There are many types of Sex Crime as defined by Mississippi law.  They include:

  • rape including acquaintance rape, date rape and spousal rape
  • statutory rape (sex with a minor)
  • sexual assault
  • sexual abuse
  • child molestation
  • incest
  • internet sex crimes
  • trafficking in child pornography
  • solicitation
  • pimping, pandering, and/or prostitution
  • sexual harassment
  • indecent exposure
  • lewd and lascivious conduct
  • unnatural intercourse
  • any other illegal sexual behavior

 

There are a number of sex crimes which are regarded as misdemeanors.  These include prostitution and pimping (also known as pandering), indecent exposure and lewd and lascivious conduct.  Someone convicted of prostitution can expect a sentence of a fine of up to $200 and/or jail for up to 6 months

 

Sex crimes also include some of the most serious crimes with extremely harsh penalties.  These include:

 

Rape – This is a felony which can lead to punishment of up to life imprisonment.  It is common in rape cases for there to be no witnesses.  Many cases are therefore decided by juries on the basis of which party has more credibility, the accused or the alleged victim.  The defense against a rape charge is often going to depend on the cross examination skills of the defense attorney.

 

Statutory rape This is where an older person has sexual intercourse with a child.  In these cases, in Mississippi the child is always considered to be insufficiently mature to understand the consequences of their actions.  Consequently regardless of whether the child consented to the intercourse or even encouraged it, then if the prosecution can prove that the intercourse actually took place, then the older person is guilty of statutory rape.  This is known as ‘strict liability’ crime where the act itself, regardless of the actions of both parties beforehand, is a crime.

 

With statutory rape the penalty can vary according to the age of both the victim and the convicted individual.  If the convicted criminal is aged between 18 and 21 and the victim is aged 14 to 16 then the penalty can be up to 5 years in jail.  If the convicted criminal is 21 or over and the victim is aged 14 to 16 then the penalty is anything up to 30 years in jail.

 

If the victim is aged less than 14 then the penalty can be life imprisonment or any term of imprisonment which the court decides

 

Child pornography

 

This felony includes the manufacture, distribution and possession of child pornography.  It has extremely serious penalties – for a first offense a minimum of 5 years in jail to a maximum of 40 years and a fine of up to $500,000.  For a second offense a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life imprisonment and fines of up to $1000,000

 

Sex Offender Register

 

Mississippi requires those convicted of certain types of sex crimes to be entered onto a state register of sex offenders.  The crimes include

 

  • Kidnapping, if the victim was below the age of eighteen (18)
  • Statutory rape
  • Rape and assault with intent to ravish
  • Sexual battery
  • Enticing a child for concealment, prostitution or marriage
  • Touching of a child, or a mentally defective, incapacitated or physically helpless person for lustful purposes
  • Dissemination of sexually oriented material to children; computer luring of  a minor to engage in sexual conduct
  • Exploitation of a child
  • Carnal knowledge of a stepchild, adopted child or child of a cohabiting partner
  • Unnatural intercourse
  •  Attempt to commit any of the above-referenced offenses
  •  Adultery or fornication between teacher and pupil
  •  Sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult
  •  Procuring sexual servitude of a minor
  • Filming another without permission where there is an expectation of privacy
  • Any offense committed in another jurisdiction, which would be considered one of the above in Mississippi
  • Any offense committed in another jurisdiction for which registration is required in that jurisdiction

 

Being charged with a sex crime can be a most traumatic experience.  Sex crimes can arouse strong emotions in your family, among co-workers, among your neighbors and in the media.  The prospect of being placed on a sex offender register creates the possibility of being blighted for life.

 

Amidst all this emotion your own judgment may be affected. Anyone accused of a sex crime must get an experienced attorney to represent them so that no errors are made which jeopardize your defense.