Wyoming Laws & Statutes On Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault

Wyoming Laws & Statutes On Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault 2018-04-27T13:52:35+00:00
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If your family is looking for legal guidance after you or a loved one became the victim of sexual abuse, you may be struggling with several questions:

  • How can I make sure our child gets the support they need?
  • What if someone covered up or failed to report abuse?
  • Should we consider filing a lawsuit?

We understand how the pain, anger, and frustration your family is going through and we're proud to help the victims of these heinous crimes seek justice.

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If you or a loved one was violated during a crime of sexual violence, you may be wondering what type of punishment the abuser or assaulter may face. We've summarized Wyoming's sexual assault and sexual abuse laws below as a reference point. This state has a simple system, which generally prosecutes sexual offenses under one of two laws, depending on the age of the victim. These two laws have varying degrees of severity which hand out different penalties depending on the specific circumstances of the offense.

How Does The Criminal Justice System Prosecute Sex Crimes In Wyoming?

It can be comforting to know that your offender will be behind bars for a long time, but remember to explore your legal options in the civil court system too. Our experienced Wyoming sexual abuse victims' lawyers can help you learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.

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Who Is A Mandated Reporter In Wyoming?

Wyoming is one of 48 states with a law requiring the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. While many other states only have this rule for certain professionals who regularly work with children, in Wyoming everyone is considered a mandated reporter. This means that regardless of professional, all citizens of Wyoming have a legal obligation to report suspected abuse of children and vulnerable adults. Those who fail to meet this obligation may be held liable if the victim's family files a lawsuit.

Sexual Abuse Of A Minor

Wyoming has a simple set of laws used to prosecute sexual predators who victimize children. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, these offenders can be charged with one of four degrees of sexual abuse of a minor:

First Degree

A person is guilty of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor if they engage in an act of "sexual intrusion" (e.g. using an object or body part to penetrate another person's body) under any of the following circumstances:

  • When the perpetrator is at least 16 years old and the victim is younger than 13 years old; or
  • When the perpetrator is at least 18 years old, the victim is under 18, and the perpetrator is the victim's legal guardian, ancestor, descendant, or sibling of half or full blood, including adoption and step-parental relationships; or
  • When the perpetrator is at least 1yearsrs old, the victim is younger than 16, and the perpetrator is in a position of authority in relation to the victim.

This felony is punishable by a maximum of 50 years in prison.

Second Degree

A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree if they engage in any of the following acts:

  • Sexual intrusion when the perpetrator is at least 17 years old, the victim is 13-15, and the victim is at least four years younger than the perp.
  • Sexual contact when the perp is at least 16 years old and the victim is younger than 13
  • Sexual contact when the perp is at least 18 years old, the victim is younger than 18, and the perp is the victim's legal guardian, ancestor, descendent, or sibling of half or full-blood, including adoption and step-parent relationships

This felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Third Degree

Offenses which do not constitute sexual abuse of a minor in the first or second degree, including:

  • Sexual contact when the offender is at least 17, the victim is 13-15, and the victim is at least four years younger than the offender
  • Sexual intrusion when the offender is at least 20 and in a position of authority over the victim, and the victim is 16-17 and at least four years younger than the offender
  • Sexual intrusion when the offender is younger than 16 years old, the victim is younger than 13, and the victim is at least 3 years younger than the offender
  • Knowingly taking immodest, immoral, or indecent liberties with a victim when the offender is at least 17 years old, the victim is younger than 17, and the victim is at least four years younger than the offender.

This felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Fourth Degree

A person is guilty of sexual abuse of a minor in the fourth degree if he or she:

  • Engages in sexual contact when the offender is younger than 16 years old, the victim is younger than 13 years old, and the victim is at least 3 years younger than the offender; or
  • Engages in sexual contact when the offender is at least 20 years old, the victim is 16-17 years old, the victim is at least four years younger than the offender, and the offender has a position of authority over the victim.

A felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Sexual Assault

In Wyoming, all sexual offenses committed against adults are covered under the umbrella of sexual assault. A person can be charged with sexual assault in one of three degrees, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime:

First Degree

A person is guilty of sexual assault in the first degree if he or she inflicts sexual intrusion on a victim and any of the following circumstances apply:

  • The offender causes the victim to submit to the act through physical force or forcible confinement
  • The offender uses threats of death, serious bodily injury, extreme physical pain, or kidnapping to be inflicted on the victim or any other person
  • The victim is physically helpless and the offender is aware of this fact
  • The offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act because of a mental illness, mental deficiency, or developmental disability

This felony is punishable by 5-50 years in prison. Repeat offenders will receive a minimum sentence of 25 years, while those with a prior offense of sexual abuse of a minor will be sentenced to life in prison. If the offender has at least two previous convictions for sexual assault or sexual abuse of a minor, the sentence will be life without parole.

Second Degree

A person may be convicted of second-degree sexual assault if he or she commits sexual contact or sexual intrusion under any of the following circumstances:

  • The offender causes the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate (e.g. kidnapping, death, bodily injury, or extreme physical pain) in the future against the victim or the victim's family
  • The offender causes submission of the victim by any means that would prevent resistance
  • The offender administers or knows that someone else has administered a drug or intoxicant to the victim without the victim's knowledge or consent
  • The offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim falsely believes the offender is their spouse
  • The offender is in a position of authority over the victim and uses this authority to cause the victim to submit
  • The offender is an employee of a correctional system and the victim is known or should be known as a resident of a correctional facility or under the supervision of the correctional system
  • The offender inflicts sexual intrusion during medical treatment or examination of the victim under false pretenses

This felony is punishable by 2-20 years in prison. Repeat offenders face the same penalties as those listed under first-degree sexual assault.

Third Degree

A person will be charged with sexual assault in the third degree if they subject a victim to sexual contact, without sexual intrusion, and without serious bodily injury.

This felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The same circumstances listed under first-degree sexual assault apply to repeat offenders.

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