Those charged with sexual abuse may wonder what police and lawyers mean when they say, “second degree” or “third degree.” To help the accused understand these charges, we’ve put together a short guide to explain the degrees of sexual abuse in Iowa.
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Third-degree sexual abuse describes cases where a person performs sex acts under any of the following conditions:
- The act is against the other person’s will, or
- The act is against someone who is 12-13 years old, or
- The act is against someone 14-15 years old AND…
- The other person is a member of the same household
- The other person is related by blood
- The initiator is in a position of authority over the other person
- Or the act is performed on a person under the influence of drugs or pharmaceuticals
- Or the act is performed on a person who is mentally handicapped.
Second-degree abuse describes when a person performs sex acts under the following circumstances
- The person initiating the sexual contact uses a dangerous weapon or threatens to hurt the other person by force, or
- The other person is under the age of 12, or
- Another person assists the initiator and together they force sexual contact against someone’s will
First-degree sexual abuse is the most serious kind and is an additional condition of other types of sexual abuse. First-degree sexual abuse describes a case where actions during a sexual abuse inflict serious injury to another person. This could mean cuts, broken bones, or even death.
A Strong Defense
Conviction of a sex crime in Iowa requires that the defendant add themselves to the Iowa sex offender registry. Once on the sex offender registry, there is no way off until the time requirement has expired (minimum ten years).
That’s why it’s critical for anyone accused of a sex crime to discuss their case with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can examine all the evidence and help make the best possible case to fight for your rights.
If you were accused of a sex crime, you might want legal representation. If you’d like an experienced attorney from Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (319) 499-5524.