Pawtucket Sexual Assault Arrest

As reported in the August 10, 2011 edition of the Providence Journal, a Pawtucket man was arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault- domestic, assault with a dangerous weapon and simple assault domestic.

Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-37-2, first degree sexual assault is defined as:

A person is guilty of first degree sexual assault if he or she engages in sexual penetration with another person, and if any of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The accused, not being the spouse, knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapacitated, mentally disabled, or physically helpless.

(2) The accused uses force or coercion.

(3) The accused, through concealment or by the element of surprise, is able to overcome the victim.

(4) The accused engages in the medical treatment or examination of the victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or stimulation.

The penalties include imprisonment for a period not less than ten (10) years and may be imprisoned for life.

Simple assault is defined as every person who shall make an assault or battery or both shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

Both crimes were charged as domestic crimes, meaning the victim and the defendant were related or had a personal relationship, defined as:

(b) "Family or household member" means spouses, former spouses, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past three (3) years, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together, or if persons who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year which shall be determined by the court's consideration of the following factors:

(1) the length of time of the relationship;

(2) the type of the relationship;

(3) the frequency of the interaction between the parties.

If convicted of a domestic crime, there are enhanced penalties, which include domestic violence counseling. Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 12-29-5:

Every person convicted of or placed on probation for a crime involving domestic violence or whose case is filed pursuant to § 12-10-12 where the defendant pleads nolo contendere, in addition to any other sentence imposed or counseling ordered, shall be ordered by the judge to attend, at his or her own expense, a batterer's intervention program appropriate to address his or her violent behavior. This order shall be included in the conditions of probation. Failure of the defendant to comply with the order shall be a basis for violating probation and/or the provisions of § 12-10-12. This provision shall not be suspended or waived by the court.

(b) Every person convicted of or placed on probation for a crime involving domestic violence, as enumerated in § 12-29-2 or whose case if filed pursuant to § 12-10-12 where the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere, in addition to other court costs or assessments imposed, shall be ordered to pay a one hundred twenty-five dollar ($125) assessment. Eighty percent (80%) of the assessment collected pursuant to this section shall be provided to the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence for programs to assist victims of domestic violence and twenty percent (20%) of the assessment shall be deposited as general revenue.

(c) Every person convicted of an offense punishable as a misdemeanor involving domestic violence as defined in § 12-29-2 shall:

(i) For a second violation be imprisoned for a term of not less than ten (10) days and not more than one year.

(ii) For a third and subsequent violation be deemed guilty of a felony and be imprisoned for a term of not less than one year and not more than ten (10) years.

(2) No jail sentence provided for under this section can be suspended.

(3) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the discretion of the judges to impose additional sanctions authorized in sentencing.

(d) For the purposes of this section, "batterers intervention program" means a program which is certified by the batterers intervention program standards oversight committee according to minimum standards, pursuant to §§ 12-29-5.1, 12-29-5.2, and 12-29-5.3.

If you or a family member has been charged with sexual assault, domestic assault, child molestation, child pornography or any other sex crime in Rhode Island, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Contact Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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