SEX CRIMES


1st Degree Criminal Sexual Assault (FELONY)

This is considered the most severe charge of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota.  Usually described as sexual penetration (which includes penetration by a finger, objects or genitalia, as well as certain sexual contact with a victim under 13 years old.

Penalties for 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Case (CSC) is a presumptive 144 months in prison with up to 30 years in prison and up to a $40,000 fine.

2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Assault (FELONY)

This is sexual contact without penetration. It is considered very serious because of the violence potential, typically brought against a person if violence, force, a weapon, or threat of violence was used at the time of the act. These charges may also be brought against the accused when the victim was extremely young, did not consent or was unable to consent.

Penalties are still very severe a presumptive 90 months in prison, up to 25 years and $35,000 fine.

3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Assault (FELONY)

Sexual penetration is required for this charge as well as other factors that include:

  • Victim is under 13 and defendant is less than 3 years older OR
  • Victim is 13,14,or 15 and the defendant is 2 or fewer years older OR
  • The victim is 16 or 17 AND the defendant has a significant relationship with the victim or  is in a position of authority over the victim
  • Use of force in the sexual act
  • The victim was mentally incapacitated or physically helpless OR
  • A dangerous weapon is used (this can include a gun, knife or club) OR
  • The defendant is a psychotherapist.

Penalties for 3rd Degree CSC are a presumptive 48 months in prison with up to 15 years and a $30,000 fine.

4th Degree Criminal Sexual Assault (FELONY)

The key difference between 3rd and 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct is instead of sexual penetration the conduct was sexual contact.  Also, this is often where you hear the term “statutory rape”.  If the victim is 13,14 or 15 and the defendant is 4 or more years older and in a position of authority, it can be 4th degree CSC.

Penalties include a presumptive “stayed” sentence, which means instead of going to prison the prison has stayed if the defendant follows the rules of probation.  The fine is still steep at up to $20,000.

5th Degree Criminal Sexual Assault (GROSS MISDEMEANOR)

The lowest level of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota.  This offense requires

  • Nonconsensual sexual contact (except the buttocks)
  • Masturbation or lewd exhibition of the genitals in the presence of a minor under the age of 16.
  • Removal or attempted removal of clothing covering intimate parts
  • Nonconsensual touching of the intimates parts of another, if performed with sexual or aggressive intent.

Penalties include up to 1 year of local county jail.

There are other sex related crimes in Minnesota that are very specific and can have wide ranging consequences

Child Pornography

Child pornography is a serious crime, ranging from simply possessing child porn to distributing or producing  it can lead to very serious consequences.

Sex Crime FAQ’s

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MN Criminal Sex Crime FAQ’s

What is Sexual Contact?

Sexual contact is defined as the intentional touching of the victim’s “intimate parts” by the defendant or being forced to touch the defendant’s intimate parts without the victim’s consent. The touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the intimate parts normally constitutes sexual contact, as does the intentional touching with seminal fluid or sperm by the actor of the victim’s body or clothing covering the victim’s body. It is defined in Minnesota Statute 609.341, Sub. 11.

What is Sexual Penetration?

Sexual penetration is defined as any sexual, oral, or anal intercourse, or any intrusion, no matter how slight, into the genital or anal openings of either the victim’s or the defendant’s body by any part of the body of the other, another or any object without the victim’s consent.  It is defined in Minnesota Statute 609.341, Subd 12.

How does the Court define “force?”

Force is defined as the infliction or attempted or threatened infliction of force by the defendant of bodily harm against the victim if two things occur: 1) that the defendant has the present ability to execute the threat and 2) it causes the victim to submit to the sexual act. It is defined in Minn. Stat. 609.341

What is Coercion in Sexual Defense Cases?

Coercion is defined as the use by the defendant of words or circumstances that causes the victim to reasonably fear that bodily harm will be inflicted upon them OR it can be based upon confinement or use of superior size or strength.  This can be a very complex question and one that the entire case hinges upon.  Minn. Stat. 609.341, Subd. 4 defines this.

What is Consent?

Often a confusing question, consent is legally defined as words or overt action by a person that indicates they are freely given present agreement to perform a sexual act.  Simply have prior sexual acts does not automatically grant consent to perform new sexual acts.  Minn. Stat. 609.341, subd. 4 defines this.

What is Position of Authority?

An element of the crime, position of authority includes any person who is a parent or acting in place of a parent, charged with parental authority, rights, duties or responsibilities to a child, this includes step-parents.  It can also include teachers, coaches and babysitters.

