Massachusetts Sexual Assault Offenses – Sex Offenses Attorney

Criminal Defense Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III

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Sexual assault convictions can lead to very harsh punishments. Therefore, you are going to want an attorney with experience representing you in your case. Also, there are many men and women that are falsely accused of sex crimes nationwide. If you find yourself in this situation, call (508) 213-9113 today, don’t trust your case and future to just any criminal defense attorney. We will help you determine the best defense in your case and give you all of your options.

Sexual Assault Offenses

Sexual Assault

There are two types of sexual assault offenses in Massachusetts, rape, and indecent assault and battery. The difference in these charges are the circumstances involved in the case. Also, the penalties that these crimes carry include extensive jail time.


Massachusetts defines rape as sexual intercourse or “unnatural sexual intercourse” against the victim’s will. Massachusetts defines sexual intercourse as the penetration of the female genitalia by the male genitalia, no matter how slight. “Unnatural sexual intercourse” covers pretty much every other sexual act. To prove rape, Massachusetts must establish that defendant used force and did not have consent. The maximum punishment for rape in Massachusetts is twenty years in prison and substantial fines.

Rape With a Firearm

Massachusetts also has a statute for rape by force. This crime includes any rape in which the defendant uses a gun. The more serious nature of this crime means that the prison sentences are longer. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for rape with a firearm. Also, the defendant could face up to twenty years in jail.

Indecent Assault and Battery

Massachusetts defines indecent assault and battery as any sexual contact other than penetration without consent. An example could be touching someone’s private parts without their consent. This charge results from intentional and unjustifiable contact with a person’s breasts, thighs, genitals as well as buttocks. This charge only applies to a victim that is over 14 years of age. The penalty for indecent assault and battery conviction in Massachusetts is up to five years in prison. Also, subsequent offenses increase the length of the prison sentence.

Case Results: Indecent Assault and Battery

Rape and Indecent Assault and Battery: Dismissed

A man was accused of raping his son’s girlfriend. The family hosted a Halloween party. However, the son was not present because he needed to work. His girlfriend attended and consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, as did her boyfriend’s father. The girl alleged that at the end of the night, the man forcefully carried her to the second floor of the family home and removed her clothing. He then forcefully performed oral sex on her and forced her to do the same to him. She next claimed that he forced her down onto a bed, climbed on top of her and forced his penis inside of her vagina. When the sexual encounter ended, the girlfriend reported to her boyfriend and his mother what she claims occurred with his father. This led to the man’s arrest and charges by Bellingham, Massachusetts Police for multiple counts of rape and indecent assault and battery. The man retained Massachusetts Sex Assault Defense Lawyers, John L. Calcagni III, Esq. and John R. Grasso, to defend him in this matter. There were no eyewitnesses to the incident despite the presence of multiple people at the Halloween party. There was also no physical evidence of forcible penetration or sexual assault. Attorneys Calcagni and Grasso defended their client on the theory of consent. They claimed the girl’s inhibitions were lowered from the consumption of alcohol. This prompted her to consensually engage in sex with the man from which she later experienced regret and fear her boyfriend would discover her indiscretions. The man always maintained his innocence. On the eve of trial, the Commonwealth and District Attorney’s Office dismissed the case.

Statutory Rape

The age of consent in Massachusetts is 16. Therefore, anyone who is between the ages of 14 and 16 is legally unable to give consent for sexual intercourse. Also, Massachusetts does not have a close-in-age exemption, also known as a “Romeo and Juliet” law that protects two individuals under the legal age of consent from prosecution. Unlike most other states the defendant in a statutory rape case does not have to be over the age of 18. The maximum punishment for a statutory rape conviction varies depending on the circumstances.

Child Molestation

There are different charges for child molestation in Massachusetts. Obviously, the charges depend on the severity of the crime.

Indecent Assault and Battery of a Child

Indecent sexual assault includes any sexual contact of a minor under the age of 14 years old. The maximum penalty for the first offense is ten years in prison. A subsequent offense could increase the prison sentence to life.

Rape of a Child

Anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 will receive rape of a child charges. Additionally, if the crime includes the use or threat of force, there are additional charges. Force doesn’t just apply to physical contact; it also applies to the threat of bodily injury. The maximum penalty for a conviction is life in prison.

Indecent Solicitation of a Child

Indecent solicitation of a child is when an adult knowingly solicits a minor under the age of 18. Also, if the defendant solicits a person because they believe they are under the age of 18, they could receive an indecent solicitation of a child charges. The purpose of the solicitation must be prostitution or sexual contact. Solicitation means to authorize, command, urge, request, incite, or advise another to perform an act. This can occur over the phone, in writing, on the internet, or through any other means.

Other Sexual Offenses

Indecent Exposure

Massachusetts has unusual laws when it comes to indecent exposure. All types of disorderly conduct are lumped together under one statute. Massachusetts courts define indecent exposure as an intentional act of lewd exposure, offensive to one or more persons. Examples include but are not limited to public nudity, urination, and committing sex acts in public. There is also a more serious charge known as “open and gross lewdness.” The penalty for indecent exposure is up to six months in jail and a $200 fine.

Child Pornography

Child pornography is any material that depicts underage children in a sexually explicit way. The material can include photographs, film, pictures, videos, or any other type of media. Depending on the involvement of the defendant there’s a different child pornography charges.

Possession of Child Pornography

Anyone caught possessing or purchasing any of the above material will face possession of child pornography charges. The penalty for a possession of child pornography conviction is up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. A second conviction or third conviction will lead to a longer jail sentence.

Distribution or Production of Child Pornography

Sharing child pornography in any way is considered distribution of child pornography. Sharing pornographic material by mail, the internet, or in person results in the charge of distribution of child pornography.

The laws define producing as publishing, directing, issuing, manufacturing, or advertising any sexually explicit material involving a child. Also, altering or copying any material could be considered production. These crimes are punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Dangerousness Hearing

There were several proposed new dangerousness statutes introduced by the legislature in 2019 that have not yet enacted.  Therefore, having a skilled lawyer in your corner is absolutely necessary when facing criminal charges in Massachusetts that could expose you to pretrial detention on the basis of dangerousness.  See dangerousness hearing for more information