If you are investigated for a sexual offence, it is vital that you seek legal advice from specialist solicitors for sexual offences as soon as possible.
In this post, we will explain the difference between three of the most common sexual offences: rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault. These terms are often used interchangeably, but each is a very specific offence and our advice in terms of your plea will depend on the specific charge against you.
What is Rape?
Rape is a criminal offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Rape is committed where a person intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with his penis when the other person does not consent to such activity and the perpetrator does not reasonably believe that the other person consents.
Whether the alleged offender will be seen to have reasonably believed that consent was present will be determined based on all of the circumstances of the case.
A person found guilty of rape can be sentenced to life imprisonment.
What is assault by penetration?
Assault by penetration occurs when a person penetrates the vagina or anus of another person with a part of his body or anything else for sexual purposes where the other person does not consent and the alleged offender does not reasonably believe they consent.
A person found guilty of assault by penetration can be sentenced to life imprisonment.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault occurs when a person intentionally touches another person for sexual purposes without the consent of that person and where they do not reasonably believe that they do consent.
A person found guilty of sexual assault can be sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
What is causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent?
This offence is committed when a person intentionally causes another person to engage in a sexual activity where the other person does not consent to the activity and the alleged offender does not reasonably believe that they consent.
Sentencing for people found guilty of this offence can range from a fine to 10 years’ imprisonment, so ensuring that the specifics of the allegation are correct is vital with cases like this.
If you are being investigated for, or charged with any of these matters, you need solicitors for sexual offences to give you advice urgently. Forrest Williams are specialists in this field – call us now for advice on01623 397200.