3rd Degree Sexual Assault Michigan: What You Need to Know
Sex is a part of what makes us human. However, inordinate sexual desires or violent manifestation of such, like sexual assault, is bad and illegal.
Apart from the societal norms and values that would have been broken, sexual assault will equally translate to psychological imbalance, which the victim might not be able to recover from. Hence, certain criminal conducts are prohibited under the Michigan Criminal Justice System.
These illegal sex acts are legally termed ‘criminal sexual conduct,’ and they exist in four CSC degrees. A primary distinguishing factor among these degrees of CSC is the age of the actor or the victim (see what is the age of consent in Michigan). In line with the goal of this article, what is criminal sexual conduct will be examined, with particular focus on what needs to be known regarding acts that constitutes Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd degree.
What is Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan?
Under the Michigan criminal legal system, ‘criminal sexual conduct’ is the legal term for rape (i.e. what is statutory rape), illegal sexual act, and sexual battery. The relevant law in this regard is the Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931.
As mentioned earlier, there are four degrees of sexual assault or criminal sexual conduct in Michigan. These sexual assault conducts consist of illicit sexual contact and levels of force, intimidation, or coercion. Commendably, the law is gender neutral, and marital rape has also been criminalized in Michigan since 1998.
The Significance of “Sexual Penetration”
The main difference between the four degrees of CSC is based on whether the allegation involves penetration or just touching.
Third degree sexual assault in Michigan is one of the classifications of illegal sexual assault activities. It is provided for under section 750.520d of the Michigan Penal Code. It is quite similar to criminal sexual conduct 1st degree, because it has to do with sexual penetration, but it is less severe.
While the inclusion of a sexual penetration accusation gives rise to either a criminal sexual conduct 1st degree or criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree charge, a sexual contact allegation falls into the criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree or criminal sexual conduct 4th degree categories.
Hence, you should know that sexual penetration can mean quite a number of things in Michigan. Beyond intercourse, the Michigan Penal Code considers the following to be sexual penetration:
- Oral sex performed on either a male or female
- Anal intercourse
- Insertion of an object into the genital or anal areas of another
- Virtual penetration (finger into vagina), among others
According to section 750.250d(2) of the Michigan Penal Code, criminal sexual conduct in the third degree is a felony that is punishable by a prison term of not more than 15 years. An allegation of criminal sexual conduct that includes what is sexual penetration or sexual intercourse, but does not fit into the first degree criminal sexual conduct guidelines could fall under third degree criminal sexual conduct and the accused sex offender can be charged as such, provided other elements that constitutes third degree criminal sexual conduct are also present.
3rd Degree Sexual Assault Michigan
According to MCL 750.520d, third degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony that is punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years. A person can be guilty of third degree criminal sexual conduct in any of these instances:
- If the victim of the sexual assault is within 13–16 years old
- If coercion is employed in carrying out the sexual penetration
- If the accused knows or has reason to know about the victim being mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless
- If the alleged victim is related to the actor by blood or affinity up to the third degree and the sexual penetration or sexual intercourse occurs under prohibited circumstances
A sex crime could also be deemed criminal sexual conduct third degree if the alleged victim of the unwanted sexual penetration is within 16–18 years of age and is a student in a public school or non-public school, and then any of the following happens:
- When the actor is a teacher or a substitute teacher of the same school district of the victim (this would not apply if either of the victim or accused is emancipated, perhaps both persons are legal spouses to each other at the time of the alleged violation)
- When the accused is an employee (or a related contractual service provider, i.e. substitute teacher) in a public school, or its equivalent, where the alleged victim is enrolled and the accused gained access through this means
Other examples include if the alleged victim of unwanted sexual penetration is within 16–26 years of age and is receiving special education services in any of the following circumstances:
- When the accused is a teacher, or its equivalent (as contained in the Michigan Penal Code), in the same intermediate school district where the victim receives the special education services (this would be inapplicable if both persons are lawfully married to each other at the time of the alleged violation)
- When the accused of criminal sexual conduct is not a student of any school, but a volunteer or employer of the states assigned in providing any service to that school and the accused employs this means to establish the sexual relations with the victim
- If the actor is an employee or volunteer of a Child Care Organization, or a close substitute, i.e. Foster Family Home or Foster Family Group Home (as contained in the Michigan Penal Code), in which the victim is a resident, is at least 16 years of age, and the sexual penetration occurs during the victim’s period of residency
Punishment for a Crime of Third Degree Sexual Assault in Michigan
The consequences of third degree criminal sexual conduct can have serious life-effects on the person accused, especially if that sexual penetration involves bodily harm.
A person convicted of third degree criminal sexual conduct can be sentenced up to 15 years in prison, opened to a series of high criminal fines and court costs, and permanently recorded as a sex offender on the public Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
Having your bio data and details of the criminal offense listed in the public database can have negative social consequences, including restrictions from getting employed or living in certain places. It could also result in loss of employment or proscription from a person licensed to be able to obtain said license to practice certain professions, like nursing, law, among others.
Being on the sex offender registry may also result in loss of child custody in the present and in future, and the immigration status of the accused sex offender could equally suffer a setback as he or she might be deported back to his or her native country, if they are not a citizen of the U.S.
Get an Attorney!
It is by default to expect that one should dutifully avoid committing crimes, let alone sexually related ones. At least, if not for anything, but for the sake of avoiding the stiff punishments, like the CSC 3rd degree Michigan penalty, that can come with a conviction.
An allegation of third degree criminal sexual conduct could be truthful, or you could be falsely accused of CSC. Nevertheless, if it however happens that you are faced with a third degree criminal sexual conduct charge, it is best for you to hire a top Michigan criminal sexual conduct attorney immediately!
Hire Blank Law, PC to Work for You!
If you are under investigation or are facing third degree criminal sexual conduct charges, you need the best criminal sexual condict lawyer on your team. Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC is as experienced of a sex crime defense attorney as you will find, and she has over 20 years of experience to show for it.
Throughout her career, Nicole has served as the Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit in Macomb County, before opening up her own private practice. Her overall career and accomplishments puts her in a class of her own when it comes to CSC charges.
Nicole will use her skills and knowledge to aggressively fight for your rights. She understands the importance of establishing a strong attorney-client relationship to ensure that the best possible sexual assault defense strategies are built for your case. You can rest assured that all confidential or sensitive information shared with her will remain completely private.
Do not let your life be ruined with blemishes on your permanent criminal record or by being listed on the sex offender registry for the rest of your life!
Contact attorney Nicole Blank Becker by calling (248) 515–6583 or fill out the online form and book your first free consultation today.