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Rape Defense Attorney

Rape Defense Attorney

HomePractice AreasSex OffensesRape Defense Attorney

RAPE CHARGES


Boston Rape Defense Attorney

 

Simons Law Office represents people accused of rape charges in Massachusetts. Call us today to get an experienced attorney working on your defense right away.

Rape is a very sensitive topic, and the laws surrounding it are strict, both in defining the class of crimes and penalizing rape offenses. If you or someone you care about have been charged with rape, know that there is the potential of spending up to life in prison for certain convictions. Previous offenses, bodily injury, and child victims come with the most severe penalties. And in addition to prison, all rape convictions require registration as a sex offender in the state database, which puts strict limitations on where one can live, work, learn, or simply be present.

The best advice we can give anyone who has been charged with a rape crime is to call a high-quality criminal defense attorney now. The state and the prosecution lawyers are working on your case already: you should have a lawyer working on it, too. Our experienced rape defense attorneys are ready to listen to your case, so call us at (781) 781-0555 for a free consultation.

Definition of Rape in Massachusetts

Rape is defined in the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 265, Section 22 as

  • having sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with another person,
  • against that other person’s will,
  • by compelling that person through force or the threat of bodily injury.

Sexual intercourse is defined as any penetration of female genitalia by male genitalia, regardless of the severity or slightness of penetration. The law does not distinguish rape by gender; a female can be charged with and convicted of raping a man. Unnatural sexual intercourse covers most other sexual acts involving private areas, including fellatio, cunnilingus, anal penetration, digital penetration of the anus or vagina, and penetration with an object.

Proving a Rape Case

To secure a conviction, the prosecution will attempt to prove the conditions listed above were satisfied.

  • They will attempt to show that there was sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, as defined above;T
  • They will attempt to show that the intercourse was against the will of the alleged victim. They will do so by attempting to show that the victim did not consent to the acts, and resisted the acts in any fashion, even simply a verbal refusal or objection;
  • They will attempt to show that the victim was compelled into the acts by use of force or the threat of bodily injury. This threat need not have been made explicit– an implicit threat is enough to prove that the victim was compelled.

Massachusetts law and case history of rape charges uphold that consent can be withdrawn in the middle of a sexual act, and if the act continues, it is still rape. Massachusetts has also rejected the “marriage defense”, which was used to argue that one could not be found guilty of raping their spouse due to the marriage relationship.

Penalties for Rape Conviction

Conviction of rape under this basic definition carries with it a sentence of imprisonment in the state prison for up to twenty (20) years. A second or subsequent such offense carries a potential sentence of imprisonment in the state prison for life.

There are many variations of rape charges, depending upon the details of the alleged offense. Rape that results in serious bodily injury, is committed in the course of performing certain other crimes, or involves more than one perpetrator, carries a potential maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Committing rape while armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine-gun or assault weapon carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with a maximum of 20 years. A second similar offense carries a sentence of 15 years to life.

Rape of a Child Under 16 Years of Age

Rape of a child under 16 is a special class of rape by itself. Due to the age of the victim, penalties are more severe for corresponding offenses. All convictions for rape of a child under 16 years old carry a potential maximum sentence of life in prison.

Rape of a child under 16, with abuse, “shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years or, except as otherwise provided, for any term in a jail or house of correction.”

More severe variations of child rape carry with them mandatory minimum sentences. Sentences for these crimes must be at least as long as the minimum. Further, the sentence for such convictions cannot be reduced below the minimum after the fact, nor can it be suspended. Finally, a person convicted of such a crime is not eligible for probation, parole, work release, or furlough, nor can they receive a deduction from their sentence until the duration of the mandatory minimum sentence has elapsed.

Put simply: if someone is convicted of such a crime, they are going away for at least the minimum sentence, and potentially for life.

Minimum 10 years in prison, maximum life sentence:

  • Rape of a child under 16, and there exists more than a 5 year age difference between the defendant and the victim and the victim is under 12 years of age, or
  • there exists more than a 10 year age difference between the defendant and the victim where the victim is between the age of 12 and 16 years of age, or
  • at the time of such intercourse, was a mandated reporter.

Mandated reporters are people who, due to their profession, cary an obligation to report harm done to children, or suspicion of harm. More information on mandated reporters can be found on the website for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Minimum 15 years in prison, maximum life in prison:

  • Rape of a child under 16 during the commission of specific crimes, or
  • which results in serious bodily injury, or
  • is committed while victim is tied, or
  • is committed after non-consensual administration of drugs or alcohol, or
  • is committed by a joint enterprise, or
  • which could have resulted in transmission of an STI of which the defendant knew or should have known they were a carrier,

Minimum 20 years in prison, maximum life sentence

  • Rape of a child under 16 by offenders previously convicted of any indecent assault & battery, rape, or assault with intent to commit rape as defined under Massachusetts law, or any like crime from another state, federal, military, territorial, or Indian jurisdiction.

If you are charged with rape charges, we can help. Our attorneys have a record of not guilty verdicts on rape indictments throughout Massachusetts.  Call us today for a free, confidential, telephone consultation at 781-797-0555.

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