West Chester Sexual Offenses AttorneyMay 22, 2017 marked the next phase in the highly publicized criminal trial of Bill Cosby, as prosecutors and defense attorneys began the jury selection process in Pittsburgh, PA. CBS Philly reports that the famous comedian is facing charges on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, which allegedly occurred during a 2004 encounter with a woman at his suburban Philadelphia mansion. Cosby has pledged his innocence during the last year and a half’s worth of hearings, stating that the incident involving his accuser was consensual sexual activity. State law treats sexual offenses very seriously, and the criminal penalties of a conviction in the Cosby case could include several years in prison, probation, and other punishments. If you’re facing charges of aggravated indecent assault under similar circumstances, retaining a Pennsylvania attorney with experience in sexual offenses is critical.

Indecent Assault

The crime of indecent assault involves bringing a victim into contact with such bodily substances as semen, urine, or feces. Other elements of the crime include:

  • The victim did not consent to the contact;
  • The offender used force or the threat of force;
  • There was sexual intent behind the conduct; and,
  • A substance may have been used to impact the victim’s willingness to consent.

In some cases, the age of both the victim and offender are key. If the victim is between 13 and 15 years old, there is the presumption that he or she cannot consent.

Aggravated Indecent Assault

  • This sex crime has some similarities with indecent assault but there are circumstances that elevate it to “aggravated” status.
  • The offender actually penetrates sexual organs of another person without consent; and,
  • The victim was actually unconscious at the time of the conduct, possibly because the offender used drugs or alcohol to prevent the victim from being aware of the penetration.

These elements are why Cosby is charged with felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. The victim has alleged that he gave her some pills to relax in the face of a stressful situation. The woman has testified that it was during a period of unconsciousness after taking the pills that the assault took place.

Penalties for Conviction

Sentencing for a conviction depends upon the specific circumstances of the case. An indecent assault may be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. However, aggravated indecent assault is always a felony. If convicted, Cosby may face up to 10 years in prison.

Talk to a Knowledgeable Sexual Offenses Attorney in West Chester, PA

Sex crimes like aggravated indecent assault carry significant penalties if you’re convicted, so it’s important to consult with a skilled criminal defense lawyer that will protect your interests. Depending on your case, there may be defenses available to dismiss or reduce the charges. Only a highly qualified attorney can help identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and fight for your rights. The lawyers at the Skinner Law Firm have comprehensive knowledge of the law regarding sexual offenses and criminal procedural rules, and will present all available defenses. Please contact our West Chester, PA office with questions or to schedule a consultation.

Article Author

Michael J. Skinner, the founder of Skinner Law Firm LLC, is a former prosecutor with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

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