Sexual offenses

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Sexual offenses are crimes that may include rape, sexual battery or sexual assault, certain homosexual acts, indecent behavior, and prostitution. The act of rape against a person under the age of sexual consent, in which the rapist is more than four years older than the victim, is generally classified as 'statutory rape.' If the rapist uses violence or a weapon or if there are accomplices to the rape, then the crime is generally classified as aggravated rape. Sex with a child under 13 is also generally classified as 'aggravated rape.' Sexual battery is the use of force to coerce another person to commit a sexual act. Sexual assault is the general crime of using force or coercion on another person to commit a sexual act. The other person doesn't need to be a stranger, but can be a date, acquaintance, or friend. Other sexual offenses include sodomy, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, pimping, bestiality, necrophilia (neck-row-FILL-ee-uh), incest, and bigamy. The exact definition of sexual offenses and the penalties for these crimes differs among the states, but in all states, sexual offenses are generally taken very seriously, particularly when they involve a child. Some states have an automatic 25-year imprisonment penalty for sexual offenses involving a child. In many states, convicted sexual offenders must also undergo an HIV (H-I-V) test. Some states publish lists of convicted sexual offenders. If you're the victim of a sexual offense, you should contact the police as soon as possible. If you're suspected of committing a sexual offense, you should immediately consult an attorney.

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