The Difference between Sexual Assault and Rape

Posted on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 1:54 am    

nashville sex crimes attorneySexual assault and rape are not synonymous terms. In Tennessee law, indeed, they are two different types of sex crimes, although rape can generally be classified under the umbrella of sexual assault. Sex crimes charges are very serious, and a conviction can mean lengthy time in state prison. For this reason, if you have been charged with sexual assault or rape, you need to hire a strong Nashville sex offense lawyer.

Sexual Assault and Rape Compared

Sexual assault actually encompasses a number of different types of crimes that are generally characterized by the imposing of one’s will on another. They are comprised both of acts which involve bodily contact and acts which do not. Among the specific crimes that fall under contact sexual assault are:

  • Forced penetration
  • Inappropriate fondling
  • Forced kissing and touching of body parts
  • Sexual torture
  • Rape

Sexual assault that does not involve contact includes voyeurism, sexual harassment, exhibitionism, incest, etc.

Rape, on the other hand, is a crime characterized specifically by the act of forced penetration. In other words, all rapes are sexual assaults, even though sexual assault is not just rape but other sex crimes as well.

Aggravated Sexual Assault and Rape

As your Nashville sex crimes lawyer will tell you, there are certain sexual assault crimes that combine the use of a weapon or are in some other way particularly serious, referred to aggravated sexual assault. Aggravated rape is an act of forced sexual penetration which involves the use of a weapon or is such that the victim has a reason to believe that one is being used. Aggravated rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery, and aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor also fall into this special category. Punishment for aggravated sexual crimes is significantly higher.

Your Defense in a Sexual Assault or Rape Case

A sexual offense conviction can mean many years behind bars. Your attorney will thoroughly question you about the event in question. It is very important that you are honest with your lawyer. He is the one person you can trust, for he is required by law to retain confidentiality. Do not talk about your case with others—not even a spouse or close friend. If you do, that person may be called upon and required to testify against you.

Hire Quality Legal Representation if You Have Been Arrested

If you were arrested and charged with rape or sexual assault, it is extremely important that you have a strong Nashville sex offense lawyer in your corner who will fight for you. Call Horst Law today to arrange a consultation at (615) 403-2971.