Sexual battery is a sex crime and because of that carries a certain level of fear and uncertainty. If arrested for sexual battery, your initial thought may be that your career and life are in danger. You may be fearful that you must register as sex offender for the rest of your life, be limited on where you may live, go to church, shop, and vacation.
Sexual Battery Law - O.C.G.A. § 16-6-22.1
(a) For the purposes of this Code section, the term "intimate parts" means the primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.
(b) A person commits the offense of sexual battery when he or she intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of sexual battery shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
(d) A person convicted of the offense of sexual battery against any child under the age of 16 years shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
(e) Upon a second or subsequent conviction under subsection (b) of this Code section, a person shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one nor more than five years and, in addition, shall be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2.
Breaking Down Georgia's Sexual Battery Law
Defining Intimate Parts
Like many of Georgia's laws the sexual battery statute begins by providing a a definition for "intimate parts." That is the definition that should be used anytime you see the words "intimate parts" in the sexual battery law.
As seen above Georgia's sexual battery law defines intimate parts as the primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.
How Is the Crime Committed?
In Georgia sexual battery is committed when a person intentionally contacts the primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female ("intimate parts") without the other person consenting to said contact.
For the first example. Let's say that June is eating dinner at a bar in Newnan, Georgia. June eats her dinner and consumes several adult beverages along with her hot wings. As her dinner is nearing an end, her waiter, Johnny, comes and picks up several plates and empty glasses from the table. As Johnny walks away after the bussing the table, June grabs ahold of Johnny's buttocks without his consent. June has committed a sexual battery.
In this second example, Johnny goes to a movie theatre in Newnan to see a movie. He sits down next to a stranger named June. While watching the movie, Johnny reaches over and makes unwanted contact with June's inner thigh. In this scenario Johnny has committed a sexual battery.
Sexual Battery Punishment
Alleged Victim is Under Age of 16
If you are facing a sexual battery charge and the complaining witness is under the age of sixteen (16) the you are facing a felony charge. This felony is punishable by a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of five years in prison. In addition to prison time, if convicted, you would be required to register as a sex offender. Being required to register as a sex offender will have life-long effects on your day-to-day life.
Alleged Victim is an Adult
If you are facing a sexual battery charge and the complaining witness is an adult you are facing a high and aggravated misdemeanor. A high and aggravated misdemeanor is punishable by twelve (12) months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Additionally, the law says that when someone is convicted a high and aggravated misdemeanor they may only be given four days earned credit for each month of time served.
Sometimes, however, sexual battery against an adult may be a felony. The conduct required for felony sexual battery is the same as misdemeanor sexual battery, but the crime may be treated as a felony depending on your criminal history. If you have been convicted of sexual battery in the past, a second or subsequent conviction for sexual battery will be treated as a felony.
Sexual battery, like all sex crimes, is no matter to play around with. You must ensure that your rights and interests are protected. With the state of Georgia against you, it is critical that you have a lawyer fighting out of your corner for you. Contact us today for a consultation with Ryan so that you can begin your defense.