Delaware Man Faces Charges of Unlawful Sexual Contact
New allegations of sex crimes involving a child have surfaced for a man already accused of related offenses in Delaware, according to a November 28, 2017 report in The News Journal. In June, police began investigating claims that the individual, a ballet instructor at the Dance Conservatory in Dover, DE, had engaged in sexual contact with a 17-year-old boy. The victim alleges that the man took him to a locker room, where he instructed the boy to undress. Based upon the victim’s report and other details from the investigation, the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force arrested the accused man in New York City. He was extradited to face a single count of Unlawful Sexual Contact in Delaware, a serious offense that carries considerable penalties for a conviction.
Overview of Unlawful Sexual Contact
Under Delaware law, it is a crime to have sexual contact with a person who is under 18 years of age. Other criminal activity that falls under this classification would be causing an individual less than 18 years old to have sexual contact with yourself or someone else. This type of sex offense is considered Unlawful Sexual Contact of the Second Degree.
- Definition of Sexual Contact: The key to the crime is what actions constitute “sexual contact.” The statute includes any intentional touching:
- By the defendant to the victim’s genitalia, breast, anus, or buttocks;
- To any part of the victim through use of the defendant’s own genitalia, breast, anus, or buttocks; or,
- Caused by another person to the defendant’s own genitalia, breast, anus, or buttocks.
The circumstances of the sexual contact are also important, as a person can only be convicted where the touching is intended to be sexual in nature. A mistake or inadvertent contact may not be enough to secure a conviction.
- Related Crimes: There are two other offenses related to Unlawful Sexual Contact of the Second Degree, but the definitions are distinct:
- Unlawful Sexual Contact of the Third Degree applies when the touching is either offensive to the victim or non-consensual.
- Unlawful Sexual Contact of the First Degree relates to intentional sexual contact when the victim is under age 13. In addition, this charge applies where the defendant causes injury, or displays or threatens use of a weapon during the commission of Unlawful Sexual Contact of the Second or Third Degree.
Penalties for a Conviction of Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Second Degree
This sex crime is a Class F felony, which means you face up to three years in prison if convicted. In addition, you are required to register as a Sex Offender under Delaware’s statute on Sex Offender Management and Public Safety.
Fight Sex Crimes Charges with an Experienced Delaware Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing any type of sex offense under Delaware law, you need a skilled attorney to assist with your case. You may have a defense or have grounds to attack the allegations against you, and a knowledgeable lawyer can help. For more information on your legal options or to schedule a free consultation, please contact Wilmington, DE attorney Michael W. Modica.