Indecency With A Child
Sex offenders face some of the harshest penalties available in the criminal justice system. A person’s life can be ruined completely if they accused of indecency with a child. People accused of this offense not only have to serve time in jail if convicted but also have to register as a child sex offender. Registering as a child sex offender can negatively impact an individual’s future job, education, and relationship prospects.
The Texas Department of Family Services (TDFS) usually carries out an investigation when there is an accusation of indecency with a child. But the investigations carried out by this organization can only lead to a child being removed from the custody of a parent. An arrest will only happen once tan investigation is carried out by law enforcement. An experienced child sex abuse lawyer can investigate the evidence against you and build a solid case to fight the charge against you.
What Indecency With A Child Means In Texas
The two types of indecency with a child are by sexual contact and by exposure. Indecency with a child by sexual contact means actions that are done with the intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire of any person. Sexual contact is when an adult touches a child’s anus, breast or genitals above or under clothing, or making a child touch someone’s else’s anus, genitals or breasts, above or under clothing, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. Indecency by exposure is when adults expose their anus or any part of the genitals in the known presence of the child. Indecency by exposure also occurs when an adult makes a child expose the anus or genitals with the intent to arouse or gratify someone sexually.
Contact And Exposure Are Separate Offenses In Texas
Exposure is not necessarily subsumed within sexual contact according to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. This is because sexual contact can be accomplished by way of any touching by a person, including touching through clothing. So, a person can commit indecency with a child by sexual contact without necessarily committing indecency by exposure with a child. It is also possible to commit indecency by exposure with a child without engaging in contact.
The first defense is the accused is not more than three years older than the victim and did not use force, threats, or duress when engaging in sexual activity with the victim, and that the defendant is not a registered sex offender. The next available defense is that the parties are married. People who are the age of 18 can marry without parental consent, but those 14 years or older need parental consent.
Penalties For Indecency With A Child
A person that commits indecency with a child by sexual contact can face a punishment of 2 to 20 years, and a fine of up to $10,000. The charges will be elevated if the sexual contact with a child went beyond just touching. People convicted of indecency with a child by exposure face 2 to 10 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 fine. Indecency with a child by sexual contact is a second-degree felony while indecency with a child by exposure is a third-degree felony. Apart from jail time and fines, the convicted person will also have to register as a sex offender.