If you’ve been accused of sexual assault, you’re being confronted with the “r” words. A conviction could result in getting branded as a rapist for the rest of your life. Depending on the offense, you could be looking at up to life in prison.
In addition to thousands of dollars in possible fines and years in prison, sexual assault charges could put you on the sex offender registry for ten years or for life. The registry is available online, where anyone — including your friends, family members, and neighbors — will see your photo and details about your conviction.
Des Moines Sex Crime Lawyers
At Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, we defend the rights and liberties of good people who are accused of bad things. An Iowa sex abuse attorney might be able to save you from paying thousands in fines and spending time locked up away from your family. Your lawyer will look for inconsistencies in witnesses’ testimony, evidence of false accusations or consent, and exaggerations.
Get out of trouble and get back to life. Call Katherine Sears at Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, now at (515) 491 6128 to set up a free consultation. A receptionist is available 24/7 to take your call.
The criminal defense lawyers at Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, are based in Des Moines and Ankeny and represent defendants throughout Polk County and the rest of Iowa.
Sexual Abuse Defined
Succinctly, sexual abuse under Iowa Code 709.1 is any sex act done by force, against someone’s will, by threats of violence, or while someone is drugged or unconscious. Children and people who have mental defects or incapacities cannot give consent, so any sex act done with them is illegal sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse can be in the first, second, or third degree.
Sexual abuse in the first degree
Causing a serious injury during sex abuse is sex abuse in the first degree, which is a class “A” felony and for which you will serve life in prison without possibility of parole.
Sexual abuse in the second degree
If you display a dangerous weapon in a threatening manner, use or threaten to use force that creates a substantial risk of death or serious injury to any person, or have sex with someone under the age of 12, that is sexual abuse in the second degree.
Second degree sexual assault is a class “B” felony. If you are convicted of sex abuse second degree, you will be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.
Sexual abuse in the third degree
Third degree sex abuse involves any of the following:
- Sex done by force or against someone’s will
- A sex act done with someone who can’t give consent because of a mental defect or incapacity
- Sex with a twelve or thirteen year old
- Sex with a fourteen or fifteen year old
- Who you’re related to
- Who lives in your household
- Who you coerce to submit by using your position of authority
- Who is four years or more younger than you
- A sex act with someone who is under the influence of a controlled substance (including, but not limited to flunitrazepam, also called “Rohypnol” or “roofies” or “GHB”) if:
- The substance prevents them from consenting and
- You know (or reasonably should have known) that they were under the influence
- A sex act with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated or who is physically helpless.
Third degree sexual assault is a class “C” felony, for which you face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1000 – $10,000.
Minimum sentence for use of dangerous weapon
If the jury finds that you committed a “forcible felony,” which includes sex assault in any degree, and that you were in the immediate possession and control of a dangerous weapon, displayed a dangerous weapon in a threatening manner, or were armed with a dangerous weapon while you committed sexual abuse, you will serve a minimum of five years in prison before being eligible for parole. Iowa Code 902.7.
Sentencing enhancement for repeat offenders
If you are convicted of a “sexually predatory” felony and you have a prior conviction for a sexually predatory offense, you will be sentenced to twice the maximum prison time for the offense or twenty-five years, whichever is greater. You won’t be eligible for any sentencing reductions over 15%. Iowa Code 901A.2(3).
If you’re convicted twice of second degree sexual assault against someone under the age of twelve, you will be sentenced to life in prison and will be subject to the rules usually applied to people convicted of class “A” felonies. 901A.2(5).
Repeat offender class “A” felony enhancement
If you’re convicted of a second or subsequent offense involving any combination of the following offenses, it’s a class “A” felony, for which you will go to prison for the rest of your life:
- Second degree sexual abuse
- Third degree sexual abuse
- Lascivious acts with a child involving:
- Fondling or touching the pubes or genitals of a child
- Permitting or causing a child to touch genitals or pubes
Mandatory hormonal intervention therapy
If you’re convicted of a serious sexual offense, the court may require you to undergo medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment (or something comparable.)
If you have a second or subsequent conviction, you will be required to undergo hormone treatment as a condition of release unless the court or board determines that treatment wouldn’t be effective. You won’t be forced to accept this treatment if you voluntarily undergo a permanent surgical alternative (such as, maybe, castration) approved by the court or parole board. 903B(10).
Defense lawyers for sexual abuse in Des Moines, Polk County, Ankeny, Ames, Johnston, West Des Moines, Waukee, Saylorville, Bondurant, Altoona, Clive, Grimes, Pleasant Hill, Story County, Boone County, Marshall County, Dallas County, Jasper County, Madison County, Warren County, Marion County, Wapello County, Davis County, Ottumwa, Bloomfield, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and the rest of Iowa.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Reading this site doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. If you want to talk to us about your Iowa sexual assault charges, please contact us at (515) 491 6128 and we’ll set up a time to talk.