Federal Sex Crimes

Being indicted in federal court is something that will change your life.  The charges are more severe and the process is different than being charged in state court.   A few examples of federal sex crimes would be:

  • Sex Tourism- going to a foreign country and engaging in sexual acts that are illegal in the United States such as having sex with a child.
  • Child Pornography- Various federal organizations engage in sting operations, this can include the FBI or the US Post Office, which involves purchasing pornography that either travels over state lines or using the phone or mail system to purchase the pornography.

Federal Sex Crimes Listing

Below is a comprehensive list of many of the sex crimes that a defendant can be charged with in the federal court system. While this a short list, we listed many of the required elements of the crimes.  These criminal charges are all located in the United States Code.

Title 18, United States Code:

Ch. 71 – Obscenity Related Federal Charges

  • §1460 – Possession of Obscene Material on Federal Property with Intent to Sell:
  • §1461 – Mailing Obscene or Crime-Inciting Matter.
  • §1462 – Importation or Transportation of Obscene Matters.
  • §1465 – Transportation of Obscene Matters for Sale or Distribution
  • §1466 – Engaging in the Business of Selling or Transferring Obscene Matter
  • §1466A – Obscene Visual Representation of the Sexual Abuse of Children
  • §1470 – Transfer of Obscene Material to Minors (Under Age Of 16)

Ch.109 – Sexual Abuse

  • §2241 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse
  • §2242 – Sexual Abuse
  • §2243 – Sexual Abuse of a Minor or Ward
  • §2244 – Abusive Sexual Contact
  • §2245 – Sexual Abuse Resulting in Death

Ch. 110 – Sexual Exploitation and Other Abuse of Children

  • §2251 – Sexual Exploitation of Children
  • §2252 – Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors
  • §2252A – Certain Activities Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography
  • §2260 – Production of Sexually Explicit Depiction of a Minor for Importation into the U.S.

Ch. 117 – Transportation for Illegal Sexual Activity and Related Crimes

  • §2421 – Transportation Generally
  • §2422 – Coercion and Enticement
  • §2423 – Transportation of Minors
  • §2425 – Use of Interstate Facilities to Transmit Information about a Minor

§1460 – Possession of Obscene Matter on Federal Property with Intent to Sell:

A person commits This offense when, on land under the control of the government or in Indian country, he or she knowingly:

  • 1. Sells an obscene visual depiction, OR
  • 2. Possesses an obscene visual depiction with intent to sell.
  • This offense can result a fine or up to 2 years imprisonment or both.

Obscene material (article, matter, thing, device, or substance) or is deemed to be non-mailable, in addition with materials used to promote abortion or to incite the public to commit crimes.

§1461 – Mailing Obscene or Crime-Inciting Matter.

A person commits an offense when he knowingly:
1. Uses the mails for the mailing or delivery of anything declared to be non-mailable, OR
2. Causes non-mailable material to be delivered by mail, OR
3. Takes non-mailable material from the mail for the purpose of distribution or circulation.

This offense may result in fine or imprisonment of up to 5 years or both for the first offense. For every subsequent offense under this title, the person may be imprisoned up to 10 years

§1462 – Importation or Transportation of Obscene Matters

A person commits an offense when he:
1. Brings obscene material (writings or recordings capable of producing sound) into the United States or anywhere in its jurisdiction,
2. Knowingly uses any common carrier to put obscene material in interstate or foreign commerce, OR
3. Knowingly takes obscene material from any common carrier.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisoned up to 5 years or both for the first offense. For every subsequent offense under this title, the person may be imprisoned up to 10 years.

§1465 – Transportation of Obscene Matters for Sale or Distribution

A person commits an offense when he knowingly:
1. Transports or travels in interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of sale or distribution of obscene material (writing, film, or recording), OR
2. Uses a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of sale or distribution of obscene material.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 5 years or both.

Transportation of any of the following will create a rebuttable presumption that the material is intended for sale or distribution:
1. Two or more copies of any publication
2. Two or more of any article of obscene character
3. A combined total of five or more such publications and articles

§1466 – Engaging in the Business of Selling or Transferring Obscene Matter

A person commits an offense if he:
1. Knowingly receives or possesses with intent to any obscene writing, film, or recording that has been shipped in interstate or foreign commerce, AND
2. He is engaged in the business of selling or transferring obscene matter.

“Engaged in the business” means that the person devotes time, attention, or labor to such activities, as a regular course of trade or business, with an objective of making a profit.

