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A Closer Look at What Is and Is Not A Sex Crime


Charges associated with sexual assault and sexual misconduct have been all over the news of late with the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The topic is now being discussed widely not only in the United States, but all over the world. As a result, it is worth taking a close look at what constitutes sex crimes, specifically, as this can be a confusing topic to the public.

Sex Crimes & Offenses versus Sexual Harassment

While sex crimes vary greatly based on the specific jurisdiction, some universal examples of sex crimes can include sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor, molesting a child, lewd and lascivious acts, use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, etc.

Many of the accusations that have come out against Weinstein and others of late would likely fall into the category of assault, as many of these men have been accused of forcibly kissing and grabbing women that they worked with or touching female employees without consent.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can be a different kind of accusation than a criminal charge like assault, and can cover issues related to making suggestive comments about female coworkers’ appearance, or trying to leverage positions of authority for sex, etc.

The Law in Florida

While both sexual assault and sexual harassment are illegal and considered to be unwanted, uninvited sexual behaviors which can result in harm to the victim, the difference is that sexual harassment occurs in a work or school setting and is covered under Equal Opportunity Laws, while sexual assault involves physical contact, the use of force, threats, intimidation, and/or abuse of authority against a victim that cannot provide consent, and is covered under criminal statutes.

In Florida, a person commits a sexual battery if:

  • The victim is physically helpless to resist;
  • The offender threatens to use force or violence like to cause serious injury on the victim and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the ability to carry out the threat, all to coerce the victim to submit;
  • The offender brings about coercion by threatening to retaliate against the victim (and the victim reasonably believes that they can);
  • The offender administers any narcotic or other intoxicating substance which incapacitates the victim;
  • The victim is mentally defective and/or physically incapacitated and the offender is aware of this; or
  • The offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer, or another position of control or authority as an agent of the government

Experienced Sex Crime Lawyers Serving Florida and Massachusetts

Being accused of a sex crime is a serious accusation. There is no question that it is absolutely life-altering; not only could you end up with a permanent status as a sex offender, but your reputation could be destroyed forever. If you are facing such a charge, contact our experienced sex crime criminal defense attorneys at the Baez Law Firm today for a free consultation and we can discuss your options.



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