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

If the indecent assault and battery was committed on an elderly or disabled person, per Section 13K 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.
  • The charge cannot be placed on file or continued without a finding.

Persons convicted of indecent assault and battery as defined in Section 13K 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 a defendant 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 defendant assaulted the victim, (3) the assault of the victim was of an obscene or vulgar nature, and (4) there was no consent from the alleged victim. Courts have taken it upon themselves to define what indecent nature means, because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has provided an exact definition of the term. To determine what is indecent, the prevailing societal views of what is unacceptable behavior must be assessed. The term 'indecent' affords a 'reasonable opportunity for a person of ordinary intelligence to know what is prohibited' Commonwealth v. Conefrey. Touching a person's genital areas or inserting your tongue into another's mouth without consent are some common examples of 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, and it is likely you will need a skilled Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. 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 many 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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