Greensburg Sexual Assault Attorney | Sexual Assault Lawyer Near Me | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys
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Worgul, Sarna & Ness

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Allegations of sexual assault in Greensburg, PA, are serious and need to treated as such. When these types of charges are filed, you need to think carefully about what you do next. Now is not the time to let your emotions dictate your actions. Do not angrily contact your accuser. Do not speak to the police and think you will clear up the misunderstanding. The best thing for you to do is to contact a sexual assault attorney as soon as possible. If you have been contacted by the police or arrested, tell them you are invoking your right to remain silent and that you want an attorney.

By working with Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, and our sex crime attorneys in Greensburg, you will have someone dedicated to helping you. We will protect your rights during a criminal investigation, and we will strive to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Our criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to discuss your situation. Contact us online or call (724) 834-1275 to set up a free and confidential consultation.

What Is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a specific sex offense in Pennsylvania, which differs from rape. Sexual assault is defined and prohibited in 18 Pa. Code §3124.1. The law states that except as provided by the rape statutes or the law concerning involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, you can be charged with a second-degree felony if you perform sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse on a victim who has not consented. In other words, sexual assault is engaging in any non-consensual sex, when the circumstances do not fit the definitions of rape or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

It is also important to know that under Pennsylvania law, sexual intercourse includes vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. It also only requires some amount of penetration, however slight. Additionally, it does not matter whether the victim was a man or woman. A person of any gender can sexually assault another person of any gender.

Sexual Assault vs. Rape

The offense of rape is defined in 18 Pa. Code §3121, and under this law, the act of rape constitutes performing sexual intercourse with a victim when one of the following circumstances applies:

  • The use of force.
  • Threats of force that would prevent resistance for a reasonable person.
  • The victim was unconscious, or you know the victim was unaware that sexual intercourse was occurring.
  • You substantially impaired the victim’s power to appraise or control their conduct by administering or employing, without the victim’s knowledge, drugs, intoxicants, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.
  • The victim has a mental disability that renders them incapable of consent.

For a prosecutor to charge you with rape, they must have evidence that sexual intercourse occurred. Additionally, the prosecutor must be able to prove you used force, threats of force, or drugs to impair the victim’s control, or that the victim was unconscious, unaware, or mentally disabled. If a prosecutor does not have enough evidence to prove one of these additional elements, then they are more likely to file sexual assault charges.

If you are accused of either rape or sexual assault in Greensburg, PA, call our sexual assault lawyers right away.

Types of Sexual Assault

Under Pennsylvania law, there are several types of sexual assault, including

  • Statutory Sexual Assault (18 Pa. Code §3122.1): You can be charged with statutory sexual assault in Greensburg if you engage in sexual intercourse with a person, who is not your spouse, and who is under the age of 16 years old, and you are more than four years older than the minor. If you are between four and 11 years older than the minor, you will be charged with a second-degree felony. If you are at least 11 years older than the minor, you will be charged with a first-degree felony.
  • Institutional Sexual Assault (18 Pa. Code §3124.2): You can be charged with a third-degree felony if you work at a department of corrections facility, a county correctional authority, youth development center, youth forestry camp, state or county juvenile detention facility, or other licensed residential facility serving youth, or mental health facility or institute, and you perform sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or indecent contact with an inmate, detainee, patient, or resident. You also can face this charge if you work or volunteer at a school or child care facility and engage in sexual contact with a student or child receiving services at the facility.
  • Sexual Assault by Sports Official, Volunteer, or Non-Profit Employee (18 Pa. Code §3124.3): If you are a sports official in a for-profit or non-profit sports association or a volunteer or employee of a non-profit, and you have direct contact with children, you can be charged with a third-degree felony for engaging in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or indecent contact with a child participating in that sports program or non-profit association.

Sexual Assault Penalties

Depending on the circumstances and severity of the case, sexual assault is classified into three distinct degrees of felony crimes:

  • Third-degree felony sexual assault: Punishable by up to seven years in prison and fines reaching $15,000.
  • Second-degree felony sexual assault: Punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
  • First-degree felony sexual assault: Punishable with up to 20 years of incarceration and up to $25,000 in fines.

Sex Offender Registration

Under Pennsylvania law, if you are convicted of a sexual assault in Greensburg, you will be required to register as a sex offender after you are released from prison.

As a Tier III offense, a sexual assault conviction requires lifetime registration and appearing before law enforcement four times per year. If you are convicted of statutory sexual assault, you may be placed in Tier III or II, depending on the circumstances. Tier II registration lasts 25 years and appearing twice per year.

If you are convicted of institutional sexual assault, you may be placed in Tier III, II, or I, depending on the facts. Tier I sex offenses require 15-year registration and appearing once per year.

The Criminal Statute of Limitations on Sexual Assault

Prosecutors have 12 years to file charges after a sexual assault or statutory sexual assault takes place. However, if the alleged victim was a minor at the time of the assault, prosecutors may have until that victim turns 50 years old to file. In cases of institutional sex assault, sexual assault by a sport official, volunteer, or non-profit employee, the prosecutor must commence charges within two years of the offense.

Additionally, DNA evidence may impact the statute of limitations. If DNA evidence is discovered while the statute of limitations is running or after it has run out, then the DNA evidence that identifies a perpetrator gives prosecutors one more year to file charges.

Sex Assault Cases Are Aggressively Pursued

Sexual assault statistics are frightening. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in three women and one in six men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes. Ninety-one percent of sexual assault victims are women, and 63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. When sexual assault is reported, the police and persecutors usually take it very seriously. This means seeking maximum sentences and offering little room for leniency.

Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys For Help Today

When you’ve been accused of sexual assault, you need to protect yourself. These charges can damage your reputation, your career, your personal life, and most importantly your freedom. Unfortunately, false allegations happen, and these cases are almost never resolved by someone merely explaining their side of the story. It takes a skilled defense attorney to present your case and at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our sexual assault attorneys have worked with many individuals who were wrongly accused of sexual assault or other sex crime charges. Don’t leave your case to chance.

If you are being accused of sexual assault in Greensburg or Dauphin County, act immediately. Call us at (724) 834-1275 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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