There is confusion about the definition of child molestation. Therefore, we are here to clear up any vagueness or uncertainties about the definition.
Child molestation is a broad term referring to any type of indecent or sexual activities that goes on between an adult and a child under the age of fourteen (14). In simple terms, it is illegal for an adult to touch a child's body with "lewd and lascivious" intent regardless of whether or not the child has given their consent.
If you've been accused of child molestation, do not hesitate to call our firm at (401) 816-5862. We offer free case evaluations and can begin strategizing for your defense. Contact the Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey today!
Child sexual abuse takes on many forms and it can include physical sexual contact with the child, touching the child's sexual organs, voyeurism, sexual dialog, prostitution, fondling, forcing the child to partake in child pornography, sexual penetration, and pressuring the child to participate in sexual activities and many more.
It is not uncommon for child abusers to entice children by offering them attention or gifts, or by using threats or force, or by manipulating them by using a combination of these tools.
Statutory rape is a different but similar crime, defined as an adult making sexual contact with a minor younger than the age of sixteen (16). The crime becomes "child molestation" when the child is fourteen (14) years old or younger.
While child pornography charges are a type of child sexual abuse, the production, reproduction, distribution and possession of child pornography is a separate offense and punished differently than child molestation.
Child molestation has received mass media attention over the last decade with all fifty states enacting statutes identifying child sexual abuse as a form of criminal behavior.
The Justice Department reports that there are approximately four million pedophiles in the United States; however, it's nearly impossible to assess an accurate figure because many child molesters are never caught. The Justice Department reports that one in four girls and one in seven boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before turning 18.
Surprisingly, studies have not found any major differences in the prevalence of child sexual abuse among the different classes or races. The largest common denominator in child sexual abuse cases was parental unavailability, neglect and a poor relationship between the parent and the child.
In Rhode Island, first degree child molestation refers to the sexual penetration of a child under the age of fourteen (14), whereas second degree child molestation is sexual contact with a child below the age of fourteen (14).
The penalties associated with a child molestation conviction vary depending upon the type of molestation, the injury suffered, the relationship between the child and the defendant and the number of times the sexual abuse took place.
With first degree child molestation, if there was no relationship with the victim, no injury and one count, the punishment is from 10 to 15 years in prison. If the defendant had a close relationship with the victim (family member), and if no injury occurred, then it is punishable by 15 to 20 years in prison.
For those who had a close relationship with the child (family member) and caused moderate injuries or multiple counts, they will be sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison.
In cases where there was physical injury, multiple counts or aggravating circumstances, the person will face 25 years to life in prison.
In cases where there was no relationship to the victim and it was over the clothing and on one count, it is punishable by up to 3 years in prison. For no relationship to the victim, under the clothing and more than one count, the punishment is 3 to 8 years in prison.
If the defendant had a close relationship (family member) and it occurred over the clothing and one count, it's punishable by 3 to 8 years in prison. If the defendant was a family member, and if it occurred under the clothing and on one count, it's punishable by 7 to 12 years imprisonment.
If you have been accused of child molestation in Rhode Island, you need aggressive and skilled legal defense on your side. We understand that individuals can be falsely accused of molestation or become involved in criminal activity under a misunderstanding about a child's true age.
Regardless of your situation, however, everyone deserves the best possible defense. Put our 25+ years of experience on your side as we work tirelessly to defend your rights and future.
To learn more about child molestation charges in Rhode Island, contact a member of our legal team at the Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey.