If you are accused of committing rape, this is likely a very confusing and upsetting time for you. It’s critical that you have guidance and understanding about what Massachusetts law says about rape and how to defend yourself against a conviction. Here’s what you need to know about rape charges in Massachusetts.
Under Massachusetts law, rape is defined as the penetration of a person’s bodily orifice without their consent by another person’s body part or an object. This definition allows for a wide variety of acts to be legally considered rape. Rape can be forcible — where the victim is physically forced or threatened with force — or it can be done under the lack of consent. If, for example, the alleged victim is so intoxicated that they are unable to give consent, the act may be considered rape. Penalties become more severe if the alleged perpetrator commits the act with the use of a weapon, particularly an assault type weapon.
Many people assume that rape only occurs when a stranger forces a person to commit sexual acts. However, most rapes do not occur this way. The majority of rapes occur between people who know each other, including family members. If the act meets the legal criteria for rape, it can even occur between two people who are dating or married. Massachusetts law does not recognize that a particular type of relationship must or must not exist in order for rape to occur — only the basic criteria for rape must be met in order for it to be legally charged.
Sex Offender Registry
The penalties for being convicted of rape depend largely on how the rape occurred, the age of the victim, the age of the perpetrator, if great bodily harm was done to the victim, and other factors regarding the crime. While fines, prison time, mandatory counseling, and other forms of penalties all vary, one penalty is consistent across the board. Anyone in Massachusetts who is convicted of rape must be listed on the state sex offender registry. This information is public and can have a significant impact on a defendant’s life, relationships, and ability to get a job or continue their education.
Contact the Law Offices of Tom Kokonowski, Esq. Today
If you’ve been accused of rape or have been arrested, it’s important that you have a legal advocate on your side who knows the law and can take your case seriously. Call today for a consultation to discuss your legal options with a sex crimes attorney at (413) 585-9200 or (413) 549-0022.