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Defense of Minnesota Statutory Rape / Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges

Allegations or charges of statutory rape are just as serious as forcible rape.  If you have been arrested, charged, or questioned by police in relation to an allegation of any form of criminal sexual conduct you need a skilled and competent advocate in your corner. Contact Minneapolis sex crimes defense lawyer David Balmer for a free, confidential case evaluation. The Balmer Law Office is available via its 24-hour hotline: 612-326-4175.

Minnesota Statutory Rape Law

The common understanding of statutory rape is when an adult has “consensual” sexual relations with a minor under the age of consent. In Minnesota the legal age of consent is 16. However, various forms of criminal sexual conduct can be charged when an adult engages in sexual relations with a minor over the age of 16 if the adult is either: in a position of authority over the victim; or has a significant relationship with the victim.

With respect to sexual relations with a minor under the age of 16, Minnesota law provides an exemption (or less severe sanctions) when the age difference between the parties is relatively small. When the parties' ages are outside of this statutory buffer zone, a variety of offenses may be charged. The severity of the charges depend upon both the age of the victim and the age of the person being charged. With respect to statutory rape, the following summarizes the types of charges that can arise from a sexual relationship with a minor under the age of 16.

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Fourth degree criminal sexual conduct is specific to sexual contact (not penetration) and applies when the person being charged (the defendant) engaged in sexual contact:

  • with a victim under the age of 13 and when the defendant is not more than three years older than the victim;
  • with a victim who is at least 13 years of age, but not yet 16, and when the defendant is more than four years older than the victim or in a position of authority over the victim.

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

In order to be convicted for criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, the State must prove sexual penetration — not just sexual contact. A person can be convicted of third degree criminal sexual conduct if they engage in sexual penetration:

  • with a victim under the age of 13 and the defendant is not more than three years older than the victim, or
  • with a victim who is at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age and the defendant is more than two years older than the victim.

With respect to incidents where the alleged victim is at least 13 years of age, mistake of age may be an affirmative defense if the defendant is not more than ten years older than the alleged victim.

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Like fourth degree criminal sexual conduct, under the second degree offense the State needs only to prove sexual contact — not sexual penetration. A person can be convicted of second degree criminal sexual conduct if they engage in sexual contact:

  • with a victim who is less than 13 years of age and the defendant is more than three years older than the victim,
  • with a victim who is at least 13 years of age, but less than 16 years of age, and the defendant is not more than four years older than the victim and in a position of authority over the victim, or
  • with a victim who is less than 16 years of age when the defendant has a significant relationship to the victim.

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

In order to be convicted for first degree criminal sexual conduct, typically the State must prove sexual penetration (unless the victim is under the age of 13).  A person can be convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct when he or she:

  • engages in either sexual contact or penetration with a victim under the age of 13 when the defendant is three years or older than the victim, or
  • engages in sexual penetration with a victim who is at least 13 years of age, but less than 16 years of age, and the defendant is more than four years older than the victim and in a position of authority over the victim.

Consequences of a Minnesota Statutory Rape / Criminal Sexual Conduct Conviction

Sexual Predator Registration

A conviction for any of the above degrees of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota will likely result in significant prison time. In addition to prison time, someone convicted of any level of the above offenses will be required to register as a predatory offender. Because the State maintains a public database of predatory offenders, registrants are often harassed and ostracized by society.

Forfeiture (Police Can Take Your Property)

The State may seize you personal property if the property was used or intended for use to commit or facilitate the commission of certain criminal sexual conduct offenses.

Loss of Right to Possess a Firearm

Criminal sexual conduct in the first through fourth degrees is defined as a crime of violence.  A conviction for a crime of violence results in immediate revocation of your right to possess a firearm.

Deportation

A conviction for criminal sexual conduct, or other disposition resolving the case, may result in immigration consequences for both undocumented aliens and lawful permanent residents.

Loss of Right to Vote

In Minnesota, a felony conviction results in the loss of certain civil rights. Convicted felons may not vote or serve on a jury.

Loss of Professional License and Difficulty Getting a Job

A criminal sexual conduct conviction will likely result in the loss of a professional license. Additionally, a conviction will obviously make it more difficult to obtain employment.

Contact the Balmer Law Office — Minnesota Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

Defending a charge against rape or criminal sexual conduct is complicated. Special rules of evidence apply.  Often scientific evidence is at issue. The consequences of a conviction are devastating. If you or a loved one has been arrested, charged, or questioned by police in relation to a rape or other form of criminal sexual conduct contact the Balmer Law Office for a free, confidential case evaluation. The Balmer Law Office is available via its 24-hour hotline: 612-326-4175.

David Balmer

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David Balmer established the Balmer Law Office with one overriding goal: provide aggressive, high-caliber criminal and DWI defense for good people facing serious charges throughout the state of Minnesota. Read More

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