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What Defines Molestation in Wisconsin?

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Child molestation, or the sexual assault of a child, is a serious crime that can have lifelong consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. In Wisconsin, the legal definition of sexual assault of a child encompasses various acts of sexual misconduct.

Wisconsin law uses the term “sexual assault of a child,” which it defines as any sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a child under 16. Sexual contact includes intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the child’s intimate parts for sexual arousal or gratification.

Penalties for Sexual Assault of a Child

Child sexual assault charges in Wisconsin can vary based on the age of the victim and the nature of the sexual contact. For example, sexual contact or intercourse with a child under the age of 13 in which the victim sustains great bodily harm is a Class A felony. This offense carries severe penalties, including life imprisonment. Sexual contact or intercourse with a child under 16 years old, meanwhile, is a Class C felony and carries penalties of a fine of up to $100,000, a prison term of up to 40 years, or both.

It’s crucial to understand that under Wisconsin law, molestation isn’t limited to acts involving physical force or violence. Any form of sexual contact or intercourse with a child, regardless of whether the child resists or seems to consent, is considered sexual assault. Since children are unable to legally consent to sexual activity, any such interaction with a minor is considered a criminal offense.

Wisconsin law is more lenient when the individuals involved are close in age, although sexual activity between teenagers may still carry criminal penalties. The law treats consensual sexual contact between a child who is at least 15 years old and a defendant who is under 19 as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, a prison term of up to nine months, or both.

How a Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Individuals facing molestation charges in Wisconsin need to recognize the severity of the accusations and the potential consequences of a conviction. Beyond lengthy prison sentences, those convicted of molestation may face mandatory sex offender registration, which can severely impact their personal and professional lives. Registered sex offenders often face restrictions on where they can live, work, and travel, and their information is made publicly available.

If you’re facing accusations of molestation in Wisconsin, promptly obtaining seasoned legal counsel is essential. A skilled sexual assault lawyer can guide you through the legal process, safeguard your rights, and craft a robust defense strategy. Additionally, they can endeavor to minimize the possible repercussions of a conviction and explore alternative sentencing avenues when deemed suitable.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Wisconsin Today

If you’ve been confronted with molestation charges in Wisconsin, don’t hesitate to contact the Maciolek Law Group for a complimentary consultation. Our committed team is ready to offer you the legal representation and assistance necessary during this difficult period.

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