Rape Defense in Maine
Experienced Defense Lawyer Serving the Bangor, Saco, Augusta, Portland and Biddeford Areas
Rape is one of the most common forms of sexual assault and can be carried out under a variety of different circumstances. Rape is any act of forcibly engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who is unwilling, verbally objecting, unconscious, or otherwise unable to object. It is one of the most widely unreported types of crime, as many people are too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about the incident. In 1999, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 99% of rapists were male, and that 91% of rape victims were female-meaning that the other 9% were men. Now, however, it is assumed that a larger percentage of victims are male, but that these sex crimes are being grossly under reported.
Rape can occur between any two genders of people in any combination. The relationship between the two is also not a factor as rape can occur between strangers, relatives and even spouses. The most important factor for a sexual activity to be considered rape is consent. A person does not have to say ‘no' in order to show lack of consent. In some cases, fear may have prevented them from speaking out or the effects of drugs or alcohol may have led to unconsciousness. Rape charges must also include some form of penetration.
Maine Criminal Defense Attorney
There are several types of rape that can be prosecuted under the law as rape does not strictly take place between a male aggressor and a female victim. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties will be different and there is no way to know for sure what your sentence will be if you are convicted. Often rape offenses result in jail time, probation, steep fees and more. You will also have to be registered as a sex offender. Any of these consequences can severely impact your life and career. Various types of rape offenses include:
- Date rape: This type of rape often occurs between casual/social acquaintances, sometimes making it difficult to prove. It also commonly involves the use of a "date rape" drug, which would debilitate the victim and make it easier for the attacker to carry out the rape
- Gang rape: This type of rape includes at least two or more attackers committing a sexual assault against/forcing sexual intercourse upon one victim
- Prison rape: This type of rape occurs between prison inmates, meaning that they are usually same-sex crimes, and are thought to affect between 3%-12% of all inmates
- Incestual rape: This type of rape occurs between close relatives, including blood relatives, step relatives, adoptive relatives, and/or members of the same household
- Statutory rape: This type of offense occurs between a person who has not yet reached the age of consent and an adult, regardless of consent
- Marital rape: This type of rape occurs between a married couple, regardless of the fact that they have previously engaged in consensual sex
Maine Gross Sexual Assault
When a person is accused of using some sort of force or placing the victim under duress in order to get them to comply with sexual activity, it is considered gross sexual abuse. Situations that would lead to this charge include:
- Drugging the victim with drugs or alcohol
- Threatening the victim into compliance
- The victim is mentally disabled and not capable of giving consent
- The victim is unconscious
- The victim is a ward of the offender such as a prisoner, patient, etc
- The victim is under the age of 18 and a student or charge of the offender
Rape of a Minor in Maine: Penalties
Rape charges are very serious, but rape of a minor charges are the most severe. Forcibly engaging in an unwanted sexual act is rape, and can be considered gross sexual assault. Under Maine Code §253, "gross sexual assault to have sexual intercourse with a person under age 14" is punishable by up to 40 years in prison. If the age gap is far enough apart, even consensual sex with a minor is considered a form of rape. Statutory rape laws declare that minor under the age of 14 cannot give consent to sexual activity.
Under Maine Code §255, "any person 3+ years older than victim who engages in sexual contact with any person under 14 years old" can be charged with a class C crime, or a class B crime if it involved penetration. The penalties of these crimes are then decided accordingly, as a class C felony is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $15,000 fine, and a class B felony is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine.