Be Aware of Indiana Sexual Assault and Rape Laws

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If someone commits a sexual act against someone’s consent or will, then it will be treated as sexual violence.  There are various offenses, that can be treated as nonconsensual sex act such as:

  • Abusive sexual contact
  • Rape
  • Non-contact sexual abuse
  • Any alcohol/drug-facilitated or forced incidents where the victim was forced to penetrate
  • Forced or alcohol/drug-facilitated penetration of any victim
  • Intentional sexual touching
  • Unwanted penetration
  • Non-contact sexual acts

All these types of offenses involved where victims never consented or were unable to give consent.  Sexual violence may also occur when any perpetrator will force or coerce a victim for engaging in sexual acts.

Therefore, a very consistent definition is needed for sexual violence so that it is possible to monitor and examine the sexual violence trends.

Non-consensual sexual contact, of any kind mentioned above, if the offense was committed with any adult/child, is considered a serious crime in Indiana. The penalties for such crime may vary depending upon the kind of violence, weapons, the threat of force used. Also, the reasons involved and the victim’s age, and also that of the defendant.

In Indiana, the consent age generally is 16. However, there is another law that exists in Indiana is known as “Romeo and Juliet law” where even 14 to 15-year-old teenagers are allowed to have sex (non-forced) with their friends and peers who should not be above 4 years older.

However, if someone is ever wrongly acquitted on a sexual assault charge then the person can contact any Evansville sexual assault lawyer to defend them. The defense attorney for sexual assault at Thomas Law, has the necessary experience, skills, and legal knowledge for handling complex criminal cases.

How sexual violence is affecting the United States?

This kind of sexual violence usually is a certain social phenomenon that has permeated all of society and perhaps nobody is immune from it and its impact.

As per the survey of CDC and many other agencies, the following was observed:

  • 1 in every 5 women and also 1 in 59 men must have experienced either an attempted or complete rape at least once in their lifetime, where the victim was penetrated forcefully or/and through alcohol/drug facilitation.
  • Almost 1 in 15 men reported that they had to penetrate some other person in their lifetime.
  • Almost 12.5% among the women and almost 5.8% among the men have reported sexual coercion happened in their life against their will.
  • Among the women, 27.3%  and among the men 10.8% have faced in their lifetime some form of sexual contact against their will.
  • Almost 32.1% of women and 13.3% of men have experienced in their lifetime some kind of unwanted noncontact sexual experience.
  • Most victims of all kinds of sexual violence were familiar with their perpetrators. About  46.7% of victims of rape who were female had a minimum of one culprit who was known to her, and about 45.4% of rape victims among females had a minimum of one perpetrator among the intimate partner.
  • About 29% of male victims who faced rape reported that their perpetrators were among intimate partners.
  • Above 50% of women have experienced alcohol/drug-facilitated penetration through an acquaintance.

Usually, girls who are abused sexually will be more likely to:

  • Suffer physical violence as well as sexual re-victimization,
  • May engage in certain self-harming behavior
  • Also, become a victim of sexual violence from an intimate partner later in life.

Many survivors of sexual violence may experience various physical injuries and mental health consequences like:

  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Suicide attempts
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Substance abuse
  • Gynecological/pregnancy complications.

How sexual violence affects Indiana?

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  • The number of Indiana residents who may have experienced rape or sexual violence is estimated at 505,000 victims i.e. about 20.4%.
  • The sexual violence that is other than rape in Indiana is estimated at 1,091,000 victims which is about 43.9%.
  • In 2012, in Indiana, approximately 125,000 Hoosiers have reported sexual advances/ forced sexual activity.
  • As per the survey was done by YRBS (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) in 2011, they reported 14.5% of Hoosier were high school-aged girls. Among the high school-aged boys were 5.2% Hoosier who were physically forced to get involved in unwanted sexual intercourse.

Laws of Indiana on sexual assault and rape

The following acts are prohibited as per the laws of Indiana:

  • Rape or have anal, oral, or vaginal sex
  • Penetrating the anus or genitals of someone forcefully with an object
  • Using the threat of force for a sexual act

Besides the above, the following acts are also illegal:

  • Touching someone to sexually arouse
  • Touching someone’s genitals, buttocks
  • Touching any female’s breasts without her knowledge

For teenagers of 14-15-year-olds in Indiana following are prohibited:

  • A person of 18-20-years-old cannot engage in sex with any 14 to 15 years old.
  • Fondling/sexual touching is also prohibited
  • In case the victim happens to be below 14 then it will be considered child molestation

Defenses

In case of rape, insanity, innocence, and a few others, defenses are applicable. Consent is also a defense for sex crimes provided the consenter was conscious, above the required age of consent, and was willing for the sexual contact.

This consent is also applicable for defense if both young children engaged in the sexual act are almost of the same age. If the child is too young then the child cannot consent to any sexual conduct. If some individual is mentally disabled then also can’t give any consent.

In a child molesting or sexual misconduct case with a child, the law of Indiana permits the defense, the accused believed that the child was 16 or above during the sexual activity if the sex act was not committed by using force or using drugs or weapons. Also, the law of sexual misconduct provides a few additional defenses:

  1. The people who were involved in the sex were married. However, this law is contradicting the fact that raping is illegal including with your spouse because the exemption from marital rape was abolished in Indiana in the year 1989.
  2. The age of the defendant is not above 4 years than the victim, both were dating, no aggravating factors were available, and the defendant in fact has not committed any sex crime against any other third person.

Sexual assault, rape, and any other type of non-consensual sexual activities are considered very serious crimes and can be convicted for life as “sex offenders”.

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