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'Rape' Is Not A Legal Term In Wisconsin

Ready To Defend You Against Any Sexual Assault Charge

The word "rape" is commonly used when someone accuses another person of sexual assault. Often, it refers to nonconsensual sexual intercourse that is committed by force or the threat of force. However, the word is no longer used in a legal sense in Wisconsin, primarily because rape was viewed strictly as the sexual assault of a female by a male. Sexual assault is the preferred legal term because it can happen to anyone — a male assault of a female, a female assault of a male or same-sex sexual assault.

Sexual assault in Wisconsin is separated into four categories based upon the amount of force used by the perpetrator and the harm done to the victim. If you face charges of sexual assault, it is critical to enlist the services of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. I have successfully represented hundreds of clients against sexual assault and other sex crime charges over the course of more than 20 years working as a criminal defense lawyer.

What The Level Of Sexual Assault Means

First-degree sexual assault refers to sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a person without his or her consent that causes great bodily harm or pregnancy. It may also involve sexual contact without consent using or threatening to use a dangerous weapon or violence. It also can be sexual contact with a person under 13 years old, whether or not the contact was consensual.

Second-degree sexual assault refers to sexual intercourse or sexual contact without consent through using threat or violence (whether or not the victim is injured). It also can be sexual contact with a person who is known by the perpetrator to be unconscious, intoxicated or mentally ill. It may also refer to sexual contact with a person who is under 16 years old, sexual contact between a correctional officer and an inmate, or a probation officer and someone who the officer supervises.

Third-degree sexual assault refers to sexual intercourse with a person without consent of that person or sexual contact with intentional penile ejaculation with the person's consent.

Fourth-degree sexual assault refers to nonconsensual sexual contact with a person involving intentional touching directly or through clothing if it is done for the perpetrator's sexual gratification or the sexual humiliation of the victim.

The Penalties Are Life-Changing

Penalties for sexual assault range from a prison sentence up to 40 years for first-degree sexual assault to a jail sentence up to nine months and a fine of $10,000 for conviction of fourth-degree sexual assault.

My experience as a prosecutor provides me insight into how cases are built to convict and where many cases fall apart. I welcome the opportunity to review the facts of your case during a free consultation and provide a candid assessment. Call 608-620-6239 or use my online contact form to schedule a meeting. I represent clients throughout central and western Wisconsin from my Madison office.