Ignorance of the law excuses no one, so it is always best to know and understand at least the basics on criminal offenses. When it comes to sexual assault, there are degrees and classes to be wary of. Hiring the services of legal professional to assist in a case of a sexual assault complaint is definitely the topmost priority. However, a good piece of working knowledge about the law is also very valuable.
Sexual assault in the first degree happens in the following four cases:
- When the accused pressures the victim to participate in sexual intercourse by exerting force on the victim or another person or by threatening to exert force on the victim or another person where the threat actually makes the victim fear for his/her life or for the life of another person
- When the accused partakes in a sexual intercourse with a victim who is below 13 years old and the accused is older than the victim by at least 2 years
- When the accused performs a sexual assault in second degree (Refer to Section 53a-71 for Sexual assault in the second degree) with the assistance of and actual presence of two or more other people
- When the accused has sexual intercourse with a person who is not in proper mental health and does not have the capacity to agree or disagree to the sexual act.
Sexual assault in the first degree is considered to be a Class B felony, which means that the court does not have any authority or right to reduce nor suspend two years of the sentence issued to the accused when proven guilty. In cases where the victim is below 10 years old, the court cannot reduce nor suspend 10 years of the sentence.
Sexual assault in the first degree is considered a Class A felony if the accused coerces a victim, who is below 16 years old, to engage in the sexual intercourse by using force on the victim or another person or by threatening to use force on the victim or another person resulting to the victim to fear for own or another person's safety. The act also falls under Class A felony if the accused has sexual intercourse with someone who is below 13 years old and is more than 2 years younger than the accused. A Class A felony means that the court cannot reduce nor suspend 10 years of the sentenced imprisonment if the victim involved is below 10 years old. Under the same class of felony, the court also cannot touch 5 years of the sentence if the victim is less than 16 years of age.
An accused who is judged guilty under Sexual assault in the first degree will receive a sentence of imprisonment with a special parole period after serving a minimum of 10 years of imprisonment.