Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under Fourteen
Indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen is a criminal sexual offense in Massachusetts. While courts treat all sex offense charges seriously, the most severe treatment is often reserved for sex crimes involving children. If you are charged with a sex offense on a child, you need a criminal defense lawyer with proven record for winning these unique kinds of cases.
Boston sex offense attorney David J. Grimaldi provides expert representation to clients accused of indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen. He has won “not guilty” verdicts at trial for clients accused of this charge and related sex offenses. He has also won dismissals of these charges in court. Attorney Grimaldi has the experience, ability, and tenacity needed to defend clients accused of even the most serious sexual offenses.
The Elements of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under Fourteen
This offense is governed by Massachusetts General Laws c. 265, §13B. In order to prove this charge, the Commonwealth must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The alleged victim was not yet fourteen years of age at the time of the alleged offense.
- The defendant committed an assault and battery on that child. Assault and battery is the intentional touching of another person without legal justification or excuse.
- The assault and battery was “indecent” as that word is commonly understood, measured by common understanding and practices.
An indecent act is one that is fundamentally offensive to contemporary standards of decency. An assault and battery may be “indecent” if it involves touching portions of the anatomy commonly thought private.
If the alleged victim is under fourteen years of age, it is irrelevant whether or not he or she allegedly consented to any touching.
Potential Consequences for a Conviction Under This Statute
A person convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of fourteen faces up to ten years in state prison or two-and-a-half years in the house of correction. If a term of probation is imposed, the defendant is subject to mandatory GPS monitoring for the entirety of the probation term. Furthermore, registration at the Sex Offender Registration Board is a mandatory requirement of anyone convicted of this charge.
Unlike many crimes, this offense may not be resolved by a Continuance Without a Finding (CWOF). Thus, in order to avoid a conviction, a person charged with indecent assault and battery on a person under fourteen must obtain a nolle prosequi, straight dismissal, or acquittal.
The Best Defense to Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under Fourteen
Like with other sex offenses, a strong defense to this charge is that the alleged incident never occurred in the first place. In cases involving children, however, this defense requires particular care. Depending on the child’s age and life circumstances, a lawyer who aggressively claims that a child deliberately lied can face a backlash from a jury. A more subtle approach is often more effective. Perhaps the child was confused about what happened. Or described something that he or she saw on television or online. Or was influenced by an adult who asked suggestive questions of the child or had a motive against the defendant.
No matter the circumstances, the best sex offense attorneys will identify and present the most persuasive defense against these serious accusations. Crucially, the lawyer must be skilled in cross-examining society’s most vulnerable witnesses, children, as well as adults and police officers. Not every lawyer has the versatility needed to provide a comprehensive defense to these cases. Your choice of lawyer will matter significantly.
An Experienced Sex Offense Attorney With a Proven Record of Success
Boston Sex Offense Attorney David J. Grimaldi has successfully defended many sexual offense cases, and he is ready to defend you. If you are charged with a sex offense on a child, do not despair. There is hope available. Contact Attorney Grimaldi at (617) 661-1529 or online today.
- 1 Proven Experience
- 2 Success in the Courtroom
- 3 Free Consultation & Available 24/7