5,000.

Computer luring charges apply when an offender uses a computer to transmit sexual material to children or to invite a child to engage in sexual intercourse or any type of sexual contact. This crime is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

General Sexual Crime Statutes

In Mississippi, there are only three laws which are used to prosecute sexual offenses:


A person is guilty of rape (called “assault with attempt to ravish” in the criminal statutes) in Mississippi if he or she forces another person to have sex against their will or has sex with someone who has been given an intoxicant that prevents them from properly consenting to the act. This felony is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Statutory Rape

A person can be charged with statutory rape if he or she is 17 years or older and has sexual intercourse with a child who:

  • Is at least 14 but under 16 years of age
  • Is at least 3 years younger than the person; and
  • Is not the person’s spouse

A person can also be charged with statutory rape if he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a child who:

  • Is under 14 years old
  • Is at least 2 years younger than the person; and
  • Is not the person’s spouse

Sentences for statutory rape range from 5 years to life in prison and/or a fine between $5,000-$10,000.

Sexual Battery

The following offenses are prosecuted as sexual battery:

  • A person engages in sexual penetration with a child who is at least 14 and under 16 years old, and the person is at least 3 years older than the child
  • Sexual penetration with a child under 14 years old who is at least two years younger than the offender
  • An authority figure (teachers, counselors, physicians, psychiatrists, religious clergy, parent, guardian, etc.) engaging in sexual penetration with a child under 18 years old

The penalty for sexual battery varies depending on the circumstances of the crime and ranges anywhere from 5 years to life in prison with fines between $5,000-$10,000.

Confidential Consultation: Your Path to Justice in Jackson

At Zarzaur Law Firm, based in Jackson, Mississippi, we specialize in supporting and advocating for survivors of sexual abuse. Navigating Mississippi sexual abuse laws and statutes requires a lawyer with deep knowledge and dedication to ensuring that every victim's voice is heard. Whether you are confronting sexual battery, fondling, or any other form of unwanted behavior, our experienced attorneys understand the intricacies of sexual abuse lawsuits, both civil and criminal. With a legacy of handling cases ranging from priest and clergy accusations to abuses committed by employees or caretakers, our firm has become a beacon of hope for those across Jackson, Hattiesburg, Oxford, and the broader MS region.

Mississippi's statutes vary, and depending on the offense, whether rape or abusive conduct, action needs to be taken promptly. If the survivor is younger than years old, the window for filing may differ from cases involving adults. However, be assured that our team, having a wealth of experience in sexual abuse cases, will guide you through every step. We aim to help survivors receive the compensation and justice they rightfully deserve, especially when those in positions of trust have caused harm, be it a fellow employee, superintendent, or priest.

If you or a loved one has endured any form of sexual misconduct, from verbal offenses to more severe incidents, don't hesitate to contact Zarzaur Law Firm. With our dedication and unwavering commitment to justice, we conclude every case with the best possible outcome in mind. Whether you're looking to recover damages, assert your rights, or seek a settlement, our seasoned legal counsel is here to represent you zealously. Schedule a consultation with us today, and let us provide the friendly touch and expertise needed to guide you through this challenging journey. For the justice you deserve and the support you need, trust in Zarzaur Law Firm – your dedicated Mississippi sexual abuse attorneys.

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