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Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Laws and Punishments in Pennsylvania

Today, millions of Americans are affected by sexual violence or assault. The definition of sexual assault or abuse varies according to state. In Pennsylvania, sexual assault is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another person without his or her consent. Also, if the victim is under 16 years of age and isn’t married to the perpetrator at the time of the offense, the sexual assault will be counted as a statuary sexual assault. Following are sexual assault types punishable by law in Pennsylvania:

  • Forcible object penetration
  • Forcible sodomy
  • Sexual contact with minors
  • Unwanted sexual touching
  • Coerced or unwanted sexual contact
  • Rape
  • Marital Rape
  • Incest

Sexual assault laws and penalties in Pennsylvania

According to recently revealed statistics, more than 300,000 people are subjected to rape and sexual assault in the United States each year. The majority of the victims are women and young children. Fortunately, laws are in place to deal with and curb this menace. The circumstances of the crime and the age of the victim determine the penalty of a sexual assault. The worst form of sexual assault, rape crime can result in imprisonment of up to 20 years. For legal reasons, the state of Pennsylvania separates sexual assault into two different categories: felonies and misdemeanors.

Compared to felonies, misdemeanors are subjected to less stringent penalties and include offenses such as unwanted sexual touching. On the other hand, felonies such as rape are serious crimes and subjected to harsh penalties. In Pennsylvania, the age of consent is 16 and any adult engaging in sexual intercourse with a person aged 15 or less will have to face sexual assault charges. Following are four sexual assault types and the penalties for committing them.

Indecent assault

Treated as a first or second-degree misdemeanor, indecent assault includes all intimate touching done to arouse or satisfy sexual desire. The age of the victim determines the degree of indecent assault. An indecent assault will be treated as a first-degree misdemeanor if the victim is under the age of 13. A first-degree misdemeanor carries fines of up to $5000 and imprisonment of up to 5 years while a second-degree misdemeanor results in fine of up to $2000 and up to 2 years in prison.

A severe form of indecent assault: aggravated indecent assault is treated as a second-degree felony and involves anal or genital penetration with a body part of a person aged younger than 13. Though, an assault will be treated an aggravated indecent assault only if the perpetrator is at least four years older than the victim. Punishment for aggravated indecent assault includes up to $25000 fine and up to ten years in prison.


A first-degree felony, rape is sexual intercourse with another person without his or her consent. Punishment for rape includes up to $25000 fine and up to twenty years in prison.

Statutory sexual assault

A second-degree felony, statutory sexual assault is sexual intercourse with a person aged 15 or younger. Punishment for statutory sexual assault includes up to $25000 fine and up to ten years in prison.

Sexual assault is a serious crime punishable by law. Pennsylvania Attorneys have the required knowledge and expertise to deal with sexual perpetrators and offenses so get in touch with them if you are in any way affected by sexual assault.