Sexual assault is a crime that is taken very seriously in Georgia. This is the case whether the crime is based on the use of actual force or threat or some other assertion of power or authority. When a person who is in a position of authority engages in sexual relations with someone under his or her control or authority, the crime of sexual assault may have been committed. Although these crimes should be taken very seriously by the legislature and law enforcement officers, the fact is that the laws have gone to the extreme and people accused of a crime simply based on his or her employment face penalties far in excess of the sentences handed down to people who have committed far more serious crimes.
A person may be charged with the crime of sexual assault by an individual who is in a position with supervisory or disciplinary authority over the individual with whom he had sexual contact when they make engage in any sort of sexual activity with a person who is under the authority or control of the role that he holds. This includes people who must be obeyed based on their career choice, such as a police officer or prison guard, or a person who in in a position of trust, such as a doctor or therapist.
People who may fall within the parameters of this statute include:
- Teachers or administrators;
- Law enforcement officers;
- Correctional officers, juvenile detention facility employees, or a person who otherwise is in a position to exercise control or dominion over the juvenile;
- Probation or parole officers;
- Hospital employees who engage in sexual contact with a person who is a patient, whether that person is known to be a patient or is in such a situation as the defendant should have known that he or she was a patient; and
- Other individuals who have authority to impact another person’s education, health, safety, or wellbeing.
This law is intended to protect people who are in a situation where the balance of power is not perceived to be equal. What this does is provide a legal cause of action, even if the two people engaged in consensual sex.
When a crime is committed under this statute, the fact that the other person consented to the sexual contact is not a defense to the crime. If a person is convicted of a crime of sexual assault pursuant to this law, then he or she may be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. This is the same as a person who has been convicted of trafficking in illegal narcotics. When there are other factors present, including the fact that the defendant sexually assaulted a person under the age of 16 years, then the mandatory minimum increases significantly. It is critical for a person arrested for this crime to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively Advocates on Behalf of its Clients
State prosecutors consider crimes of sexual assault committed by individuals in a position of authority to be particularly egregious. If you have been accused of this type of crime, it is very important to retain a criminal defense attorney who is prepared to challenge every aspect of the case, including the commission of the assault itself. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC. has the knowledge and skill to get the right results for you. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at (678) 582-2272 and we can help. We offer free consultations at our office, over the telephone, and are ready to come to you in jail.