Child Sex Crimes

What Am I Facing If Charged With A Sex Crime?

Sex Crimes | Sexual Assault

Texas is known for its tough stance regarding sex crimes. Unlike in other states a person accused of a sex crime such as sexual assault or criminal solicitation of a minor in Texas often is highly likely to face several years in prison as well as long term registration as a sexual offender. Penalties of sex crimes are usually severe and consequences often cause irreparable damage to the offender”s reputation.

Sexual crimes in the Texas Penal Code include:

a) Sexual assault.  In Texas this refers to any sex crime that is committed to an individual who is considered a minor (under 17 years) as well as sex crimes committed against an adult without their consent. Sexual assault includes crimes such as rape and statutory rape.

b) Aggravated sexual assault. This category refers to a more serious crime than sexual assault; aggravated sexual assault usually involves minors under the age of 14.

c) Indecency with a child. Charges under this category are quite severe especially when they involve victims under the age of 17.Indecency with a child is divided into two specific crimes: Indecency with a child by exposure which is exposing without touching and indecency with a child by contact which involves touching. Both charges apply as long as a child younger than 17 years is involved and they include same or opposite sex. Both of these charges are felonies; however indecency with a child by contact is often regarded as more serious. In Texas touching under the clothes or over the clothes is irrelevant.

d) Child pornography. Child pornography charges often result in federal criminal trial although they may also result in state charges. Charges under this category include: Display, sale or distribution of harmful material to minor; Improper photography or visual recording and Sexual performance by a child.

In Texas sex offenders do not just simply serve their time, pay their debt to the society and move on with life like nothing happened. If you are convicted of a serious sex crime your name has to appear in the sex offender registration list together with your address and photo for the rest of your life. This means that you will face restrictions where you live and work .It may also mean that you can be held beyond the end of your sentence in civil commitment in certain circumstances. Sex offender registration requirements depend on the crime and can range from 10 years to life.

Convicts who are accused of sex offenses involving children are often perceived as a threat to society. This stigma follows them throughout their lives and often results in loss of reputation and friendships. At the same time sex offenders also face other consequences that apply to convicts of other crimes in Texas. These sanctions affect: The right to vote; Serving on a jury and Holding public office.

Sex offenders on parole are not allowed to be within 500 feet of any place where children are known to congregate; this is commonly referred to as a Child Safety Zone. Sex crime convicts who are placed on probation may be ordered by a judge to keep away from children.

If you or someone you know is in need of the services of a Texas Board Certified Sexual Assault Attorney call Madrid Law at 713-877-9400.

Consequences of a Conviction for a Sex Crime in Texas

Sex Crimes | Sexual Assault

An individual is deemed a sex offender if they have been convicted of a “sex crime”. There are a host of offenses which fall into this category. Some of these are inclusive of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and indecency with a child.

All sex crimes are considered to be very severe and are awarded with harsh punishment in the State of Texas. Beyond the definite long prison term which will accompany a conviction, all sex offenders must face the rest of their lives registered in the public database as a sex offender.

Sexual assault involves any coerced or forced sexual activity upon another person. The general convictions for this particular area is for rape, or to a slightly lesser degree, touching or fondling of either a minor (an individual younger than 17 years) or an adult. Texas state law books have a whole chapter devoted to sexual assault. The offenses arise from causing the sexual organs of one person to have direct contact with the mouth, anus or sexual organs of another, whether through fondling or penetration.

Sexual assault is denoted as “aggravated” if force or violence is used in any of the following ways:

  • to inflict injury or attempt to take a life.
  • to induce fear in an individual by threatening to harm someone else
  • to threaten death, injury or a kidnapping.
  • to use or display a deadly weapon.
  • administers a drug to impair the judgement of the victim.
  • if the victim is either below 14 years old or is older than 65.

Punishment Range for Sex Cases

The punishments for sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault differ in the severity of sentencing. The former receives a considerably shorter sentence than the latter. For sexual assault one may face between 2 and 20 years. On the other hand, aggravated sexual assault can incur a sentence of 5 to 99 years or life in prison. If the crime involved a minor then the punishment will be much harsher.

Child molestation is the more common terminology for indecency with a child. There are two categories of this offense: Indecency with a Child by Contact and Indecency with a Child by Exposure. Be reminded that a child refers to a person 17 years of age or younger. Indecency with a Child by Contact is the more serious and involves touching the child’s private body parts (breast, anus, genitals) either directly or through their clothing. Indecency with a Child by Exposure involves the person exposing their body parts to a child or causing the child to expose their body parts. The intent of the two types of exposure must have been done to induce sexual gratification and can involve victims of the same or opposite sex.

Sex Offender Registration

Once a convicted sex offender has been released from state supervision (whether it be incarceration, community service or parole) in Texas they must submit to sex offender registration with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Registration can be done for either 10 years for relatively minor offenses or for life for all other sex crimes. Information on the name and current address of the offender is posted on several public database for all residents to access

If you or someone you know is in need of the services of a Texas Board Certified Sexual Assault Attorney call Madrid Law at 713-877-9400.

