Sexual misconduct is a very serious crime. When proven guilty, an individual can experience punishments and fines that are quite harsh. Amongst these punishments is registration as a sex offender. This results in difficulty getting a job and finding a place to live, with your neighbors having to be notified of your status when you do move into the neighborhood.
As for what constitutes sexual misconduct, it is defined as a sexual act between a person in a position of superiority and a subordinate. This is the definition frequently used when a teacher has a sexual relationship with a student, employers with employees, or doctors with patients. The sexual conduct is not always illegal, but it violates a code of ethics.
When Sexual Misconduct Is Committed
There are several instances in which sexual misconduct may be committed. A doctor or home health nurse may inappropriately touch an anesthetized patient or someone in their care. Teachers have been convicted of sexual misconduct by "sexting" a student, making improper gestures, touching, making sexual comments or having an actual sexual relationship with the student. If the student is a minor, then the offense and its consequences could become even more severe.
Here are examples of sexual misconduct:
- Rape of a sleeping or anesthetized hospital patient
- Use of hypnosis, drugs, or alcohol to diminish the victim's resistance
- Statutory rape, which is rape committed on a minor, or sex by fraud; sex by fraud is committed when a person may be inappropriately touched during a genital, pelvic, or breast exam
- Sneaky sex, which is a surreptitious touch committed during a permitted act, such as hugging; it also involves spying on someone while they are undressing
As far as individuals who may tend to be accused of misconduct, in addition to those in the medical and teaching professions are members of the clergy. There has been a rise in accusations against the clergy by adults who have stated they were inappropriately touched as children.
Degrees of Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct is categorized by five degrees: first, second, third, fourth, and fifth-degree sexual misconduct. First degree is the most severe with fifth being the least. The most severe offense leads to the most time in prison, which can be up to 12 years.
A sexual misconduct case will be tried in front of a jury in which the victim must testify. In your case, your Minneapolis sexual misconduct attorney will be working hard for you. Your criminal defense attorney looks for inconsistencies and holes in the testimony of any witnesses, including the victim. A strategic approach has to be used because the law is very strict in this area. However, the law allows you the right to a trial because you are innocent until proven guilty.
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If you have been accused of sexual misconduct, do not give in to the charges. You have a right to fight for the best possible outcome in your case, which can include dismissed or reduced charges and consequences. You need to have an attorney on your side who is familiar with the law and how it can work for you.
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