Definition of Sexual Assault
A sexual assault has been committed when an individual engages in sexual activity without the explicit consent of the other individual involved.
Sexual activity is any touching of a sexual or other intimate part of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party. This includes coerced touching of the actor by the victim as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether directly or through clothing.
Sexual assault includes any forced act against one's will where sex is the weapon. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Sexual Battery: the unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person for the purpose of arousal by the actor
- Sodomy: forced anal intercourse
- Oral Copulation: forced oral-genital contact
- Rape by a Foreign Object: forced penetration by a foreign object including digits (fingers and toes)
- Rape: penile-vaginal intercourse against a person's will and without consent
Recent legislation also makes it a felony to engage in video voyeurism, secretly capturing images of another person in a private place without consent.
Whether or not specifically stated, it is an element of every sexual assault that the sexual act was committed without consent of the victim.
Lack of consent results from forcible compulsion, incapacity to consent, or, where the offense charged is sexual abuse, any circumstances, in addition to forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent, in which the victim does not expressly or implicitly acquiesce in the actor's conduct.
A person less than 17 years old, mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless is deemed incapable of consent. Courts have interpreted mental incapacity to include those who have consumed any alcohol or drugs.
Forcible compulsion means to compel by either use of physical force or a threat, express or implied, which places a person in fear of immediate death or physical injury to self or others, or in fear that they or another person will immediately be kidnapped.
A foreign object is any instrument or article, which, when inserted in the vagina, urethra, penis, or rectum, is capable of causing physical injury.