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New Braunfels Sexual Assault Lawyer

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Texas takes a hard stance against sexually-motivated crimes by punishing offenders with harsh prison sentences and other consequences.

The two main Texas statutes prohibiting improper sexual contact and unlawful sexual acts are:

  1. Texas Penal Code 22.011 (prohibiting sexual assault); and
  2. Texas Penal Code 22.021 (prohibiting aggravated sexual assault)

I Can Help

Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with sexual assault in Comal County or other Central Texas counties such as Hays County, Guadalupe County, Travis County, or Bexar County.

Sexual Assault in Texas – TPC 22.011

“Sexual assault” is a broad term that encompasses several prohibited sexual acts. All of the prohibited acts require the individual charged with sexual assault (the “defendant”) to have committed a prohibited act “intentionally” or “knowingly.” These are terms defined by other statutes but generally require the defendant to be aware of and intend to commit the prohibited sexual act.

Sexual Assault in Texas includes:

  • Penetrating the anus or sexual organ of another by any means without the other person’s consent;
  • Penetrating the mouth of another person with the defendant’s sexual organ without the other person’s consent;
  • Causing the sexual organ of another person, without their consent, to penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the defendant or a third person;
  • Doing any of the above acts to a child (a child’s consent to any of the acts is immaterial);
  • Causing the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the defendant or a third person, or causing the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of the defendant or a third person (again, the child’s consent is immaterial).

A person does not have to scream or fight off the defendant to be found not to have given consent. There is no consent when:

  • The victim is compelled to submit by physical force or violence;
  • The defendant threatens to harm the victim or any other person, and the victim believes the defendant can carry out the threat;
  • The victim did not consent, and the defendant knows the victim is either unconscious or unable to resist;
  • The defendant knows the victim is suffering from a mental disease or defect that makes the victim unable to either know the nature of what is happening or resisting it;
  • The victim has not consented, and the defendant knows the victim is unaware the act is occurring, such as when the victim is in a deep sleep;
  • The defendant impaired the ability of the victim to appraise him- or herself of their actions or to control them with a substance (like administering a “date-rape” drug);
  • The defendant is a public servant, such as a police officer, a mental services provider, a clergyman, or an employee of a residential facility. The victim is either coerced (by a public servant), has their emotional dependency exploited (mental services provider or clergyman), or where the victim is a resident of the same facility (employee of a residential facility).

Aggravated Sexual Assault in Texas – TPC 22.021

A sexual assault (as defined above) becomes an aggravated sexual assault if any of the following conditions apply during the commission of the sexual assault:

  • The defendant causes serious bodily harm or attempts to kill the victim or another person during the sexual assault;
  • The defendant places the victim in fear that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be inflicted on any person during the sexual assault;
  • The defendant utters words in the presence of the victim that threatens to cause death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person during the course of the sexual assault;
  • The defendant uses or displays a deadly weapon during the course of the sexual assault;
  • The defendant acts in concert with at least one other person who also sexually assaults the victim during the same episode (a “gang rape”);
  • The defendant administers or provides the drug flunitrazepam/Rohypnol to the victim to facilitate the offense.
  • The victim is either a child under 14 years old or an elderly or disabled individual.

Penalties for Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault

Penalties for sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault in Texas are severe. They can include prison as well as other burdensome requirements.

  • Aggravated sexual assault is punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison.
  • Sexual assault can result in up to 20 years in prison.

A person faces a minimum of 25 years in prison if the victim was under the age of 6 years old or if the victim was under the age of 14 years old and threatened with violence.

Sexual Assault Registration Requirements

A conviction for sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault will result in registration requirements. A defendant convicted of either offense must register as a sexual offender, usually for the remainder of their life.

This requirement would follow the offender wherever they moved. These registration lists are made public, which may cause the defendant’s reputation in the community to suffer.

Defenses to Sexual Assault and Aggravated Sexual Assault

Defendants charged with sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault may find that few defenses are available to them. Consent is the primary defense to these types of charges. Except in cases of a minor child, any child under the age of 17, a voluntary and consensual sexual encounter will not give rise to a charge of sexual assault.

The law does not punish a defendant whose sexual partner freely and voluntarily engaged in a sexual act but then later regretted that act. Several facts will be relevant to establish consent, including:

  • How the encounter began as witnessed by others;
  • the 911 call by the victim or other person (if there is any tape);
  • the prior history between the defendant and the victim (i.e., were these two in a serious and sexual relationship
  • before the accusations, or had they met for the first time just hours before the alleged assault),
  • and the results of any sexual assault exam performed by a medical professional.

I Can Help

Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with sexual assault in Comal County or other Central Texas counties such as Hays County, Guadalupe County, Travis County, or Bexar County.

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