Sex Crime in St. Louis, MO
The Dangers of a Simple Accusation
In Missouri the penalties that are waged upon convicted sex offenders are undoubtedly severe. What many people do not realize, however, is that false accusations for something such as child pornography are not entirely uncommon, especially when it comes to allegations of rape and various other sexual offenses.
According to a study that was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than 9% of all rape accusations are falsified or contradicted by DNA evidence. This is a low estimate, however, as this figure only accounts for the number of allegations that are recanted by the victim or exonerated by testing. For this reason, if you have been accused of committing a sex crime, you should not hesitate to enlist the help of a legal professional as soon as possible—even if formal charges have not yet been placed upon you.
Penalties for Sex Crimes
Crimes that are sexual in nature are often punished more severely than many other offenses in the state of Missouri, especially when the illegal act has involved a minor child. For this reason, even a simple accusation should be reason enough to take action in the interest of you defense—as you could soon face the possibility of life in prison without the chance of parole. What is important to understand, however, is that different types of sexual offenses yield different legal consequences. In the state of Missouri, they are as follows:
- Forcible rape is a felony according to Section 566.030 of the Missouri Statutes, resulting in a prison sentence of five years to life. If bodily injury or the display of a weapon was involved, the term is at least 15 years. If the victim was a child under 12, the sentence will be life without chance of parole until the offender has served at least 30 years. Exceptionally outrageous or inhumane rape of a child will result in a life sentence without parole or conditional release.
- Sexual assault can be defined as any sexual act that is committed without the consent of the recipient—which ranges from forced penetration to inappropriate touching. Although this type of sex crime is considered to a lesser offense in comparison with rape, it is still a class C felony and will often result in a prison sentence of up to seven years.
- If a person subjects a minor to sexual contact of any kind, they could be convicted of child molestation. This includes any form of touching that is considered to be "lewd and lascivious." This type of offense is class A misdemeanor, or a class D felony if there is injury or the display of a weapon. A class D felony results in a prison sentence of up to four years.
- As a felony, sex trafficking incurs a fine of up to $50,000 and a prison sentence between 5 and 20 years. However, if the victim was forced into the trafficking system against their will, the penalty is a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison sentence between 10 years to life. This differs from other sex crimes, as the offender does not need to be the one engaging in illegal sexual acts.
How do I combat a sex crime allegation?
Simply being accused of committing a serious sexual offense can have consequences, as it can have an impact on your friendships, your job and even your relationship with your family. For this reason, it is important to act quickly in the face of such allegations—regardless of whether or not formal charges have been waged against you. The first step that you should take is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In doing so, you may be able to gain a clearer understanding of what you may be up against and then figure out a way in which to successfully fight the accusations that have been made against you. To get started, we urge you to contact a lawyer from the Sumner Law Group, LLC. Either by calling our office directly or by filling out and submitting a free case evaluation form online, we can assist you in figuring out how to move forward with your case.