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While sexual battery is not as serious a crime as sexual assault, the punishments are serious enough that you should strongly consider hiring a sexual battery attorney to help defend your rights.
There are plenty of occasions in which a sex crime does not rise to the level of penetration. Furthermore, there are also instances in which a crime that is sexual in nature is accomplished without the perpetrator attempting to remove clothing or engage in any other token, hallmark act generally thought of as a precursor to a sex crime.
In fact, there are many cases in which a sex crime occurs simply by an unwanted touching accomplished for the purpose of sexual gratification. These instances are known colloquially as “sexual assault,” but in the vast majority of cases, the criminal complaint is really an act of sexual battery. The phrase “battery” is critical from a legal perspective, as only a battery connotes a situation in which actual physical contact occurs.
In this sense, anyone who experiences an unwanted or non-consensual touching at the hands of another person suffers sexual battery when the offending party commits the touching in a lewd and lascivious manner.
Oklahoma has statutes protecting its citizens from sexual battery. Under Oklahoma law, sexual battery is the sexually-motivated, intentional touching or feeling of the private parts (or simply the body as a whole) of another person over the age of sixteen (16) without that person’s consent. The age element here is essential, as the same exact act of touching or feeling is sexual battery when the victim is over the age of sixteen (16) but considered lewd molestation if the victim is under the age of sixteen (16).
Sexual battery can also be charged in Oklahoma—regardless of the victim’s consent—when committed by a state, county, municipal or political subdivision employee (or a contractor or employee of a contractor of the same) upon a person who is under the legal custody or supervision of a state agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of this state.
Similarly, sexual battery can also be charged when committed upon a victim who is at least sixteen (16) years old but is less than twenty (20) years old if the victim is a student, or in the legal custody or supervision of any public or private elementary or secondary school, or technology center school, so long as the offending party is eighteen (18) years or older and an employee of the same school system the victim attends. Likewise, sexual battery can also occur when the victim is nineteen (19) years old or younger and in the legal custody of a state, federal, or tribal agency.
Charges of this nature occur in every scenario and circumstance imaginable. People are commonly accused of sexual battery in the workplace. Others are accused at school or college. Some find themselves fighting an allegation of sexual battery because of actions they may or may not have taken at a bar or dance club.
As with so many other sex crimes, these cases are some of the easiest allegations to make and some of the most challenging allegations to defeat. This is due to the fact that many sexual battery cases are filed simply based on the word of the alleged victim. When a case rests solely on the word of the alleged victim versus the word of the accused, the stakes are always at their highest point. The prosecutor, the judge, and potentially the jury will have to decide whom to believe out of the two parties, and often times there is no objective proof to give more or less credibility to either side.
Consequently, it is imperative to retain a defense attorney with experience defending these types of cases. When it is one person’s word versus another’s, it is necessary to delve into all potential collateral issues that may not seem as important when considering other types of charges. If the truth will ultimately be decided based on only two individuals’ accounts of the same event, then it becomes necessary to examine the truthfulness, and the factors that may influence the truthfulness, of both parties. A lawyer familiar with these types of cases can be invaluable in these circumstances.
Those charged with sexual battery will face the potential of a felony conviction. If convicted, a defendant will face up to ten (10) years in prison. Moreover, the crime is considered a level 3 sex offense, which means that any person convicted of the crime will be required to comply with lifetime registration as a sex offender.
To speak with a qualified attorney contact the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., we can help devise a defense strategy that offers the best chance of success in your case.