Sexual assault charges are incredibly serious. They stay on your record for life and your name is publicly accessible in a sex offender registry.
It will compromise your ability to get employment and your future prospects for employment.
If you are facing sexual assault charges in Wyoming, it is imperative that you understand your options moving forward.
It's also very important that you contact a skilled attorney for help.
Sexual Abuse of a Minor and Wyoming Law
In Wyoming, the age of consent is 18. In other words, sexual contact with those under 18 can be prosecuted in various instances. This depends primarily on the age of the perpetrator in relation to the victim.
First and Second Degree Sexual Assault
- First-degree sexual assault of a minor has among the harshest penalties the state offers. Wyoming statutes governing the sexual abuse of a minor can be found in W.S. 6-2-314. These depend not only on the age of the victim, but also on the age of the alleged perpetrator. For instance, two 16-year-olds cannot be charged with statutory rape. A 16-year-old may only be charged with statutory rape if they have sexual contact with someone under the age of 13. Sexual contact with anyone under the age of 13 is considered first-degree sexual assault of a minor. In cases where the victim is under 18 and the perpetrator is a legal guardian, that also constitutes first-degree sexual assault. If the perpetrator in a position of authority and the victim is under the age of 16, that is also first-degree sexual assault of a minor.
- Second-degree sexual assault of a minor is a charge when a perpetrator who is 18 years or older has sexual contact with a minor between the ages of 13 and 16. In addition, a 17-year-old who has sex with a minor between the ages of 13 and 15 (not including 15) will be charged with second-degree sexual assault (W.S. 6-2-315). It carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Third and Fourth Degree Sexual Assault
- Third-degree sexual assault of a minor (W.S. 6-2-316) is a charge when a perpetrator who is over the age of 17 takes “immodest liberties” with a victim who is under 17 when the perpetrator is at least four years older than the victim. It can also include sexual intrusion of a victim under 13 a perpetrator under 16 when the perpetrator is at least three years older than the victim. In general, if the three or four years separate a victim and a perpetrator, Wyoming will consider that sexual assault when one party is under 16.
- Fourth-degree sexual assault of a minor (W.S. 6-2-317) is a charge when there is a perpetrator of at least 20 who has inappropriate sexual contact with a minor of 16 or 17 years of age. Also, a perpetrator under 16 with a victim under 13 is fourth-degree sexual assault of a minor. It can be punishable by up to five years in prison.
Other Sex Crimes in Wyoming
Wyoming also has three degrees of sexual assault as well as sexual battery. Each of these are felonies. Sexual assault charges involve sexual intrusion with an incapacitated victim. These are the use of threats of violence or force to coerce sexual contact, or the use of force or confinement to subdue a victim. Sexual battery, which is a misdemeanor, can include unlawful touching or groping.
Talk to a Wyoming Sexual Assault Attorney
Cowboy Country Criminal Defense understands just how badly a sexual assault conviction can impact someone’s future.
If you have a charge of sexual assault, you will need an attorney skilled in criminal defense law to manage your case. Give us a call or talk to us online and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.