Engaging in a sexual act with a child under age 18 is a child sex crime in Idaho. A person can be convicted of a sex crime against a child, even if the child is willing to engage in the activity or initiates its. The crime of sexual abuse of a child under age 16 by someone age 18 or older is a felony offense, punishable by up to 25 years in state prison.
If you are facing charges of child sexual abuse, consult with a Boise Idaho sexual abuse lawyer soon, to ensure that all of your rights are being protected, and to help you stay out of jail and off the sex offender registry.
Sexual Abuse of a Child Under Age 16
Under Title 18E 18, Chapter 15 Section 18-1506 of the Utah Code, engaging in sexual contact or soliciting such contact by someone of age 18 with a child under age 16 is sex abuse of a child. It is a felony when a person age 18 or over commits any of the following acts:
- Soliciting a child under age 16 to become involved in a sex act. (To solicit, in this context means, to convey to a minor child a desire for yourself or someone else to engage in sexual activity or sexual foreplay, by having sexual contact, or observing, or photographing a child engaging in sexual contact for the purpose of your own, the child’s, or someone else’s sexual gratification.)
- Causes sexual contact with a child or has such contact with a child, when the nature of the contact does not amount to lewd conduct as defined in Idaho Code Section 18-1508.
- Producing a photo or recording of a minor child
- Causing or allowing a child to witness a sexual act
Distinguishing Child Sex Abuse from Other Crimes
It can help in more clearly understanding charges of child sexual abuse, to understand how the definition of this crime fits between and contrasts with the descriptions of other types of sex crimes against children, according to the Idaho statutes:
- Statutory Rape: Penetration with a penis, orally, anal, or vaginally, no matter how slight, is considered rape, under Utah law. Both males and females are able to commit rape, according to the law. Such penetration between a child under age 16 and a defendant of at least age 18, or between a child age 16 or 17 and a defendant at least 3 years older than the child. Consent is irrelevant. A conviction can result in a sentence of one year to life in prison. (18-6101, 18-6104)
- Sexual Battery of a Child Age 16 or 17: Sexual contact with a child of age 16 or 17, or soliciting such contact by a person who is five years older or more is defined as sexual battery. Conviction of this crime carries a sentence up to 25 years, or even up to life in prison, based on the particular sex act involved in the case. (18-1508A)
- Lewd Conduct with a Child Under Age 16: Lewd conduct with a child means sexual contact, such as genital-to-genital, manual-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or manual-anal contact. Or an act of bestiality, or of sado-masochism, or other act defined in Idaho Code Section 18-1507 is lewd conduct. One of the above kinds of conduct is lewd if it is performed in an attempt to appeal to, or arouse, or sexually gratify the person committing the act, the child victim, or someone else. Punishment for this crime can be up to life in state prison. (18-1508)
- Enticement of a Child: Communicating with a child online about sex, or luring a child away from his or her parents or from public view, even when there is no sexual activity involved, can result in child enticement charges. Conviction carries up to 15 years in state prison. (18-1509, 18-1509A)
Defenses Often Asserted in Child Sex Crime Cases
Defendants against child sex abuse charges often submit one of the commonly asserted defenses, for example:
- False accusation — The defendant asserts that the alleged crime did not happen.
- Wrongly identified — The accused claims that someone else committed the crime.
- Mistook the child for an adult — Believing the alleged victim was 18, due to any reason, is not an accepted legal defense in Idaho.
- Married partners — Idaho law prevents conviction of a minor for statutory rape of his/her marital partner (in statutory rape cases). (18-6107)
- Both partners are underage — A teen participating in sex with a partner close in age is typically not prosecuted (in statutory rape cases). (18-6101) .
Sexual activity with a child under age 16 is a serious crime in Idaho, regardless of the defendant’s age, and it is punishable with a sentence up to life in state prison.
Entry on the Sex Offender Registry
Idaho sex offender registration law requires people convicted of sexual abuse of a child under age 16 or of another child sex crime described above, to be entered on the Sex Offender Registry. (Idaho Code Sec 18-8304 and 18-8310.) Contact an experienced Sex Offender Registry lawyer in Boise Idaho for help to avoid conviction and requirement to register.
You Will Need an Idaho Criminal Defense Lawyer
A conviction on a charge of child sex abuse in Idaho can result in potentially devastating penalties. If you have been charged with this or another sex crime, you will need the best child sexual abuse attorney Idaho has to offer you. You should contact a Boise criminal defense lawyer with a very strong track record of success in child sex crime cases as soon as possible, to assess your legal position and alternatives.
An experienced child sexual abuse attorney in Idaho will ensure that all your rights are fully protected during the judicial processing of your criminal case through the Idaho court system. Your lawyer will build the strongest arguments in your defense to obtain the best possible outcome.
Sawtooth Defense Lawyers, Boise Idaho
We are criminal defense lawyers in Boise, Idaho. We specialize in helping defendants charged with sex crimes. Our exceptional lawyers start immediately working to get charges dropped or reduced, keep you from spending time in jail, and prevent you from being added to the sex offender registry.
(For introduction to information on the nature of the charges you’re facing and the penalties, you can try searching, “child sexual abuse Boise ID,” or contact Sawtooth Defense Lawyers for answers to all your questions about your legal situation.)