Offering any of the following will create a rebuttable presumption that the person is engaged in the business of selling obscene material:
1. Two or more copies of any obscene publication
2. Two or more of any obscene article
3. A combined total of five or more such publications or articles

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 5 years or both.

§1466A – Obscene Visual Representation of the Sexual Abuse of Children

a. A person commits an offense when he, in a circumstance described in Subsection (d), knowingly produces, distributes, or possesses with intent to distribute visual depiction of any kind that:
1. Depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and is obscene, OR
2. Depicts an image that appears to be a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

This offense shall be punished by fine AND imprisonment not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years. If the person has a previous conviction for anything relating to sexual abuse or child pornography, the imprisonment shall range from 15 years to 40 years.

b. A person knowingly commits an offense when he, in a circumstance described in Subsection (d), knowingly possesses a visual depiction of any kind that:
1. Depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and is obscene, OR
2. Depicts an image that appears to be a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 10 years or both. If the person has a previous conviction for anything relating to sexual abuse or child pornography, the offense shall be punished by fine AND imprisonment for not less than 10 years nor more than 20 years.

Subsection (d) covers the circumstances that place the offense under Federal jurisdiction:
1. A communication made in furtherance of the offense is transported by mail, or in interstate or foreign commerce by any means (including computer).
2. A communication made in furtherance of the offense contemplates the transmission of the visual depiction by mail or any means of interstate or foreign commerce.
3. A person travels in interstate commerce in furtherance of the commission of the offense.
4. A visual depiction has been mailed or shipped in interstate commerce or was produced using materials shipped in interstate commerce.
5. The offense is committed in the special territorial jurisdiction of the US.

It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of violating Subsection (b) that:
1. Defendant possessed less than three such depictions, AND
2. Promptly, in good faith, and without allowing any other person, other than law enforcement, to access the material:
a. Took reasonable steps to destroy the material, OR
b. Reported the matter to law enforcement.

§1470 – Transfer of Obscene Material to Minors (Under 16)

A person commits an offense when he knowingly transfers obscene material through the mail or means of interstate commerce to an individual he knows to be under 16 years old.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 10 years or both.

§2241 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse

A person commits an offense if, in the territorial jurisdiction of the US or in Federal prison, he knowingly causes another to engage in a sexual act by:
1. Using force against that person,
2. Placing that person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping,
3. Rendering that person unconscious, OR
4. Administering a drug, intoxicant, or similar substance thereby substantially impairing the ability of the other person to appraise or control conduct.

This offense shall be punished by fine, imprisonment for any term of years or life, or both.

c. A person commits an offense if he:
1. Crosses a state line with intent to engage in a sexual act with a person under 12 years old,
2. Knowingly engages in a sexual act with a person under 12 in territorial jurisdiction of US or in Federal prison, OR
3. Knowingly engages in sexual act with a person between 12 and 16 years of age, at least 4 years younger than the offender, under any of the circumstances listed in the first subsection.

This offense shall be punished by fine, imprisonment for any term of years or life, or both. If the defendant has previously been convicted under this subsection, or of a State offense that would be under this subsection if in Federal jurisdiction, the punishment shall be life imprisonment unless the death penalty is imposed.

The government need not prove that the defendant knew the other person engaging in the act was under 12 years old.

§2242 – Sexual Abuse

A person commits an offense when, in the territorial jurisdiction of the US or in a Federal prison, he knowingly:
1. Causes another person to engage in sexual act by placing the other person in fear (other than fear of death, bodily injury, or kidnapping),
2. Engages in a sexual act with a person incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct, OR
3. Engages in a sexual act with a person physically incapable of declining participation or of communicating unwillingness to participate.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 20 years or both.

§2243 – Sexual Abuse of a Minor or Ward

a. A person commits an offense when, in the territorial jurisdiction of the US or in a Federal prison, he knowingly:
1. Engages in a sexual act with a person between 12 and 16 years of age, AND
2. The other person is at least 4 years younger than the offender.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 15 years or both.

b. A person commits an offense when, in the territorial jurisdiction of the US or in a Federal prison, he knowingly in a sexual act with another person who is in official detention under the disciplinary or supervisory authority of the offender.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 1 year or both.

It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that the defendant reasonably believed that the other person was at least 16 years old. The defendant must establish this by a preponderance of the evidence.

It is a defense to prosecution under this Section that the two persons engaging in the sexual act were married at the time of the offense. The defendant must establish this by a preponderance of the evidence.

