Learn What is a 4th Degree Sex Offense
One of the most commonly charged sexual offenses falls under the purview of a 4th-degree sex offense. It is not considered as a felony and is generally classified as a misdemeanor.
Here is a list of things that are considered a 4th-degree sexual offense
- When a person establishes sexual contact without the consent of the other, then it is considered sexual contact. An attempt at gratification through abuse is meted out; then also it is an offense. However sexual contact does not include any agreed medical procedure that may involve touching of genitals.
- When the perpetrator is at least four years older than the victim, and the victim is of 14 or 15 years of age and performs any type of sexual act on the victim.
- When the perpetrator commits vaginal intercourse on the victim, who is around 14 or 15 years of age and the offender is at least four years older. Vaginal intercourse means there has been penetration and irrespective semen emission.
- Involvement of sexual activity with a minor and a person in the position of authority. The minor can be a student. The person in the position of authority indicates a person who is at least 21 years of age. That person can be an employee in a state, public, private school. The school can be elementary or secondary. The person in question may exercise supervision on the minor who may attend the school. Such a person can not engage in this kind of sexual activity. A person in a position of authority does not only mean the teachers but also the principal, vice-principal, coach, counselor employed at private, public, secondary or elementary schools.
Consequences of being charged as a 4th-degree sexual offender
The person who might get convicted or guilty of 4 the degree sexual offense, will have to
- Serve prison time of a year or so
- More prison time will be added if the guilty person is an established criminal offender in prior cases
- A fine up to 1000 dollars may be charged
- For prior sexual offenders, the prison sentence can get extended to up to three years
- Records of prior offense may also add up to 1000 dollars of fine
- The guilty person may have to get registered as a sexual offender for at least a period of the next fifteen years.
A fourth-degree sexual offense case looks for the following criteria to establish the case.
- Age of the victim – A minor or even a person of age 13 to 16 if encounters sexual touch by a person, four years older, then the 4th-degree sexual offense is believed to have been carried out. Here, in this case, the age of the victim nullifies consent of the victim.
- Use of force or coercion – If the victim had encountered reasonable force or coercion, then also the sexual offense is conducted.
- The mental and physical state of the victim – A person rendered physically or mentally unable to resist or consent to sexual activity also makes the person committing the sexual act guilty of the 4th-degree sexual offense.
- Family – a sexual offense conducted on a family member by blood or affinity also falls under the consideration of 4th-degree sexual offense. A case of the position of authority can be evoked under such circumstances.
- Professionals such as mental health professionals, teachers are also not to engage in any sexual activity as it is the violation of the professional conduct within a reasonable period
- Special education student teachers and foster home and caregivers or organizers also can be considered the person in the position of authority under certain circumstances.
Generally speaking, a fourth-degree sexual offense is regarded as Tier 1 under sexual offense categorization. Consensual adults can engage in sexual activities.