The Most Commonly Charged Sex Crimes in Indiana

Understanding Indiana Sex Crimes and Their Penalties

Other than Murder, sex crimes carry the biggest stigma and life-changing penalties. Being accused, alone, is a life-changing event — whether you are found guilty or not, unfortunately. Moreover, most sex crimes carry with them life-altering ramifications such as sex registrations under I.C. 11-8-8, restrictions on where you can live, imprisonment, constitutional right limitations, etc. As such, if you find yourself facing any of the offenses mentioned in this blog, it’s essential that you hire an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorney who can defend your rights every step of the way.

This blog will list the most commonly charged sex crimes and the levels of penalties of each. Click here for a great refresher blog on the different criminal classes and ranges of penalties. Briefly, a Level 6-Felony carries a sentence of six (6) months to two and a half (2 1/2) years. A Level 5-Felony carries a sentence of one (1) to six (6) years. A Level 4-Felony carries a sentence of two (2) to twelve (12) years. A Level 3-Felony carries a sentence of three (3) to sixteen (16) years. A Level 2-Felony carries a sentence of ten (10) to thirty (30) years. Finally, a Level 1- Felony carries a sentence of twenty (20) to forty) years.

RAPE: IC 35-42-4-1

  • Level 3-Felony: A person who knowingly or intentionally has sex with a member of the opposite sex by (1) force or imminent threat thereof, (2) while the other person is unaware, and/or (3) the other person is disabled or has a deficient mental capacity to consent.
  • Level 1-Felony: Same as above but (1) deadly force or threat thereof is used, (2) a deadly weapon is used, (3) serious bodily injury is involved, and/or (4) the victim was drugged and you supplied it or knew they were under the influence of it without consent.

CHILD MOLEST: IC 35-42-4-3

  • Sexual Intercourse and/or Deviate Sexual Conduct:
    • Level 3-Felony: A person performs sexual intercourse and/or deviate sexual conduct with a child under fourteen (14).
    • Level 1-Felony: Same as above, but: (1) the defendant was twenty-one (21), (2) deadly force is used or threatened, (3) it results in serious bodily injury, and/or (4) the victim was drugged and you supplied it or knew they were given it without consent.
  • Sexual Fondling and/or Touching:
    • Level 4-Felony: A person performs any fondling or touching of a child under fourteen (14) with the intent to arouse or to satisfy sexual desires of the child or themselves.
    • Level 1Felony: (1) deadly force or threat thereof is used, (2) a deadly weapon is used, and/or (3) the victim was drugged and you supplied it or knew they were under the influence of it without consent.
  • Defense IC 35-42-4-3 (d): it is a legal defense if the defendant believed that the victim was sixteen (16) at the time of the alleged molestation.

POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY: IC 35-42-4-4

  • Creating Pornography:
    • Level 5-Felony:  Child Exploitation: A person who knowingly or intentionally: (1) manages, produces, sponsors, photographs, videos, etc., images of sexual conduct involving a child under eighteen (18).
  • Disseminating:
    • Level 5-Felony:  Child Exploitation: A person who disseminates or offers to distribute sexual images of children under eighteen (18).
  • Possession:
    • Level 6-Felony: Other than for artistic reason, a person that possesses an image (electronic or otherwise), of sexual conduct of a minor under sixteen (16).
  • Defenses: IC 35-42-4-4 (e-g): Sections (e) – (g) set up numerous defenses for all three categories above, including use, mistake of age, who the image was received, etc.

CHILD SOLICITATION: IC 35-42-4-6

  • Definition: solicit means to “command, authorize, urge, incite, request, or advise an individual: (1) in person, (2) by telephone, (3) in writing, (4) by using a computer network, (5) by advertisement of any kind; or, (5) by any other means; to perform an act” of sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct, and/or sexual fondling/touching.  The State need not prove the solicitation was immediate — it can be for some time in the future.
  • Children Under Fourteen, Defendant Eighteen or Older:
    • Level 5-Felony: a person who is at least eighteen (18) who knowingly or intentionally solicits a child under fourteen (14).
    • Level 4-Felony: same as above, but with a computer through a network
    • Level 4-Felony: same as above, but with a prior conviction for using this offense using a computer and network.
  • Children Between Fourteen and Sixteen, Defendant Twenty-One or Older:
    • Level 5-Felony: a person who is at least twenty-one (21) who knowingly or intentionally solicits a child at least fourteen (14) but less than sixteen (16).
    • Level 4-Felony: same as above, but with a computer through a network
    • Level 4-Felony: same as above, but with a prior conviction for using this offense using a computer and network.

SEXUAL BATTERY: IC 35-42-4-8

  • Level 6-Felony:
    • A person who intends to arouse their own sexual desires or that of another,
      • Touches another person, and that victim is (1) compelled to accept the touching by force or imminent force, and/or (2) is disabled or mentally deficient as to not be able to consent.
      • Touches another person’s genitals, pubic area, buttocks, and/or female breast when the person is unaware of said touching.
  • Level 4-Felony: Same as above but (1) deadly force or threat thereof is used, (2) a deadly weapon is used, and/or (3) the victim was drugged and you supplied it or knew they were under the influence of it without consent.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WITH A MINOR: IC 35-42-4-9

  • Sexual Intercourse and/or Deviate Sexual Conduct:
    • Level 5-Felony: a person at least eighteen (18) performs sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct with a child at least fourteen (14) but less than sixteen (16).
    • Level 4Felony: same as above by the defendant is at least twenty-one (21)
    • Level 1Felony: at least eighteen (18) and the person (1) uses deadly force or threat thereof, (2) causes serious bodily injury, and/or (3) the victim was drugged and you supplied it or knew they were under the influence of it without consent.
  • Sexual Touching and/or Fondling:
    • Level 6-Felony: a person at least eighteen (18) performs to sexual touching and/or fondling with a child at least fourteen (14) but less than sixteen (16).
    • Level 5Felony: same as above by the defendant is at least twenty-one (21)
    • Level 2Felony: at least eighteen (18) and the person (1) uses deadly force or threat thereof, (2) causes serious bodily injury, and/or (3) the victim was drugged and you supplied it or knew they were under the influence of it without consent.
  • Defenses: IC 35-42-4-9 (c-e): Sections (c) – (e) set up numerous defenses for all categories above, including the mistake of age, and/or the age difference/relationship, etc.

Though this list is not exhaustive, anyone can tell that being charged with any of the crimes above can be a daunting task. Be it the large potential prison sentences, the social stigma of the allegation/conviction, and/or the need to register as a sex offender under I.C. 11-8-8, the stakes couldn’t be higher for you if you are charged with a sex crime.

It’s absolutely imperative that you hire an attorney who knows how to fight for your rights and isn’t afraid to litigate criminal cases — especially sex crimes. You need a lawyer that knows the common defenses to these cases, who knows how to ensure the state investigated the crime appropriately, and who knows the ramifications of every decision you make moving forward.

The Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys at Banks & Brower are former prosecutors who have years of experience and hundreds of successful trials under their belts. Give us a call today to discuss your case and to set up a free consultation. We are available 24/7, 365. Call us at (317) 870-0019 or email us at info@banksbrower.com.