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DC Statutory Rape Penalties

DC prosecutors, DC police, federal prosecutors and DC judges take accusations of child sex abuse extremely seriously. If you are facing charges, reach out to a skilled local lawyer to discuss the DC statutory rape penalties you may be facing and to begin building a defense.

Legal Duty to Report Claims of Abuse

There are certain requirements under DC law that mandate reporting claims of child sexual abuse.

Certain people in certain positions are required by law to report accusations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities to consider that for prosecution.

For example, if a teacher or daycare worker hears from a child under their care that they have been sexually abused, the caregiver has a legal requirement to convey that accusation to the police or some other or child protective services or some law enforcement authority, who would then further investigate the accusation to decide whether to charge the person who has been accused.

Law Enforcement Approach

In the event that prosecutors believe that an accusation is credible, then they can proceed very vigorously and very aggressively against a person who has been accused. Often, they seek not only severe charges but severe penalties against the accused.

Potential Penalties

People who have been found guilty and convicted of child sexual abuse can face a lifetime of sex offender registration and the possibility of many years in prison. In addition, they could lose their job and custody of their own children, even if their own children were not involved in many accusations.

Consequences of a Statutory Conviction

Since statutory rape is not its own charge, there are varying DC statutory rape penalties for different kinds of allegations of child sexual abuse. If a person is charged and convicted of Second Degree child sexual abuse, that person can face up to 10 years in prison per charge and fines of up to $25,000.

A person who is convicted of first-degree child sexual abuse can face a possibility of up to 30 years in prison. But in some situations, a person can face the possibility of a lifetime in prison if there are certain aggravating factors present.

Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors include an accuser who is under 12 years of age at the time of the alleged offense, as well as when said individual has sustained serious bodily injury as a result of the events under scrutiny.

If the defendant was aided by one or more accomplices, that will increase the DC statutory rape penalties as well. There are a number of other aggravating factors that can increase the maximum possible penalty for First Degree child sexual abuse from 30 years up to life in prison.

It is important to have a lawyer who understands these aggravating factors and understand how they can impact of a person’s maximum sentence and also could impact a possible or a likely sentence upon conviction.

A person can also face different penalties if convicted of sexual abuse of a minor which requires a significant relationship between the defendant and the minor. A person who is convicted of Second Degree sexual abuse of a minor faces up to, seven and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. A person who faces, who is convicted of First Degree sexual abuse of a minor can get up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $37,500.

Importance of Working with an Attorney

When prosecutors move forward that vigorously on these kinds of accusations, it is absolutely vital that a person facing such serious allegations have the absolute best legal representation to minimize the DC statutory rape penalties. An experienced lawyer can do the following and more:

  • Properly investigate the allegations
  • Interview witnesses
  • Understand the nature of these allegations against children and find the best strategy to challenge the prosecutor’s evidence
  • Challenge the accusation
  • Argue for minimizing penalties

Ultimately, they will work to humanize those they represent in the eyes of the court to ensure that they are treated fairly and ensure that they are not pursued with any unconstitutionally obtain evidence or evidence that does not stand up scrutiny.

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