This post, by attorney Carlos A. Gamino, outlines the way that Wisconsin law defines sexual contact with minors and describes the potential penalties for a conviction.
As a Milwaukee sex crime lawyer, I’ve often been asked about what constitutes “sexual contact” with a minor. While every case is different, the law clearly spells out the details on most child sexual assault crimes. Please know that if you are accused of committing a sexual crime, it’s a very serious matter and you deserve to have someone in your corner; you’ll need to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Sexual Contact with Minors: How the Law Sees It
A minor is someone who’s under the age of 18. According to Wisconsin law, adults are not allowed to have any sexual contact with a minor whatsoever.
You’ve probably heard the term statutory rape, particularly when it refers to an adult boyfriend having sex with his minor girlfriend. While that’s a form of sexual contact with a minor, the law explains that there can be more to it than that. Wisconsin law also categorizes sexual assault of children based on how old they are, the extent of the contact, and a few other variables.
It’s against the law to have sex, to touch in a sexual way, or to expose yourself to anyone under the age of 18.
Degrees of Sexual Assault of a Child in Wisconsin
The law divides sexual assault into two degrees: First and Second. First-degree sexual assault can involve bodily harm, the threat of or use of violence, or any sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 13. Second-degree simply involves sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16.
Both first-degree and second-degree sexual assault of a child are considered felonies.
There are other categories of sex crimes that involve children as well, including:
- Repeated acts of sexual assault of a child
- Incest (which includes stepparents)
- Child enticement
- Sex with a child between 16 and 18
- Exposing genitals or pubic areas (either the adult’s or the child’s)
The Serious Penalties of Sexual Assault of a Child
If you are convicted of sexual assault of a child, you could face time behind bars. Unfortunately, many people seem to forget that our justice system is based on the fact that you are innocent until proven guilty – and that’s where our firm comes in. As Milwaukee child sex crime attorneys, we’re able to ensure that you receive a fair trial and that your rights are protected according to Wisconsin law. Sexual assault of a child is a serious charge that can have life-changing consequences, so please, don’t take a gamble with your future by trying to handle it on your own.