Child molestation in Arizona is treated as a very serious offense. If you or somebody you love is facing charges, contact a skilled Phoenix child molestation lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights and future are preserved. Call our local law firm at (480) 498-8998 to learn how we can help.
Molestation of a child occurs when “a person intentionally or knowingly engages in or causes a person to engage in sexual contact, except sexual contact with the female breast, with a child who is under fifteen years of age.” “Sexual contact” is defined by A.R.S. § 13-1401. It means “any direct or indirect touching, fondling or manipulating of any part of the genitals, anus or female breast by any part of the body or by any object or causing a person to engage in such contact.” However, sexual contact does not include direct or indirect touching or manipulating during caretaking responsibilities. As long as an objective, a reasonable person would recognize the touching as normal and reasonable under the circumstances.
The state never has to prove a lack of consent to convict a person for the crime of molestation of a child because a person under 15 years of age is legally incapable of consent. It is also important to note that the intentionally or knowingly language within the molestation statute applies only to the acts amounting to sexual contact and not to the victim’s age. Thus, a belief that the victim was over the age of 15 is never a defense, and the state need not prove that the defendant was aware of the victim’s age to obtain a conviction. Instead, it must simply prove that sexual contact occurred, and that the victim was under the age of 15.
Molestation of a child is a class 2 felony and a dangerous crime against children punishable pursuant to the terms of A.R.S. § 13-705. Thus, an adult offender convicted of molestation of a child and has no prior felony convictions faces a mandatory term of imprisonment between 10 and 24 years.
Adults are not the only ones who can be charged with molestation of a minor, and young people are not immune from prosecution. Indeed, they may face the same very serious consequences as an adult in the event they are convicted. The very lengthy sentences described above can be imposed on someone as young as 14-years-old because Arizona law allows for the prosecution of children as young as 14 years of age in the adult criminal courts. The decision about whether to charge a minor as an adult is made by the prosecutors. Learn more about the penalties for child molestation in Arizona by consulting with a Phoenix defense lawyer experienced in defending against child molestation charges.
“A person who over a period of three months or more in duration engages in three or more acts constituting sexual conduct with a minor, sexual assault, or molestation of a child with a person who is under 14 years of age is guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child.” When a defendant faces a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a minor, they cannot be charged in the same proceeding with the individual offenses forming the basis of that charge, unless they are charged in the alternative. In other words, a defendant cannot be convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a minor and the separate sexual offenses that the state relied on to establish his commission of continuous sexual abuse of a minor. What the State can do, however, is charge each of those offenses in the alternative, so that if the jury acquits on the charge of continuous sexual abuse, it can still convict on one or more of the underlying offenses, assuming that the state proves the occurrence of the offense or offenses beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are facing continuous sexual abuse of a minor charges in Arizona, speak with a skilled Phoenix child molestation lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights.
Continuous sexual abuse of a minor is a class 2 dangerous crime against children and is punishable pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-705. Under the terms of that statute, a person with no prior predicate felony convictions faces a term of mandatory imprisonment between 13 and 27 years.
Continuous sexual abuse of a minor is obviously a very serious charge. If you have been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a minor, you need experienced and aggressive representation by a Phoenix child molestation attorney who will take the time to investigate the facts of your case and present the best defense possible under the circumstances. Don’t go it alone. Call Stone Rose Law now for a free consultation.
If you have been accused of molestation of a child, you need an experienced and aggressive child molestation attorney to assist you early in the case. The state will almost always ask the court to impose exceptionally harsh release conditions, which may include pretrial confinement, G.P.S. monitoring, drug testing, alcohol testing, and curfews, to name a few. To counteract the state’s influence and obtain fair release conditions, it is vital that you contact Stone Rose Law. Call now for a free consultation at (480) 498-8998.