Sex Crimes Attorney
in Northampton, MA
Being accused of committing a sex crime is especially devastating. Your reputation and you family are potentially ruined when these allegations are made against you.
If you have been charged with a sex crime of any kind, you need zealous legal representation as quickly as possible. You have the right to an aggressive defense under Massachusetts law.
Sex Crimes in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, rape is defined as the penetration of a bodily orifice by any object or part of the body against the victim’s will by using the threat of force or actual force.
Section 22(a) of Chapter 265 of the Massachusetts General Laws outlines the punishments for such offenses:
Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a person, and compels such person to submit by force and against his will, or compels such person to submit by threat of bodily injury and if either such sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse results in or is committed with acts resulting in serious bodily injury, or is committed by a joint enterprise, or is committed during the commission or attempted commission of [another] offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years.
In addition to incarceration, the defendant may face penalties including:
- community service
- lifetime sex offender registry
Statutory rape is harshly punished. Statutory rape occurs when a person seduces a person under the age of 16 to engage in sexual acts.
Chapter 265, Section 23 of the Massachusetts General Laws outlines the definition and punishments of this crime:
Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse and abuses a child under 16 years of age shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years.
Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14
Chapter 265, Section 13(b) of the Massachusetts General Laws discusses the definition and punishments for the indecent assault and battery of a child under the age of 14:
In a prosecution under this section, a child under the age of 14 years shall be deemed incapable of consenting to any conduct of the defendant for which such defendant is being prosecuted. Whoever commits an indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2½ years.
Possession of Child Pornography
The possession of pornography depicting children under the age of 18 is illegal in Massachusetts.
Chapter 272, Section 29(c) of the Massachusetts General Laws outlines specific examples of what may be considered child pornography. Additionally, it lists the punishments as follows:
[The defendant] with knowledge of the nature or content thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment for the first offense, not less than five years in a state prison or by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $20,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment for the second offense, not less than 10 years in a state prison or by a fine of not less than $10,000 nor more than $30,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment for the third and subsequent offenses.
Lewd and Lascivious Conduct
Section 16 of Chapter 272 of the Massachusetts General Laws defines lewd and lascivious conduct, and lists potential penalties:
A man or woman, married or unmarried, who is guilty of open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in jail for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars.
Potential Defenses for Sex Crimes
An aggressive defense is the key in sex crimes cases.
Since many sex crimes occur with few witnesses, there are several proven defense tactics that may be successful in your case.
- Actual Innocence. This defense can be very effective if you have witnesses placing you at another location at the time that the alleged crime occurred. Another innocence defense would be that of mistaken identity, or that you were not the individual who committed the crime.
- The victim gave consent. In cases where the victim was an adult and capable of consent, you may be able to argue that consent was indeed given. This is most effective when the defendant and the victim have a history of sexual contact.
- Insanity Plea. In a case where the defendant has a mental defect that prevented him or her from understanding the true nature of his or her actions, an experienced Massachusetts sex crimes lawyer may be able to argue an insanity plea to have the criminal element removed from those actions.
The most effective defense in your case can only be determined by a seasoned lawyer who specializes in sex crimes cases.
Criminal Defense Attorney Tom Kokonowski, understands Massachusetts law and how it relates to sex crimes, and he can help you craft a creative, strong defense against the charges you face.
Indecent Assault & Battery — Not Guilty
I represented a member of law enforcement who was accused of Indecent Assault and Battery while he was on duty. He was suspended from the force until the resolution of the criminal case.
I believe that the department for whom he worked did not believe he could possibly win. Actually, nobody, especially the Commonwealth, believed we could win. We went to trial for five days in the Hampshire County Superior Court. WE WON. Not Guilty of ALL CHARGES.
Rape of a Child by Force — Not Guilty on All Counts
The Commonwealth indicted another client on five counts of rape of a child by force, and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under 14. After six days of trial and only one hour of deliberation, the jury found him NOT GUILTY on all counts in the Hampden County Superior Court.
Rape of a Child by Force & Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Under 14 — Charges Dismissed & Found Not Guilty
The Commonwealth indicted another client on four counts of rape of a child with force, and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under 14. After nine days of trial, the judge dismissed one count, the Commonwealth dismissed two counts because they knew they could not prove them and the jury found him NOT GUILTY on all the others in the Hampden County Superior Court. In this case, my use of an expert witness OB-GYN was critical to our defense.
The doctor was able to refute the testimony of the Commonwealth’s expert witness concerning whether or not the physical evidence corroborated the alleged victim’s story of rape, which was not credible on its own but required my thorough cross-examination and the Boston doctor’s expert testimony.