Understanding The Difference Between Rape and Sexual Assault

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In many cases, rape and sexual assault may refer to the same or similar acts. However, this is not always the case. As a defense lawyer, it is crucial we help our clients understand what charges they are faced with so we can develop the best defense possible.

What The Terms Rape and Sexual Assault Mean

Sexual assault is a term that includes rape as well as many other types of unwanted sexual contact. Rape does not refer to all types of sexual assault. Traditionally, rape has been defined by forced penetration of a woman by a male assailant. There are many types of rape, including statutory rape, which refers to the rape of a minor by someone older than 18 and acquaintance rape, which can often refer to the rape of a person familiar to the assailant.

Sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual contact including any genital, oral or anal penetration by the part of an assailant’s body or an object.  This includes the accused forcing a victim to perform sexual acts or for the victim to be touched in a sexual way.

Any type of forced sexual contact may fall under a rape or sexual assault. If a victim didn’t give or was unable to give consent, any sexual act may be considered a sexual assault. Consent cannot be gained by someone who is incapacitated, drunk or passed out, asleep or in any other state that would not allow for a reasonable consent.

An outline of Virginia’s list of criminal sexual offenses and penalties are listed here.

If you are facing any type of sexual assault charges, it is imperative to speak with an experienced Virginia defense lawyer who can help you defend yourself with the strongest defense possible. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Call The Law Offices of Patrick N. Anderson and Associates today at (703) 520-2860

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