AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT

A person commits the offense of aggravated sexual assault when he or she intentionally or knowingly, without another person’s consent, causes the penetration of the anus or the female sexual organ of another person, causes the penetration of the mouth of the other person with a sexual organ, or causes the sexual organ of the other person to contact or to penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the person or any other person. A person also commits the offense of aggravated sexual assault if he or she intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or the female sexual organ of a child, causes the penetration of the mouth of a child with a sexual organ, or causes the anus, the mouth, or the sexual organ of a child to contact or to penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of the person or another person.

In addition to the foregoing acts, a person must cause serious bodily injury or attempt to cause death to another person, the person must place a victim in fear of death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping, or the person must threaten to cause death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping to another person. Other factors that cause the offense of sexual assault to be aggravated include the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon, the administration of certain drugs, or the victim’s young age, elderly age, or disability.

An indictment for aggravated sexual assault does not need to allege specific facts with regard to an aggravating factor. The indictment need only allege the elements for a sexual assault, the aggravating factor, and a defendant’s mental state with regard to the aggravating factor.

In order to convict a defendant of aggravated sexual assault, the prosecution must prove the elements of sexual assault and must also prove one or more of the aggravating factors. Whether the defendant placed a victim in fear of death or serious bodily injury is determined by the defendant’s overall conduct. Although the acts or words that put the victim in fear of death or bodily injury do not need to be proved, the acts or words must amount to more than the force that is required for sexual assault.

Where a defendant threatens a victim with death or serious bodily injury, the prosecution does not need to show that the defendant directly threatened the victim. The threat may be implied from the defendant’s actions. The threat does not need to be continuous. However, the threat must cause the victim to believe that he or she was in imminent danger. The danger cannot be remote.

The offense of aggravated sexual assault is normally punished as a first degree felony, which is a felony of the most serious degree.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.