As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, getting convicted of one of Indiana's sex crimes is always a serious affair. Not only will a person likely face the very real threat of prison time, a conviction for a sex crime could also mean hefty fines and very strict terms of probation which can include mandatory counseling and even curfews.
Allegations of sexual assault in Indiana can be very serious. Even being charged with a sex crime can carry a stigma that may lead the public to presume guilt, even before a trial is completed. This could be very damaging to a person's personal and professional reputation. It is important to understand some defense arguments that could be presented against allegations of sexual assault.
Whether it is through a social networking platform, a chat room or an instant messaging program, there are numerous ways for a person in Indiana to communicate with someone else through the Internet. For most people, this is generally not a legal issue. However, if a person is prohibited from using the Internet to communicate with certain persons, and has previously been convicted of a sex crime, should they use the Internet to communicate with other people they could be criminally charged.
An allegation of a sex crime is one of the most serious criminal charges a resident of the greater Indianapolis area can face. In the strict sense of the term, any sex crime in Indiana carries with it the possibility of felony conviction.
While it might not be talked about too publicly, the reality is that so-called sexting among high schoolers, college students and other teens and young adults is fairly common.
High school coaches often possess unique authority over the kids that they coach. The kids are becoming sexually aware, while the coaches are viewed as possessors of absolute authority. Unfortunately, these relationships provide many opportunities for sexual abuse, as was demonstrated again by the arrest of a track coach at a suburban Indianapolis high school.
Convicted sex offenders in Indiana are required to report their address, work place, e-mail address and other information to the state as a precaution against further violations. This information is contained in an online database known as the Indiana Sex Offender Registry. This program is intended to serve as a warning system that will help people in Indiana avoid contact with sexual predators. Unfortunately, the system has occasional failures, as demonstrated by a recent federal court indictment of a former youth minister and registered sex offender.
In early December of last year, Muncie police arrested a man who had allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old girl while he was an assistant volleyball coach at Central High School. The county prosecutors who were supervising the case decided to refer the matter to the U. S. Attorney's office for further investigation and potential prosecution of federal sex offenses. One Delaware County prosecutor also noted that federal laws carry tougher penalties for these crimes than do Indiana's statutes.
The recent wave of sexual harassment charges has sensitized Indiana and the rest of the nation to the frequency of men in positions of power sexually abusing underage girls and women. A case that appears to be typical of this trend allegedly occurred in Arcadia, Indiana, when a diving coach was charged with numerous counts of sex offenses with three underage girls.
While no one may bat an eye if a 20 year old and a 25 year old engage in consensual sexual activities in Indiana, the story is very different if the parties ages are ages 14 and 19. While the state has what is known as "Romeo and Juliet laws," allowing individuals ages 14 or 15 to have a consensual sexual relationship with someone up to four years older than them, once that four-year limit is breached, that sexual activity becomes a crime. This is known as statutory rape, and it does not matter at that point whether the teenager has consented or misrepresented his or her age, as, with regards to that age limit, the teenager is deemed incapable of consent.