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Persons convicted of crimes which are sexual in nature will more than likely face far greater deprivations of their personal liberty than any other criminal conviction. Most individuals ascribe to the notion that a person’s body is a temple that should not be entered unless access is permitted. No one wants to be taken advantage of, especially from a sexual perspective.
For that reason, any act of unlawful penetration will be considered a crime in Oklahoma. When most people think of “rape,” they think of actual sexual intercourse. However, a person can be charged with rape even if they don’t actually have intercourse with their victims.
These are serious charges with serious consequences. The best course of action for those facing charges is to speak with an attorney immediately.
In some situations, only digital penetration is suffered by the victim. When that happens, “rape” — as people most commonly think of the term — isn’t accomplished. Regardless, the crime of rape by instrumentation is completed as soon as a person is penetrated by any part of another person’s body or any other object or instrument. As with other sex crimes, any measurable amount of penetration is sufficient. Rape by instrumentation may not be considered “rape” as most lay people construe the term, but the crime still carries the same punishment range as if rape by sexual intercourse had occurred.
This charge is often filed against juveniles. As some have no doubt seen in the news, high schoolers have been charged with rape by instrumentation due to hazing rituals. This is primarily due to the consent aspect of the crime. Since actually, intercourse does not have to occur, any penetration of the anus or vagina, however sight (and regardless of whether the penetration happens over the clothing or under it), is enough to support a charge so long as the penetration is accomplished without the person’s consent.
It is very common to see rape by instrumentation charged alongside rape and other sex crimes. A single sexual encounter can result in numerous individual charges. Every individual act can count as a different crime so long as the essential factors are met. Regardless, many prosecutors get carried away with the number of charges they try to pile on one single defendant. Plenty of prosecutors throw everything against the wall just to see what sticks.
Before 2018, rape by instrumentation was separated into first degree and second degree classifications. In order to commit the crime in the first degree, a defendant had to cause actual bodily harm as a result of the penetration, or the victim had to be under the age of fourteen. In any other case, the act could only be charged in the second degree.
However, the law was ultimately changed, and the language relating to bodily injury was removed. Now the statute reads that rape by instrumentation is always considered rape in the first degree regardless of the age of the victim. As such, all cases are now charged in the first degree, and all cases carry a significant punishment range. Depending on which version of the statute one follows, rape by instrumentation carries a minimum sentence of five (5) years imprisonment, up to and including life, life without parole, and the death penalty.
A conviction for rape by instrumentation will also result in mandatory lifetime compliance with the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry.
Due to the serious nature of the charges and the severe punishments associated with conviction, your best course of action is to hire an experienced rape attorney to protect your rights.