Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Aged Fourteen or Over

Indecent assault and battery on a person aged fourteen or over is a criminal sexual offense in Massachusetts. Like other sex crimes, this charge carries significant potential consequences upon conviction, including jail or prison sentences and mandatory sex offender registration. Do not let yourself be convicted of a sex crime where it can be avoided. If you are charged with indecent assault and battery, you need an outstanding criminal defense attorney with a proven history of winning sex offense cases.

Boston sex offense attorney David J. Grimaldi has successfully represented many clients accused of indecent assault and battery and other sex crimes. He has won “not guilty” verdicts at trial for clients accused of the most serious sexual offenses. He has persuaded prosecutors to dismiss sex crime charges after they have been brought in court. He has even convinced prosecutors investigating sex offense allegations not to bring any charges at all. By winning these sex offense cases, Attorney Grimaldi saved his clients from almost certain incarceration and helped restore their reputations and futures.

What is Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Aged Fourteen or Over?

The statute that governs this offense is Massachusetts General Laws c. 265, §13H. To prove this charge, the Commonwealth must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant committed an assault and battery on the alleged victim. Assault battery is the intentional touching of another person, without legal justification or excuse.
  2. The assault and battery was “indecent.”
  3. The alleged victim did not consent to the alleged indecent assault and battery.

Whether an act is “indecent” is measured by common understanding and practices. It is a touching of another person that is fundamentally offensive to contemporary moral values. An assault and battery may be “indecent” if it involves touching parts of the anatomy commonly thought to be private, including the genitals, breasts, buttocks, and even the thighs or abdomen. Massachusetts courts have also found that kissing on the lips may be “indecent” in certain circumstances. The context in which the touching allegedly occurred will often be key to determining whether the act is considered “indecent.”

What Are the Potential Sentences Upon Conviction for Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Aged Fourteen or Older?

If you are convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person aged fourteen or older, you face incarceration in state prison for up to five years or incarceration in the house of correction for up to two-and-a-half years. If the court imposes a term of probation, with or without incarceration, you will be required to wear a GPS monitoring device for the entirety of the probation term. A guilty finding will also require mandatory registration as a sex offender, a serious matter that often involves its own legal battles, including one’s classification level.

What Are the Potential Defenses to a Charge of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Aged Fourteen or Over?

A common defense to indecent assault and battery on a person aged fourteen or over is that the touching, i.e., the assault and battery, never occurred in the first place. Like with other sex offense cases, alleged victims sometimes have a motive to lie about the actions of other people out of anger, resentment, or some personal interest. In these cases, the best sex offense attorneys will challenge the credibility of the complainant and expose his or her motive to lie.

Another defense to indecent assault and battery is that the alleged victim consented to the sexual encounter. In a consent defense, one of two approaches are possible. First, the alleged victim could decide to lie about a consensual encounter to cover-up his or her own wrongdoing, such as cheating on a romantic partner. Second, a consent defense is appropriate when the defendant was reasonably mistaken as to whether the alleged victim consented to the act or encounter. In these cases, drug or alcohol consumption can play a prominent role.

Finally, another defense to indecent assault and battery is accident or inadvertence. This defense can be raised when the event occurs in a crowded place, like a subway train or concert, as well as in other contexts.

A Criminal Defense Attorney With a Record of Winning Sex Offense Cases

Boston sex offense attorney David J. Grimaldi provides expert defense in sex offense cases, winning numerous acquittals and dismissals for his clients. If you are charged with indecent assault and battery or another sex crime, do not leave your future to chance. Contact Attorney Grimaldi at (617) 661-1529 or online today.

Client Reviews

Attorney David Grimaldi is a truly exceptional criminal defense lawyer. He represented me in a case in Suffolk Superior Court, and I know that I received the absolute best possible representation. Mr. Grimaldi met with me often, always kept me informed, answered my questions, and fought hard for...


I highly recommend David Grimaldi. He was always responsive and sympathetic to my situation, from the very first call at the height of my crisis until the case was eventually dismissed. In court he was articulate and clever without ever appearing to upset the other attorney or judge presiding. I...


At some point in our lives we all run into a situation we can not control and need help. I was lost and after 2 lawyers and no help in sight I got lucky and someone referred David Grimaldi to me for my federal case . After 19 days without even a chance for Bail/Bond, David stood up and fought for me...

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