An Overview of Sexual Assault and Battery Laws in Georgia
Georgia’s sexual assault laws differ in some ways to the same types of laws enforced in other states. For example, it is a crime for a person who has disciplinary or supervisory authority over another person to have sexual contact with that person. This includes anyone in a student-teacher relationship or those who have legal authority over someone detained in a hospital, nursing home or long-term care facility, regardless of consent.
The state also has sexual battery laws. Sexual battery is a specific form of sexual assault. Under Georgia law, this occurs if a person makes physical contact with another individual’s intimate parts without his or her consent. The law specifically defines “intimate parts” as being the “genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.”
Consent can be a defense for sexual battery. There is no age or gender requirement, as the law applies to people of all ages.
Aggravated sexual battery
Aggravated sexual battery is a more serious form of sexual battery. In this case, a person is charged with sexual battery if alleged to have intentionally penetrated “with a foreign object the sexual organ or anus of another person without their consent.” A foreign object, for the purpose of this definition, is “any article or instrument other than the sexual organ of a person.”
Many people use the term “rape” to refer to such behavior, but rape is classified as a different crime under Georgia state law. Again, there is no gender or age requirement, and consent can be a defense to the charge.
In standard and aggravated sexual battery, the penalties become even more severe if the victim was under 16 years of age. That crime is automatically a felony, carrying a prison sentence of one to five years. Other offenses involving a victim older than 16 result in high-level misdemeanor charges, with subsequent convictions resulting in felony charges carrying prison terms of up to five years.
The laws regarding sexual assault and battery call for serious penalties for those convicted of these crimes. To learn more about your legal options if you face such accusations, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash. Call the firm at 770.422.0878 or contact us online.