As reported by Amanda Milkovits in the October 6, 2011 edition of the Providence Journal, a Pawtucket man has been arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault, kidnapping, disorderly conduct and simple assault. The alleged victim is the man's girlfriend, which makes all four (4) charges domestic violence charges. The man has a long criminal history, including prior arrests for domestic violence charges.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law 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 if convicted include every person who shall commit sexual assault in the first degree shall be imprisoned for a period not less than ten (10) years and may be imprisoned for life.
First degree sexual assault is a felony, whereas simple assault and disorderly conduct are misdemeanors. Simple assault is not defined under Rhode Island law, but is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one year or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both. Disorderly conduct is very broadly defined as:
A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
(2) In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbs another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;
(3) Directs at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed;
(4) Alone or with others, obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances;
(5) Engages in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;
(6) Enters upon the property of another and for a lascivious purpose looks into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or
(7) Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looks for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located.
The penalties if convicted of disorderly conduct include imprisonment for a term of not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.
Because all of the charges were charged as domestic crimes, there are enhanced penalties in addition to the penalties required by statute.
Pursuant to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (R.I.G.L. 12-29):
a) 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.
If you or a family member has been charged with first degree sexual assault, domestic assault, domestic battery or other domestic violence offenses, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.