Q:

What is fourth degree sexual assault?

A:

Fourth degree sexual assault is defined as sexual contact with an individual who has not given consent. It is considered a Class A misdemeanor and is not considered a violent sexual assault. Sexual contact in a fourth degree sexual assault consists of intentionally touching intimate areas of the body and/or penetration with the hands.

Fourth degree sexual assault is the least severe of all sexual assault charges, and while it is not categorized as violent, it still leaves victims feeling violated and traumatized. Fourth degree sexual offenders are required to register with the authorities upon their release from jail . Fourth degree sexual offense penalties may include a fine and jail time.

Sexual misconduct in a fourth degree sexual assault charge also includes engaging in sexual intercourse with an individual who is 16 or 17 when the perpetrator is at least four years older than the victim. Even if the 16- or 17-year-old gave consent, the teenager's parents have the right to file charges based on the fact that their child is still considered a minor. While fourth degree sexual assault is considered a misdemeanor, first, second, and third degree sexual assault are all considered felonies, punishable with high fines and prison time.


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