If facing criminal charges of any kind can damage not only your immediate future but destroy current relationships with both family and friends, it’s charges of a sexual offense. Sex crimes carry a stigma like none other and also carry potentially disastrous legal penalties.

Below is a summary of some of the more commonly charged sex offenses under Missouri law. If you find yourself facing any of these charges or another Missouri sex offense, we may be able to put you in touch with a local attorney who can help.

Missouri Sex Offenses and Penalties

There are numerous different sex crimes described under Missouri statutes.  This is an overview of some of the most commonly charged crimes.

Forcible Rape

Simply defined, the crime of forcible rape is where a person has sexual intercourse with another by use of force or the use of a substance administered without the victim’s knowledge or consent that renders them unable to make informed consent.

In most cases, forcible rape and attempted forcible rape is classified as a felon offense and punishable by up to life in prison or a sentence of no less than 5 years. There are exceptions to this sentence. For instance, if a weapon is used or if serious physical injury result, the sentence is 15 years to life. If the victim is a child under 12, you will serve a mandatory minimum 30 years.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined as having intercourse with someone without their consent. This crime is classified as a Class C Felony which carries up to 7 years in prison and fines reaching $5,000.

First Degree Statutory Rape

Statutory rape is a crime based on the age of the victim. If you have sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 14, regardless of consent, you will be charged with a felony that carries up to a life sentence and no less than five years. If the act results in serious physical injury, if a weapon is used, if there is more than one offender, or if the victim is under the age of 12, that sentence is increased to 10 years to life.

Second Degree Statutory Rape

You could be facing charges of second degree statutory rape if you are 21 years or older and you have sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 17 years old. This is considered a Class C Felony and is punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

First Degree Sexual Misconduct

First degree sexual misconduct is defined as subjecting someone to sexual contact without their consent. It is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor in most cases, which is punishable by up to one year in jail. However, if you’ve been previously convicted of this or a similar offense or use a weapon during the commission of the offense, the charge is elevated to a Class D Felony, carrying up to 4 years in prison.

Second Degree Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct in the second degree can be the applicable charge if you are accused of:

  1. Exposing your genitals where you know that conduct will be offensive or cause alarm,
  2. Having sexual contact in the presence of a third person or persons under circumstances in which you know that behavior will be offensive or cause alarm, or
  3. Having sexual intercourse in a public place in the presence of a third person.

Generally, this is a Class B Misdemeanor offense, carrying a potential 6 month jail sentence. However, if you’ve previously been convicted of a similar offense, you could face Class A Misdemeanor charges and up to 1 year in jail.

Third Degree Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct in the third degree is defined as soliciting or requesting another person to engage in sexual conduct under circumstances where you know that the request is likely to cause offense or alarm. This is considered a Class C Misdemeanor, which carries a potential 15 day jail sentence.

Ref: Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 566

The charge you face depends on the specifics of your case. Being charged with a sexual crime doesn’t make you a deviant or a sex offender—the latter designation is only applied after a conviction. If you’ve been charged with such an offense and are in need of assistance, let us put you in touch with a local defense lawyer today.