Intentionally subjecting another person to unwanted sexual contact constitutes the criminal offense of sexual abuse. In Missouri, this offense may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the age of the victim, the type of sexual contact allegedly committed and other circumstances surrounding the incident. With the harshest penalties enforced, a defendant may face up to 15 years in state prison.
Chapter 566.100. Sexual Abuse in The First Degree:
1. A person commits the offense of sexual abuse in the first degree if he or she subjects another person to sexual contact when that person is incapacitated, incapable of consent, or lacks the capacity to consent, or by the use of forcible compulsion.
2. The offense of sexual abuse in the first degree is a class C felony ( a term of three to 10 years) unless the victim is less than fourteen years of age, or it is an aggravated sexual offense, in which case it is a class B felony (a term of five to 15 years).
Chapter 566.101. Sexual Abuse, Second Degree,
1. A person commits the offense of sexual abuse in the second degree if he or she purposely subjects another person to sexual contact without that person’s consent.
2. The offense of sexual abuse in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor (a term not to exceed one year) unless it is an aggravated sexual offense, in which case it is a class E felony (a term not to exceed four years).
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