The government need not prove that the defendant knew either the age of the other person or that the requisite age difference existed.

§2244 – Abusive Sexual Contact

A person commits an offense if, in the territorial jurisdiction of the US or in a Federal prison, he knowingly engages in sexual contact with another person without that other person’s permission.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 6 months or both.

If the contact would violate §2241 (Aggravated Sexual Abuse) had the sexual contact been a sexual act, the imprisonment shall be up to 10 years.

If the contact would violate §2242 (Sexual Abuse) had the sexual contact been a sexual act, the imprisonment shall be up to 3 years.

If the contact would violate §2243(a) (Sexual Abuse with Minor) had the sexual contact been a sexual act, the imprisonment shall be up to 2 years.

If the contact would violate §2243(b) (Sexual Abuse with Ward) had the sexual contact been a sexual act, the imprisonment shall be up to 6 months.

If the sexual contact constituting an offense of this section is with a child under 12 years old, the maximum term of imprisonment shall be twice that otherwise provided.

§2245 – Sexual Abuse Resulting in Death

A person, who, in the course of an offense under this Chapter, engages in conduct that results in the death of a person, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or life.

§2246 – Definitions

“Sexual act” includes both sexual intercourse and deviate sexual intercourse as defined by Texas Penal Code. “Sexual contact” is touching with intent to harass, abuse, humiliate, arouse or gratify the desire of any person.

§2247 – Repeat Offenders

The maximum term of imprisonment for a violation of this Chapter after a prior sex offense conviction shall be twice the term otherwise provided.

§2251 – Sexual Exploitation of Children

A person commits an offense if, in either interstate commerce or in any US territory, he:
1. Employs, persuades, coerces, or transports a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of creating any visual depiction of such conduct, AND
2. Knows or has reason to know that either:
a. The depiction will be shipped in interstate commerce,
b. Has been shipped in interstate commerce, or
c. Was made using materials that have been shipped in interstate commerce.

A parent or legal guardian of a minor commits an offense if he:
1. Knowingly permits the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of creating any visual depiction of such conduct, and
2. Knows or has reason to know that either:
a. The depiction will be shipped in interstate commerce,
b. Has been shipped in interstate commerce, or
c. Was made using materials that have been shipped in interstate commerce.

A person commits an offense if, outside of US territory, he, persuades, or coerces a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of creating any visual depiction of such conduct, and either:
1. Intends for the depiction to be transported to US territory by any means (including computer or mail), OR
2. Transports the depiction to US territory by any means.

A person commits an offense if he knowingly publishes an advertisement:
1. Seeking to buy, produce, or distribute any depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, OR
2. Seeking to participate in a sexually explicit act with a minor for the purpose of creating a visual depiction, IF either:
a. The person knows or has reason to know that the advertisement will be transported in interstate commerce by any means, OR
b. The advertisement has been transported in interstate commerce.

Each offense under this section shall be punished by fine AND imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years.

If the defendant has one prior conviction under either this Chapter, Chapter 71 (Obscenity) or Chapter 109A (Sexual Abuse), or under any State law concerning sexual exploitation of children, the term of imprisonment shall be not less than 25 years and not more than 50 years. If the defendant has two prior convictions under any of these Chapters, the term of imprisonment shall be not less than 35 years.

If an offense under this section results in the death of any person, the punishment shall be death or imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

 

§2252 – Certain Activities Relating to Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors

A person commits an offense if he either:
1. Knowingly transports in interstate commerce a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, OR
2. Knowingly receives from interstate commerce a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, OR
3. Knowingly sells or possesses with intent to sell visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct if either:
a. The person sells or possesses with intent to sell in special territorial jurisdiction of US, OR
b. The depictions were shipped in interstate commerce.

This offense shall be punished by fine and imprisonment of not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years. If the person has a prior conviction under any State or Federal law relating to Sexual Abuse or Child Pornography, the term of imprisonment shall be not less than 15 years and not more than 40 years.

A person commits an offense if he knowingly possesses one or more visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct if either:
1. The person possesses the depiction in special territorial jurisdiction of US, or
2. The depiction was shipped in interstate commerce.

It shall be an affirmative defense to this subsection that the defendant:
1. Possessed less than three proscribed matters containing such a visual depiction, AND
2. Promptly and in good faith either took steps to destroy each depiction or reported the matter to law enforcement.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 10 years or both. If the person has a prior conviction under any State or Federal law relating to Sexual Abuse or Child Pornography, the term of imprisonment shall be not less than 10 years and not more than 20 years.

