In Tennessee, sexual battery is a broadly defined criminal offense with serious repercussions. If you have been accused of sexual battery or rape, Nashville sex crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy can provide legal guidance at any stage of the proceedings. Utilizing his insight as a former prosecutor, Bernie McEvoy can examine the case against you for potential weaknesses and help you evaluate your options. He has successfully defended individuals against sexual battery charges and other criminal matters in Davidson and Williamson Counties.Tennessee Sexual Battery Crimes
Sexual battery is a category of felony sex crimes in Tennessee. Unlike rape, sexual intercourse or penetration is not required to commit a sexual battery offense. Rather, sexual battery encompasses a broader range of situations that involve unlawful touching or contact with another person for a sexual purpose. Specifically, Tennessee sexual battery is defined as unlawful sexual contact between the defendant and victim that occurs under one of the following circumstances:
- Force or threat of force, violence, kidnapping, or extortion
- Without consent of the victim, and the defendant knows or should know that the victim did not consent
- The victim is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, and the defendant knows or should know
Sexual contact means intentional touching of the intimate parts of the victim, defendant, or another person, either directly or over clothing, for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. A sexual battery conviction typically requires the defendant to register as a sex offender, in addition to other criminal penalties. Sexual battery is a Class E felony, with the possibility of a one to six year prison sentence and maximum $3,000 fine if convicted. However, the penalties may be greater if the sexual battery offense is elevated to a more serious class of felony.Aggravated Sexual Battery
Aggravated sexual battery covers circumstances that are considered more egregious under Tennessee law. Aggravated sexual battery may be charged for unlawful sexual contact involving one of following elements:
- A victim less than thirteen years old
- Force or coercion, and the defendant is armed with a weapon or object reasonably believed to be a weapon
- Force or coercion, and the defendant is assisted by another person
- A mentally or physically incapacitated victim, and the defendant is assisted by another person
- The defendant causes bodily injury to the victim
Aggravated sexual battery is a Class B felony in most cases. A conviction may result in a prison sentence between eight and thirty years, maximum $25,000 fine, as well as sex offender registration and other consequences.Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure
Tennessee has enacted specific laws for sex crimes committed by someone with power over a more vulnerable victim. Sexual battery by an authority figure occurs when a defendant used their position of trust, supervisory or disciplinary power, or parental or custodial authority to accomplish unlawful sexual contact with the victim. The victim must be at least thirteen years old and under eighteen, or a mentally or physically incapacitated person of any age. Sexual battery by an authority figure is a Class C felony offense. If convicted, a defendant could face three to fifteen years in prison, a fine up to $10,000, sex offender registry, and other repercussions.
Although consent may be a defense to some sexual battery offenses, it is not available in all situations, such as those involving minor victims. A criminal defense attorney can determine whether consent or other defenses may be asserted in a specific sexual battery case. In addition, a lawyer can defend against false allegations or mistaken identity, if applicable, and present a defense strategy tailored to your particular case.Retain a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer in the Nashville Area
Nashville attorney Bernie McEvoy has significant experience defending people in sex crime cases, including sexual battery and statutory rape. He can advise residents of Nashville, Franklin, and other areas in Davidson and Williamson Counties. Request a free consultation to discuss your legal issue by calling (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends, or submit the contact form on our website.