Lexington Statutory Rape Lawyer

If you find yourself charged with statutory rape in Lexington, KY, contact the defense team at Suhre & Associates, LLC, immediately.

Our Lexington statutory rape lawyers can help you deal with the complex legal issues involved and fight to protect your future.

We offer a free consultation, so reach out to our law office to schedule yours today. 

How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help if You are Facing Statutory Rape Charges in Lexington, KY

Being convicted of any sex crime, including statutory rape, can ruin your reputation, uproot your life, and destroy your family. You need an exceptional, experienced Lexington criminal defense attorney to fight these charges. 

At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we have decades of experience representing our clients. When you hire our team, we’ll be there every step of the way – from initial discussions with the prosecution all the way to the courtroom, if necessary. You are innocent in the eyes of the law. It’s up to the prosecution to prove you are guilty. We will do everything we can to demonstrate that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof.  

  • We will pull together all available evidence for review, including police reports, hospital records, camera footage, and witness statements.
  • Expert testimony can sway the judge and jury, and we have access to a network of experts who can testify regarding your case.
  • We will use evidence and testimony to discredit the accuser. If the accuser has lied about anything, or has a history of false accusations, we may be able to get their testimony and your charges thrown out.

There are a few things you must do as well to protect yourself. Do not speak to anyone regarding these charges, especially the police, investigators, or the prosecuting attorney. You must also cease all contact with the minor involved. Let our Lexington sex crime lawyers handle all conversations on your behalf.

Give us a call to arrange a free case assessment today. We’ll review the charges against you, help you understand your rights, and begin to devise a custom legal strategy to help you walk away with your future intact.

What is Statutory Rape?

Statutory rape is a complicated accusation that involves many factors. Sexual contact, including touching, penetration, or sodomy with a minor under the age of consent are all considered statutory rape. Minors under the age of consent cannot legally give permission to engage in any sexual relations. 

This means that to prosecute a statutory rape charge, there does not need to be any evidence of coercion or force. Whether the minor pursued the defendant or gave permission for the activity is invalid and does not change the fact that it remains a crime. 

The age of consent in Kentucky is 16 years of age. This means it is considered statutory rape to have sexual contact with a minor between the ages of 12 and 16. 

It is an even greater crime for any aged individual to have sexual contact with a child who is 12 or younger. This is not a case of statutory rape. Rather, it becomes first-degree sexual abuse of a child. 

There are even some cases in which the minor meets the legal age of consent but it is still illegal to engage in sexual activity. 

Examples of these cases include:

  • A revised statute in 2018 made it illegal for an individual to have sexual relations with a minor, aged 16 or 17, if the individual is ten years older or more.
  • It is considered statutory rape if the minor, aged 16 or 17, is under the care of the defendant, or the defendant is any sort of authority figure. Examples of authority figures include foster parents, sports coaches, religious leaders, or educators.

These are both Class D felonies in the state of Kentucky.

If you’re faced with statutory rape charges in Lexington, don’t delay in calling our criminal defense lawyers for assistance. We will work hard to limit the potential consequences you may face. 

Penalties for Statutory Rape

The severity of statutory rape penalties depends on the following factors: the age of the minor, the age of the defendant, and the relationship between the two parties. Defendants convicted of statutory rape can be charged with varying degrees of sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, or sodomy. 

If the defendant is over the age of 18, these are felony sexual offense crimes in the state of Kentucky.

Second Degree Rape/Sodomy 

These sex crimes pertain to a person over the age of 18 having sexual contact with a minor under the age of 14, but over 12 years of age. This can also apply to sexual intercourse or contact with a victim of any age, who is incapable of consent due to intellectual disability. 

These are classified as Class C felony charges. Class C felonies face a sentence of five to ten years in prison.

Third Degree Rape/Sodomy

There are several circumstances of statutory rape that can result in third degree rape and/or sodomy charges

  • If the defendant is over the age of twenty-one, and is charged with sexual contact against a minor under age 16, but no younger than 14. 
  • If the defendant has sexual contact with a minor, aged 16 or 17, for which he/she provides a foster home.
  • If the defendant works for the Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Corrections, or detention centers and is accused of subjecting anyone under the supervision, incarceration, evaluation, or treatment of these organizations to sexual acts, regardless of age.
  • The defendant is ten years older and subjects a minor, aged 16 or 17 to sexual contact. 

These convictions result in a Class D felony punishable by a sentence of one to five years in prison. 

First Degree Sexual Abuse

First-degree rape charges are typically reserved for sexual crimes against a child under age 12. 

This very serious crime is a Class A Felony. However, first-degree sexual abuse can be charged against any individual over age 21, who violates a child under 16, but over 12 years old. 

Aside from prison sentencing, statutory rape charges, including rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse, also carry hefty fines. Worst of all, for any sex crime conviction, you will be required to register as a sex offender on the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry.

Third Degree Sexual Abuse

This is a lesser offense as it pertains to those under the age of 18 who have sexual contact with a minor under the age of 16, but over the age 14. Third-degree sexual abuse is a Class B misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges do not have mandatory minimum sentencing requirements. Therefore, they often result in probation and jail time.

Kentucky Sex Offender Registry

If convicted of statutory rape, you will be labeled by the state of Kentucky as a registered sex offender. The severity of your crime will determine the number of years you will be required to stay on the registry. 

This would be devastating to your life, family, and all future endeavors:

  • You could suffer the loss of your home if it’s within 1000 feet of any institution in which children reside. This includes schools, daycares, and playgrounds.
  • You could lose custody of your children or experience other adverse family law issues.
  • You could be required to report to a parole or probation officer and adhere to home visits.
  • You could lose your job and future opportunities.

Due to the nature of this crime, you will likely be facing significant backlash from your community. When people discover you are a registered sex offender, your quality of life will suffer gravely. At Suhre & Associates, our statutory rape defense attorneys in Lexington, Kentucky will do everything in our power to prevent this from happening.

Defenses in Statutory Rape Cases

Our goal in putting together a sex crime defense is to have your charges dropped or lessened. There are several different defense strategies we can employ in your case. 

False Allegations

This is the most common and successful defense to allegations of a sex crime. This defense is only successful, however, if there is no evidence or insufficient evidence. Whether you committed the crime or not, the justice system cannot convict you of any sex crime if the prosecution cannot prove it. 

Mistake of Age

This defense is not successful in most states with higher age-of-consent statutes. However, it is occasionally successful in Kentucky. We would need to convince the jury that you genuinely believed the minor was of legal age of consent. This would be a possible defense strategy if you had met the minor in a place typically frequented by adults, or if the minor had fake identification.

Close in Age

If both parties are close in age, it typically does not result in a conviction, although there is not a statute that specifically prescribes such a result. For example, if both minors were under the age of consent, yet over 12, they could both technically face statutory rape charges. A court of law is unlikely to prosecute in such a case. 

Finally, if your constitutional rights have been violated – either as a result of an unlawful arrest or illegal search and seizure – the state cannot benefit from that. Any evidence that’s related to or arises from that violation must be thrown out. Our attorneys will immediately petition the court to make that happen. Without evidence, prosecutors might be forced to reconsider the statutory rape charges against you.

Contact a Lexington Statutory Rape Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with statutory rape in Lexington, Kentucky, contact Suhre & Associates, LLC, for legal advice to help you fight these charges. An experienced Lexington statutory rape lawyer is waiting to take your case. We will work diligently to build your defense, fight for your innocence, and protect your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.