In Pennsylvania, there are some differences between rape and sexual assault that a defendant should understand to deal with their case effectively. There are also different types of rape and sexual assault that a person could be charged with. However, rape and sexual assault do have at least one factor in common: each crime can lead to a serious amount of time behind bars. If you were arrested for rape or sexual assault, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia sex crimes attorney today. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long are prepared to help you fight your sexual offense case. Lloyd Long is here to discuss the difference between rape and sexual assault in Pennsylvania.

Rape vs. Sexual Assault

There is more than one difference between Pennsylvania’s laws for rape and sexual assault. Besides rape being a more serious offense than sexual assault, there are multiple circumstances that could cause a person to be arrested for rape. Alternatively, the requirements for being charged with sexual assault contain fewer nuances than a rape offense.

Rape in Pennsylvania

The offense of rape has several elements that an offender should be aware of. For example, if a reasonable person is threatened with rape and they believe that they cannot successfully resist, the offender can be charged with rape. There are at least three other circumstances that can lead to being charged with rape:

  1. The offender has sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious or a person that does not realize the intercourse is occurring (e.g. an intoxicated person)
  2. The offender gave the victim drugs or other intoxicants that would make them compliant or less likely to resist sexual intercourse
  3. Having sexual intercourse with a mentally incapacitated individual who cannot consent to the act

If you have been accused of committing rape in Philadelphia, you should discuss your legal options with a rape defense attorney as soon as possible.

Sexual Assault in Pennsylvania

To be arrested for sexual assault, an offender must have sexual intercourse or “deviate sexual intercourse” with a non-consenting victim. Deviate sexual intercourse, also referred to as involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI), occurs when an offender penetrates the genitals or anus of another person with a foreign object and without the person’s consent.

There are also other forms of sexual assault, like statutory sexual assault. You can be charged with statutory sexual assault if you have sex with a person who is under the age of 16 and you are at least four years older than the person when the assault occurs. Additionally, statutory sexual assault can be upgraded from a second degree felony to a first degree felony if you are 11 or more years older than the victim. This offense does not apply to two people who are married.

Institutional sexual assault is another form of sexual assault in Pennsylvania. If you work at a correctional facility or residential facility and you have power over the detainees or residents at your place of employment, you can be charged with sexual assault for having sex or inappropriately touching those individuals. Due to the imbalance of power in a situation like this, you can still be charged with institutional sexual assault if the victim was a willing participant in the sexual acts. It is critical to consult with a criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested for any form of sexual assault.

Criminal Penalties for Rape and Sexual Assault in Pennsylvania

The criminal penalties for rape and sexual assault may vary depending on the circumstances of the offense. However, rape is typically charged as a first degree felony. In Pennsylvania, there are three categories of felonies, not including felonies involving murder. First degree felonies carry the most severe penalties while third degree felonies carry the least severe penalties of the three categories. Second degree felonies fall in between first and third degree felonies.

If you are convicted of rape, a first degree felony, you can receive up to 20 years in prison and owe $25,000 in criminal fines. If you are convicted of sexual assault, a second degree felony, you may receive up to 10 years in prison and be fined $25,000. Statutory sexual assault offenses are also second degree felonies. However, as mentioned above, they can be upgraded to first degree felonies if you are 11 years older than the victim.

Outside of the criminal penalties, being convicted of a sexual offense can have a catastrophic effect on your reputation and career. Additionally, you may have to register as a sex offender even after you complete a prison term. A sexual offense arrest is not to be taken lightly.

Philadelphia Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Lloyd Long Can Help

If you were arrested and charged with a sexual offense in Philadelphia, you should contact an experienced criminal lawyer for assistance immediately. Defense attorney Lloyd Long has extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania’s complex criminal proceedings, and will use that knowledge to fight for you. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 666-0381, or contact us online.

Law Offices of Lloyd Long
1845 Walnut St #525
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Get Directions

Consultations and office visits require an appointment.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. © 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Design + Marketing by