Houston Area Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child

Sexual Assault

A Texas City man was convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and sentenced to life in prison by a Galveston County jury according to this story. The victim was just three years old when the abuse began.

The accusation of the sexual assault of a child alleged that the sexual assault began when the complaining witness  was 3 years old. The abuse began in 2007 in Texas City and ended in 2010 with defendant’s arrest. The girl testified that the defendant would attack her when her mother was grocery shopping or at work.

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child is a First Degree Felony which has a range of punishment of not less than 5 years and not more than 99 years or life in prison.

Sexual Assault of a Child becomes aggravated if the child is less than 14 years old. The charge of Super Aggravated Sexual Assault a Child applies if the child is younger than 6 years of age. The range of punishment for Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child is 25 to 99 years or life in prison, and there is no provision for early release from confinement.Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

In a case with these facts the charge of Continuous Sexual Abuse may apply. Continuous Sexual Abuse involves repeated (two or more) acts of sexual abuse against a child under age 14 over a period of at least 30 days. Acts of sexual abuse include commission of any of these offenses:

  • indecency with a child (by contact with genitals or anus but not breast);
  • sexual assault;
  • aggravated sexual assault;
  • aggravated kidnapping with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually;
  • burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a sexual offense; or
  • sexual performance by a child.

The punishment range for this offense, Penal Code §21.02, is 25 to 99 years or life in prison. Life Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child there is no provision for early release from the sentence. Also, a subsequent conviction is punished by life in prison without parole.

If you are in need of a Aggravated Sexual Assault Lawyer in Houston call Houston Aggravated Sexual Assault Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

Houston Sex Crimes Attorney Mario Madrid

Houston Teacher Charged With Sexual Assault of a Child

Sex Crimes

A Houston middle school teacher has been charged with Sexual Assault Of A Child according to this story. The teacher, who is a 28 year old woman allegedly had sexual intercourse with a 15 year old student at his house.

Sexual Assault Of A Child between the age of 14-17 is a Second Degree Felony. A Second Degree Felony has a range of punishment of between 2-20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, lifetime sex offender registration is required if  a person is convicted or receives deferred adjudication for sexual assault.

The age of consent in Texas is seventeen years old. It would be immaterial as to guilt/innocence in this case if the fifteen year old boy willingly had sex with the teacher. Under the Texas law he cannot consent to have sex with the teacher. However, if he did willingly consent, it would certainly  have a bearing on the outcome of any possible punishment if a plea bargain is reached. 

This teacher like all accused is presumed innocent. However, although she does not appear to have any prior convictions, if she chooses to go to trial, a jury would not be permitted to consider probation if she were to be found guilty. She can receive deferred adjudication from a judge in a plea bargain  with the state.

Sexual Assault accusations can lead to serious punishment. If charged with a sex crime, it is imperative to have an attorney in your corner has experience fighting sex crimes. If you or someone you know has been charged with a sex crime, call a Sexual Assault Attorney, Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

HPD Backlog Of Rape Kits

Sex Crimes

According to a Houston Chronicle story, a memo by HPD Charles McClelland indicates that the Houston Police Department’s backlog of untested rape kits totals between 6,000 and 7,000 – 50 percent more than what officials previously acknowledged. The backlog is likely to grow as HPD receives over 900 rape kits a year and has the capability to test only between 360-480 rape kits a year.

The screening of rape kits is used to determine whether there is enough biological evidence for a sexual assault kit to be used for DNA testing. DNA testing at HPD’s crime lab was temporarily suspended in 2002, after an independent audit revealed shoddy forensic work, including unqualified personnel, lax protocols and facilities that included a roof that leaked rainwater onto evidence. Cutting down the rape kit backlog has been a challenge because of a lack of resources and personnel. 

Whether there is a resource or personnel issue it is important in order to achieve justice, that the test the kits are completed and they are done so properly. Tainted or untested evidence can lead to wrongful convictions. It is one thing to keep our streets safe, it is another to railroad an innocent person.

If you or someone you know is in need of a Houston Sexual Assault Attorney, call Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

Teacher’s Aide Charged With Sex Case

Sex Crimes

A teacher’s aide at C.E. King High School has been charged with Sexual Assault of a Child according to this story in the Houston Chronicle. The teacher’s aide, who is 31 years old allegedly had sexual intercourse with a 15 year old student on three occasions in 2009.

The student told a school counselor that the teacher’s aide would pick her up from behind the school and take her to his apartment to smoke marijuana and have sex. Bail is set at $30,000.

The age of consent in Texas is 17 years old. Therefore, whether the student voluntarily had sex is not an issue, as she cannot consent under the law. Sexual Assault of a Child between the ages of 14-17 is a Second Degree Felony and punishable by 2-20 years in prison. Also, lifetime registration as a sex offender is required.

If you or someone you know is in need of the services of a Houston Sexual Assault Attorney, call Texas Board Certified Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.