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One of the most serious charges under Pennsylvania law is the felony offense of aggravated indecent assault. The proof in many of these cases involves only the statements of the complaining witness. The Courts in Pennsylvania have held that the uncorroborated testimony of a victim, if believed by the Trier of fact, is sufficient to convict a defendant, despite evidence from the defendant or a defense witness. (See Commonwealth v. Davis, 437 Pa.Super. 471, 650 A.2d 452, 455 (1994).) Such evidence is generally sufficient to sustain a conviction for aggravated indecent assault.
Prosecutors are experienced in prosecuting these types of cases. A defendant also needs a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charges. In many cases, the allegations are false or exaggerated. A skilled criminal defense attorney can uncover evidence that raises a reasonable doubt. These charges often hinge on the credibility of the alleged victim and the manner in which the outcry was made. In many of these cases, the contested issue is whether the complaining witness consented to the sexual conduct.
When the proper objections are raised, the verdict of guilty must also be supported by the greater weight of the evidence at trial. In fact, Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 607 provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
A claim that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence shall be raised with the trial judge in a motion for a new trial:
The criminal defense attorney must raise an objection to the guilty verdict not being supported by the greater weight of the evidence before sentencing or in a post-sentence motion.
If you were arrested for Aggravated Indecent Assault in Norristown, Montgomery County, or the surrounding areas in Pennsylvania, including Chester County or Delaware County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Skinner Law Firm. With offices in Media in Delaware County and West Chester in Chester County, we represent clients charged with serious sexually-motivated offenses such as:
Call us at (610) 436-1410 for a free consultation to discuss your case. As a former Assistant District Attorney in Chester County, Michael Skinner has experience prosecuting serious felony offenses. Since entering private practice, he has focused on providing an aggressive criminal defense for his clients charged with sexually-motivated crimes and other criminal offenses.
The statute for aggravated indecent assault, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3125, provides:
... [A] person who engages in penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of a complainant with a part of the person's body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures commits aggravated indecent assault if any of the followings occur:
Read more about indecent assault and aggravated indecent assault charges under Pennsylvania law.
Under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3125(b), if the aggravated indecent assault was committed against a child under the age of 13 years old under Subsection 1 to 6 above, then the offense is a first-degree felony. Otherwise, the offense is a felony in the second degree.
A conviction for a second-degree felony for this offense is a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The standard sentencing range for such crimes is 22 to 36 months in Pennsylvania, but judges have discretion to go above or below that range based on the seriousness of the crime.
Under Pennsylvania law, the criminal charge of Aggravated Indecent Assault requires proof of penetration. In Com. v. Filer, 2004 PA Super 70, ¶¶ 4-12, 846 A.2d 139, 141-42 (2004), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania found that digital penetration of the vagina is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for aggravated indecent assault.
If you were charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault in Montgomery County, PA, then contact a local criminal defense attorney with experience handling these types of serious sexually-motivated crimes. We represent clients on a wide range of felony charges including sexually motivated offenses such as Aggravated Indecent Assault in Montgomery County, PA.
Before you talk to any law enforcement officer or investigator, contact a criminal defense attorney. Attorney Michael Skinner can talk with you about these serious charges, potential penalties, and important defenses. Call today for a free consultation.
This article was last updated on Monday, February 1, 2016.