Being accused of a sex crime, let alone being convicted, can bring devastating consequences to someone’s personal life and reputation. A conviction carries serious criminal penalties, including a permanent criminal record. This alone makes you ineligible for certain occupations and frequently causes you to lose touch with family members. Immediate action is necessary in response to these types of claims in order to limit the repercussions. 

If you are facing accusations of a sex crime in Louisiana, you also face a long list of consequences—especially if you do not take these allegations seriously. At each stage of the criminal process, a Shreveport/Bossier City sex crimes attorney like Michael J. Vergis will work tirelessly to defend your rights.

What Constitutes a Sex Crime?

A sex crime is simply defined as a type of crime that involves sexual assault or otherwise has a sexual motive. Sex crimes cover a wide range of acts, but they always entail unlawful or forced sexual behavior against another person. Every state has laws banning various types of sex crimes, such as rape and prostitution, as well as their own set punishments for each crime.

Types of Sex Crimes

Here are some of the more common types of sex crimes in Louisiana:

When a defendant touches a victim sexually or makes the victim touch them sexually, either by body part or any kind of instrument, without their consent. If the perpetrator inflicts serious injury to the victim or if the victim is particularly vulnerable, sexual battery is penalized more harshly.

The act of anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse with a male or female without their lawful consent.

Statutory rape is when someone engages in sexual activity with someone under the legal age of consent Louisiana. Statutory rape is also called felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile. It doesn’t matter if the minor allegedly agreed to the sexual conduct. The law believes that if they do not meet the legal age of consent, they are too naive to fully understand the severity and importance of sexual relations. 

Federal law strictly prohibits the possession, distribution, production, importation, or reception of any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor.

The commission of a lewd act by anyone over the age of seventeen upon or in the presence of any child under the age of seventeen, where there is an age difference of >2 years, and with the intention of arousing or gratifying the sexual desires of either person. Can be by use of force, violence, intimidation, threat of bodily harm, or influence through a position of control or supervision, among several other tactics.

The practice of providing sexual favors or intercourse in exchange for compensation.

The solicitation a person with the intent to provide compensation in return for sexual intercourse or other sexual favors.

The knowing recruiting, harboring, transporting, soliciting, providing, receiving, isolating, enticing, obtaining, or maintaining of another person for the purpose of providing sexual services or labor through deception, force, or coercion.

The romantic or sexual relationship between two persons who are related by whole or half-blood. This may include any combination of mother or father, brother or sister, uncle or aunt, niece or nephew, or any blood-related kin who possesses knowledge of their inherent biological relationship.

A lewd act upon or in the presence of any child under the age of seventeen and/or when there is an age difference of >2 years. This includes the electronic transmission, both textual and visual, of lewd or lascivious images or videos, text, or conduct of any kind.

Exposure of the genitals, pubic hair, anus, vulva, or female nipples in any place open to the public view with the intent of arousing sexual desire or which appeals to lewd interests or is obviously offensive in nature.

Invading the privacy of a person by nonconsensually spying on them through doors, windows, or other openings of a private residence for the purpose of arousing or gratifying a sexual desire.

The unnatural carnal copulation with another human being of the same or opposite sex, or with an animal (bestiality).

A person who fails to register, renew and update sex offender registration on a regular basis, provide proof of residence, notify of a change of address or other registration information, or provide community notification as required by law, as well as a person who knowingly provides false information to a law enforcement agency when registering.

Penalties for Sex Crimes in Louisiana

The penalties for sex crimes in Louisiana vary depending on a number of aspects surrounding the crime. However, you can expect just about any sex crime charge to be met with harsh punishment. For instance, for the most egregious sexual offenses, especially those involving children, the maximum sentence could very well be life in prison without the possibility of release. Otherwise, penalties for sex crimes such as rape or sexual battery can range from approximately 10 to 40 years in prison. If the victim is under the age of 13 and the criminal is over the age of 17, the penalty will increase significantly. 

Aside from potentially lengthy prison sentences, a sex crime conviction also often carries several other collateral consequences. Parole, which may include the obligation to keep regular work, refrain from accessing locations such as schools or playgrounds, or limit the use of the internet and social media, is one of these consequences. 

Another potential consequence includes electronic monitoring, which requires tracking your location for an extended period of time, sometimes for life. Further, sex offenders must register with the state’s sex offender registry, which will likely affect your ability to obtain housing and work, as well as negatively impact your interpersonal connections and reputation.

Louisiana Sex Crime Defenses 

Depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your case, there are a variety of defenses that may be applicable. Some of the most common defenses for sex crimes include:

  • Innocence
    • It is not uncommon for false allegations to be made against someone with the intention of causing harm or gaining a profit of some kind.
  • Consent
    • Proving the sexual act had been consensual.
  • Mental Duress
    • Proving that the defendant suffers from a mental illness that may or may not be apparent and that makes it difficult for them to tell right from wrong.

Sex Offender Defense Attorney

Being accused of a sex crime often carries harsh lifelong consequences, but remember, this is not the end of the road. It takes time for the criminal justice system to work, and a conviction is never certain. It is possible that with the assistance of an experienced Bossier City criminal defense attorney, you can have your case dismissed, dropped, or even end up walking away innocent. Otherwise, your sex crimes attorney will work tirelessly to achieve a resolution that has a minimum impact on your life and livelihood. 

Michael J. Vergis is an experienced and renowned sex crime defense attorney in Shreveport and Bossier City. He has successfully defended a number of people accused of sex crimes, and he is ready to defend you, too. To explore your rights and legal alternatives, call the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis at 318-698-3724 or complete our online intake form to book a consultation today.