FIRST DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT – 13-15
If the accuser engaged in sexual penetration with the accuser and the accuser is between the ages of 13 and 16, the accused may be charged with First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, as opposed to Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct if any of the following apply:
The term “household” encompasses a family unit residing under one roof for any time other than a brief or chance visit and assumes a close and ongoing subordinating relationship that a child experiences with a member of his or her family or with a coercive authority figure.
The purpose of the criminal sexual conduct statute specifically including the element of a member of the same household is to increase the penalty where the sexual penetration occurred in situations within a household. The increased penalty imposed by the legislation is a reflection of the fact that people in the same household, those living together, bear a special relationship to one another. That relationship is specifically protected by the increased penalty, which is the possibility of life imprisonment.
- Household – has a fixed meaning in our society, not readily susceptible to different interpretations. The length of residency or the permanency of residence has little to do with the meaning of the word as it is used in the statute. Rather, the term denotes more of what the Legislature intended as an all-inclusive word for a family unit residing under one roof for any time other than a brief or chance visit.
- Same Household – assumes a close and ongoing subordinating relationship that a child experiences with a member of his or her family or with a coercive authority figure.
BLANK LAW, PC EXAMPLE – MEMBER OF THE SAME HOUSEHOLD
A child living in a home with her mother and stepfather for the summer months pursuant to court-ordered visitation is a member of “the same household” as the stepfather for purposes of the criminal sexual conduct statute.
- A relationship by blood means – a relationship between persons arising by descent from a common ancestor or a relationship by birth rather than by marriage.
- A relationship by affinity means – the relation that exists in consequence of marriage between each of the married persons and the blood relatives of the other, and the degrees of affinity are computed in the same way as those of consanguinity or kindred. In other words, the accused and the accuser must share a relationship arising by descent from a common ancestor. A husband is related, by affinity, to all the blood relatives of his wife, and the wife is related, by affinity, to all the blood relatives of the husband.
BLANK LAW, PC EXAMPLE – RELATED BY BLOOD OR AFFINITY
In Michigan, if you are stepbrother or stepsister, you are considered related by “affinity”.
The accused cannot use his/her position of authority to compel vulnerable youth to engage in sexual penetration/contact. Someone who is in a position of authority can range from a school teacher, child care provider, volunteer, etc. If that person who is in a position of authority, used that position of authority to coerce the accuser to participate in a sexual act, the person in a position of authority can and will be charged with varying degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct. (See below for additional information regarding “position of authority”)
BLANK LAW, PC EXAMPLE – POSITION OF AUTHORITY
A sixth grade middle school substitute teacher is in a “position of authority” over his/her students.
A counselor, a family therapist, the adult in charge of the sleepover, are all considered under the law to be in a “position of authority” over the child/children.
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