Rape and Aggravated Rape

The crime of rape is a type of sexual assault involving an act of sexual intercourse committed against ones’ will. The act is usually carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as a minor or a person of diminished capacity. Rape occurs in all countries of the world and to individuals of all gender, race, class, nationality and background. The United States Census Bureau reports that the number of forcible rapes has declined from 102,000 in 1990 to 80,000 in 2009. Despite a significant decline of 60% since 1993, the US continues to experience a relatively high rate of rape when compared to other developed countries. Occurrences of sexual violence and rape remain some of the most under-reported violent crimes in the United States, as roughly 54% are never reported to authorities. Allegations of rape continue to have a negative stigma attached, for both the victim and the offender. Accusations of false reporting, victim-based fault, issues of consent, fear of continued assault and fear of facing their attacker prevent victims from reporting their assaults. Alleged victims, alleged offenders, and law enforcement agents need to work in unison to prevent sexual assault and to discourage false accusations. In either event, a qualified Massachusetts sex crimes defense lawyer will be able to assess the details of your case and provide an avenue with which to proceed. Allegations of rape and sexual assault can be an unnerving experience for both the alleged victim and the alleged offender. An attorney well versed in sex crime law will have the knowledge and resources to fight for you and ease the stress of the situation.

RAPE, Non-Aggravated
Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 265, §22(b) concerns itself with Rape (non-aggravated). The law provides that an individual who:
  1. Commits sexual intercourse/unnatural sexual intercourse,
  2. Against the person’s will,
  3. Through the use of force or threat of bodily injury
shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for no more than 20 years. There is no mandatory minimum sentence for this crime. Any second or subsequent offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years. In addition, any subsequent offender shall be required to serve 2/3 of the minimum sentence before becoming eligible for furlough, temporary release, or any education, training or employment programs.

AGGRAVATED RAPE
Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 265, §22(a) concerns itself with Aggravated Rape. The law provides that aggravated rape occurs when:
  1. The rape results in or is committed with acts resulting in serious bodily injury, or
  2. The rape is committed by a joint enterprise, or
  3. The rape is committed during the commission or attempted commission of the following offenses:
As defined by the law, a conviction of this offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years. There is no mandatory minimum sentence for this crime. In addition, any subsequent offender shall be required to serve 2/3 of the minimum sentence before becoming eligible for furlough, temporary release, or any education, training or employment programs.

In the event that the commission of either Rape or Aggravated Rape was carried out while the offender was armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon, that offender is punishable by:
  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment in the state prison for 10 years
  • Any subsequent offender shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a minimum of 15 years, or for any term of years.
For the purpose of these offenses, sexual intercourse is defined as penetration no matter how slight. Commonwealth v Gallant, 373 Mass. 577, 369 N.E.2d 707 (1977). Also for the purpose of these offenses, “against the person’s will” shall be determined by the lack of consent. Therefore, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim did not consent to the sexual intercourse. However, in the event that the defendant has rendered the victim unconscious by intoxication or mind-altering drugs, the victim is deemed incapable of consent and a conviction will be upheld. Commonwealth v Helfant, 398 Mass. 214, 496, N.E.2d 433 (1986). In addition, victims under the age of 16 years old are also deemed incapable of consent.  

A Powerful Defense Tailored to Your Case: The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy
The criminal offense of rape is a serious crime to be accused of and requires powerful legal representation to defend against harmful allegations. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is highly respected Massachusetts firm, known for its integrity and its history of successes. Boston, Massachusetts sex crimes lawyer, Patrick J. Murphy, Esq., has been a dedicated legal advocate for his clients for over 18 years, and he is prepared to assert a persuasive defense strategy to meet your needs. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is available 24/7 to provide you with a free legal assessment of your case. For additional information, please call 617-367-0450 or submit the confidential online contact form on our website.

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