Indecent Assault and Battery

In many jurisdictions, indecent assault and battery is an aggravated assault charge. It is also characterized as a sex crime. Crimes such as these tend to carry enhanced penalties that can affect the future of anyone convicted. In Massachusetts, G.L. c. 265, s. 13h provides that the following shall punish anyone who commits an indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of fourteen years of age:
  • Maximum state prison sentence: 5 years
  • Maximum jail or house of correction sentence: 2.5 years
  • The charge cannot be placed on file or continued without a finding.
If the indecent assault and battery was committed on an elderly or disabled person, the offender is punishable by the following:
  • Maximum state prison sentence: 10 years
  • Maximum house of correction sentence: 2.5 years
  • Any subsequent offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for no more than 20 years.
If you are convicted of indecent assault and battery you will be required to register as a sex offender in Massachusetts.  For information on Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child under the Age of 14, please visit our page here. Facing a charge of any nature is unsettling, but going at it alone or hiring the wrong attorney can make matters even worse. Obtaining an attorney with particularized knowledge and experience in these specialized cases can ease the pressure and alleviate some of the stress of the situation.

In order for an individual to be convicted of indecent assault and battery, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the alleged victim was at least fourteen years of age, (2) the individual assaulted the victim, (3) the assault was of an indecent nature, and (4) the alleged victim did not consent. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has not taken the initiative to define what exactly constitutes indecent behavior; therefore, courts have taken it upon themselves to create a broad definition. The meaning of indecency is based on the prevailing societal views of what is unacceptable behavior. The term ‘indecent’ affords a ‘reasonable opportunity for a person of ordinary intelligence to know what is prohibited’ Commonwealth v. Conefrey. Common examples of what is deemed unacceptable by todays standards are acts such as touching a person’s buttocks, breasts, or genitals without consent, touching other body parts inappropriate without consent such as abdomen, thighs or pubic area, and in certain circumstances, inserting your tongue into another’s mouth is indecent assault and battery Commonwealth v. Castillo.

Accomplished Boston, Massachusetts Sexual Assault Crimes Attorney
Due to the fact that Indecent Assault and Battery is regarded as a sexual offense, the Commonwealth is likely to bring an aggressive attack strategy in the prosecution against you. If you are charged with a sex crime, you can rely on the heightened ability of The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy to guide you through the treacherous terrain of the criminal justice system, and to fight for you every step of the way. Patrick J. Murphy, Esq. is an accomplished criminal defense attorney who has been successfully defending clients in the greater Boston area for 18 years. His office is available 24/7 to provide you with a free and confidential legal assessment of your case. For additional information, please call 617-367-0450 or complete the contact form on our website.

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