Spousal Sexual Battery
Sex offenses and domestic violence accusations are taken seriously in Tennessee, and a conviction may have personal consequences as well as criminal penalties. If you have been accused of spousal sexual battery, a sex crime, or domestic violence, hiring an experienced defense attorney may help to mitigate the negative effects. Nashville sex crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy understands what’s at stake in a spousal sexual battery case, and takes a personalized approach when defending his clients in Davidson or Williamson Counties. He can review your particular situation and provide the information needed to determine the appropriate course of action.Spousal Sexual Battery in Tennessee
In 2005, the Tennessee legislature repealed the statute providing a distinct criminal offense for spousal sexual battery. Consequently, Tennessee criminal offenses for sexual battery, rape, and other sex crimes do not differentiate between married and unmarried defendants and alleged victims. In Tennessee, sexual battery is unlawful sexual contact accomplished by force, coercion, or fraud, or by threats of kidnapping, extortion, force, or violence to be performed immediately or in the future. Sexual contact is defined as making intentional contact with semen and vaginal fluid, genital areas, or other intimate parts of the body, and may include touching the clothing immediately covering such areas if it is for the purpose of sexual gratification. Sexual battery is also committed where sexual contact is made without the consent of the victim, or where the defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim was mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
Sexual battery is a Class E felony offense in Tennessee. The range of punishment for a conviction may include a sentence of one to six years in prison, a fine of up to $3,000, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Disobeying the requirements of the Tennessee sex offender registration program could lead to additional criminal charges. As a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence, the spouse may also seek an order of protection against the defendant. If the court grants a temporary or final order of protection, the defendant will be required to obey the restrictions and terms included in the order. Any violation of the protective order could result in an arrest.
Regardless of the parties’ marital status, the elements of the crime of sexual battery and the penalties for a conviction are applied equally under the same Tennessee laws. It is important to note, however, that the circumstances surrounding sexual battery committed against a spouse may give rise to additional criminal charges and/or penalties for domestic violence. The allegations could also affect the outcome of a child custody dispute or divorce. As such, the potential consequences of a domestic violence allegation must be taken into consideration when defending against spousal sexual battery charges.Defending Against Accusations of Spousal Sexual Battery
While every criminal case is different, the defenses that may be available to defeat a spousal sexual battery charge are the same that may apply against a sexual battery charge. For example, if the sexual contact did not occur, or if the defendant was falsely accused by the spouse, sexual battery was not committed. If the defendant’s spouse consented to the sexual contact, the defendant did not commit sexual battery. Your attorney can advise you of other evidence and testimony that may be presented to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.Contact a Nashville Attorney After an Arrest for Spousal Sexual Battery
If you are facing criminal charges for spousal sexual battery or another sex crime, defending against the prosecution can help you avoid harsh penalties and sex offender registration. Bernie McEvoy has significant experience in spousal sexual battery cases as a former prosecutor and seasoned criminal defense lawyer. In addition to Nashville and Franklin, Mr. McEvoy can represent defendants in locations throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. Schedule an appointment to discuss a sexual battery or domestic violence case by calling (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 after business hours and on weekends, or contacting us online.