§2252A – Certain Activities Relating to Material Constituting or Containing Child Pornography

A person commits an offense if he knowingly:
1. Ships child pornography in interstate commerce, OR
2. Receives child pornography that has been shipped in interstate commerce, OR
3. Reproduces child pornography for distribution in interstate commerce, OR
4. Promotes in interstate commerce any material in a manner reflecting the belief that the material contains child pornography, OR
5. Sells or possesses with intent to sell in special territorial jurisdiction of the United States, OR
6. Sells or possesses with intent to sell child pornography that has been shipped in interstate commerce, OR
7. Distributes child pornography that has been shipped in interstate commerce to a minor for the purpose of inducing the minor to participate in illegal activity.

This offense shall be punished by fine and imprisonment of not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years. If the defendant has a prior conviction under any State or Federal law relating to Sexual Abuse or Child Pornography, the term of imprisonment shall be not less than 15 years and not more than 40 years.

It shall be an affirmative defense to prosecution that the alleged child pornography was not produced using any actual minors. The defendant may not assert this affirmative defense without providing, no later than 10 days before trial, notice of the intent to assert such a defense and the substance of any expert upon which the defendant intends to rely.

A person commits an offense if he knowingly possesses one or more article of child pornography if either:
1. The person possesses child pornography in special territorial jurisdiction of US, or
2. The child pornography was shipped in interstate commerce.

It shall be an affirmative defense to this subsection that the defendant:
1. Possessed less than three proscribed matters containing child pornography, AND
2. Promptly and in good faith either took steps to destroy the child pornography or reported the matter to law enforcement.

This offense shall be punished by fine and imprisonment of not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years. If the defendant has a prior conviction under any State or Federal law relating to Sexual Abuse or Child Pornography, the term of imprisonment shall be not less than 15 years and not more than 40 years.

§2260 – Production of Sexually Explicit Depiction of a Minor for Importation into the United States

A person commits an offense when, outside of the United States, he:
1. Employs, persuades, or induces a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of creating a visual depiction with the intent to import the depiction to the US or into waters within 12 miles, OR
2. Knowingly distributes, sells, or possesses with intent to sell any visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct with the intent that the depiction be imported to the US or into waters within 12 miles.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 10 years or both. If the defendant has a prior conviction under this Chapter or Chapter 109 (Sexual Abuse), the term of imprisonment shall not exceed 20 years.

§2421 – Transportation Generally

A person commits an offense when he knowingly transports an individual in interstate commerce with the intent that such individual engage in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 10 years or both.

§2422 – Coercion and Enticement

A person commits an offense when he knowingly persuades, induces, or coerces an individual to travel in interstate commerce to engages in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 20 years or both.

A person commits an offense when he knowingly persuades, induces, or coerces an individual less than 18 years old to engages in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged for a criminal offense either:
1. Using the mail or other means of interstate commerce, OR
2. Within the special territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

This offense shall be punished by fine and imprisonment of not less than 5 years and not more than 30 years.

§2423 – Transportation of Minors

A person commits an offense when he knowingly transports an individual under 18 in interstate commerce with the intent that the individual engage in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense.

This offense shall be punished by fine and imprisonment of not less than 5 years and not more than 30 years.

A person commits an offense when he travels in interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct.

“Illicit sexual conduct” means either:
1. A sexual act with a person under 18 years old that would violate Chapter 109 if in Federal jurisdiction, OR
2. A commercial sex act with a person under 18 years old.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 30 years or both.

A person commits an offense when, for the purpose of financial gain, he:
1. Facilitates the travel of a person,
2. Knowing that the other person is traveling in interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 30 years or both.

It is a defense to any prosecution involving a commercial sex act with a person under 18 years old that the defendant reasonably believed the person was at least 18 years old. The defendant must establish this belief by a preponderance of the evidence.

§2425 – Use of Interstate Facilities to Transmit Information about a Minor

A person commits an offense when, either using interstate commerce or from the territorial jurisdiction of the US, he:
1. Initiates transmission of the name, address, telephone number, social security number, or electronic mail address of an individual,
2. Knows that the individual is less than 16 years old, AND
3. Intends to solicit any person to engage in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense.

This offense shall be punished by fine or imprisonment up to 5 years or both.

If you have been charged with a sex crime and need an experienced defense attorney, call Rosengren, Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office at 507-625-5000 for an initial consultation.

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