25 Jun 20

Sex Crimes + Laws, Charges & Statute of Limitations

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Last Updated on: 6th August 2023, 06:25 pm

Understanding Sex Crimes

Sex crimes refer to unlawful and unacceptable sexual behaviors. It also involves forces sexual behavior without another person’s consent. Sex crimes also include acts of violence that involve sex.

The definition and laws for sex crimes may be different across various states. This is mainly because of the various statutes of limitations for different sex crimes. Sex crimes may also be defined as sexual acts considered to violate societal taboos.

Those guilty of sexual offenses are referred to as sex offenders. One who is registered as a sex offender has a history of sex crimes prosecuted under the law. Various sex crimes are punishable in multiple states and at a federal level.

Types of Sex Crimes and Their Consequences


Rape is a type of sexual assault that involves forceful intercourse without the person’s consent. The assault may be carried out by someone in authority or to someone incapable of giving consent. It may be carried out through physical force or intimidation.

Rape causes physical injuries dues to forceful penetration and assault. The mental trauma that comes with rape casts a shadow on the lives of the victims. Victims are also at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.

Rape criminals are punished with a sentence of not less than fifteen years. In cases of aggravated assault, the offender is punished with a penalty of up to twenty years. If rape was accompanied by the victim’s death, the offender gets a sentence starting at thirty years.


Prostitution is the act of exchanging money for sexual activity. The laws that make prostitution illegal will differ in various states. The charges for prostitution depend on whether there is any human trafficking involved. The charges also count for sex trafficking, especially if there are children involved.

It gets worse for the offender if there is forceful intercourse involved. Solicitation for prostitution may be charged as a misdemeanor. The penalty for prostitution may vary according to the statutes of limitations of each state.

If the offender is found guilty of sex trafficking, he may serve a term of not less than ten years, a fine, or both. If coercion and enticement are involved, then the minimum penalty may start at twenty years.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is the use of sexual overtones in a manner that is intimidating to another person. It also involves the use of gifts or rewards in exchange for sexual favors. Sexual harassment may be through verbal abuse or sexual assault.

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Sexual harassment is illegal, especially if there are minors involved. At the workplace, it is unlawful, primarily through verbal transgressions and physical contact, that creates a hostile environment.

The definition of sexual harassment and the charges may differ based on the culture of the state. Sexual harassment is an offense punishable up to three years in jail and a fine. However, the court will try to look into what is considered harassment and what is not.


This sex crime is also referred to as indecent exposure in law terms. It involves the act of exposing one’s private body parts in public. Various behaviors may be termed as indecent exposure or public nudity. These include flashing, streaking, and mooning.

If it is the first offense, the offender may be let go with a misdemeanor. If convicted, the defendant may face up to six months in jail, a fine of one thousand dollars, or both.

Possession of Child Pornography

Child pornography involves using children for sexual stimulation. It also includes the act of production of images or videos involving minors engaging in sexual activity. The act consists of the production of various media for stimulation and as a profit venture.

Apart from production, it is also an offense to have in possession any material that exploits minors for sexual activity. Those in possession of child pornography may face several charges if found guilty.

The offender may be charged with sex trafficking and defilement. When tried as a misdemeanor, the offender may face up to a year of imprisonment. If tried as a felony, the offender may face a fine exceeding a hundred thousand dollars or a jail term exceeding eight years. The statutes defining the sentencing may differ across states.