Sexual assault is defined by A.R.S. § 13-1406, which states that a person commits sexual assault by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without such consent person. If you’re facing sexual assault charges in Arizona, you need an aggressive Phoenix sexual assault defense attorney to protect your rights and future. Contact Stone Rose Law today to schedule a free consultation.
Sexual assault is a class 2 felony. A conviction for that offense comes with a mandatory prison sentence that must be served consecutively to any other sentence for sexual assault, regardless of when that sentence is imposed. Meanwhile, if the sexual assault involved the knowing or intentional infliction of serious physical injury, the court has the discretion to impose a life sentence. If the victim is under 15, the offense is treated as a dangerous crime against children, requiring a lengthy mandatory prison sentence. Note that the State is not required to prove that the defendant knew the victim was under 15-years-old and that the statute merely allows for an enhanced sentence if the victim was under 15 years of age. No matter the circumstances, the law also requires that any person convicted of sexual assault register as a sex offender.
It is important to note that the statutory definition of “sexual intercourse” is broader than the colloquial one. According to A.R.S. § 13-1401(A)(4), “sexual intercourse” means penetration into the penis, vulva or anus by any part of the body or by any object or masturbatory contact with the penis or vulva. To get an idea of how broad this definition is, one must look no further than State v. Florez, 241 Ariz. 121 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2016), where the Court of Appeals held that a clothed defendant’s act of knowingly stimulating his penis by rubbing it against the body of a clothed victim was “sexual intercourse” under Arizona law.
Meanwhile, A.R.S. § 13-1401(A)(7) states that “without consent” includes situations where the victim is:
If you’re facing sexual assault charges and want more information regarding the sexual assault laws in Arizona, speak with a knowledgeable Phoenix criminal defense attorney experienced in defending against sexual assault charges.
The first battle that usually takes place in any sexual assault prosecution involves the defendant’s release conditions. Typically, the State will attempt to have the defendant held in jail without pending bond trial. For the court to hold the defendant non-bondable, it must hold an adversarial hearing and make specific findings consistent with A.R.S. § 13-3961(D), which provides in part:
[A] person who is in custody shall not be admitted to bail if the person is charged with a felony offense and the State certifies by motion and the court finds after a hearing on the matter that there is clear and convincing evidence that the person charged poses a substantial danger to another person or the community or engaged in conduct constituting a violent offense, that no condition or combination of conditions of release may be imposed that will reasonably assure the safety of the other person or the community and that the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person committed the offense.
Because a bail hearing typically occurs early on in a case, those charged with sexual assault must retain the services of an experienced sexual assault defense attorney early on in the process. Otherwise, an adverse bail determination could mean that they will spend several months in jail as their case winds through the court system. If you or a loved one has been accused of sexual assault, call Stone Rose Law now at (480) 498-8998 to schedule a free consultation with a sexual assault defense lawyer in Phoenix, AZ.