Washington DC Sex Crimes Lawyer

The District of Columbia sexual abuse/assault statute is categorized in four degrees with the first and second degrees criminalizing the “sexual act” and the third and fourth degrees criminalizing the “sexual contact.”

I. The elements of the First Degree Sexual Abuse are:

If a person engages in or causes another person to engage in or submit to a sexual act in the following manner:

(1) By using force against that other person;

(2) By threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear that any person will be subjected to death, bodily injury, or kidnapping;

(3) After rendering that other person unconscious; or

(4) After administering to that other person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or permission of that other person, a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance that substantially impairs the ability of that other person to appraise or control his or her conduct.

II. The elements of the Second Degree Sexual Abuse:

If a person engages in or causes another person to engage in or submit to a sexual act in the following manner:

(1) By threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear (other than by threatening or placing that other person in reasonable fear that any person will be subjected to death, bodily injury, or kidnapping); or

(2) Where the person knows or has reason to know that the other person is:

(A) Incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct;

(B) Incapable of declining participation in that sexual act; or

(C) Incapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in that sexual act.

The second and the fourth degrees sexual abuse have the exact same elements except and – significantly so — the second degree criminalizes the “sexual act” and the fourth degree prohibits the “sexual contact”.

Similarly the first and third degrees have the same language with the first degree criminalizing the sexual act and the third the sexual contact.

“Sexual act” is defined as:

(A) The penetration, however slight, of the anus or vulva of another by a penis;

(B) Contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, or the mouth and the anus; or

(C) The penetration, however slight, of the anus or vulva by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

“Sexual contact” is defined as:

1) The touching with any clothed or unclothed body part or any object,

2) Either directly or through the clothing,

3) Of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person

4) With an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

Significantly, the penalties range from 5-30 years of potential statutory incarceration for the fourth degree up to life or 30 years for the first degree.

There is also the catch-all sexual abuse statute:

Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse:

1) Whoever engages in a sexual act or sexual contact with another person and;

2) Who should have knowledge or reason to know that the act was committed without that other person’s permission.

The District Sexual Assault Statute is severe, and the prosecution of the sexual offenses is handled by the special division of the US Attorney’s Office with the most experienced and dedicated prosecutors.

Thus it is critical to engage a vastly experienced DC defense counsel with particularized expertise in the DC sex offense/sexual assault charges and the handling and processing of any and all DNA evidence.

Contact our DC sexual assault lawyer today for a thorough and comprehensive case evaluation.

FINDLAW — DC SEXUAL ASSAULT STATUTE