DEFINITION OF CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT 2ND DEGREE
Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is the harshest charge that exists when it comes to acts of unwanted sexual contact. Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct involves the unwanted touching of sensitive areas (private parts) of the body.
In other words, if there is no penetration, just unwanted touching, a sex offender will be charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. There is another Degree that involves touching, as opposed to penetration, and that is Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree. Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree has penalties which are much less harsh than the penalties for Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.
One of the major reasons why the law provides four different degrees of Criminal Sexual Conduct was to differentiate between sexual acts which affected only the body surfaces of the accuser (CSC 2nd Degree and/or Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree) and those which involved intrusion into the body cavities (Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree and/or Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree).
The defining difference between unwanted sexual penetration and unwanted sexual contact is the intrusion into the victim’s body, defined as penetration. Without penetration by the sex offender, but with the unwanted touching of sensitive areas of the body, you will be charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct or Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree.
The major difference between Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree is age. If the accuser claims to have been touched when she was under 13 years old, you will be charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. If the accuser claims to have been touched when she was 13 – 15 years old and you are five or more years older than the accuser, you will be charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct 4h Degree.
Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree
DO MY ACTIONS FIT THE CRIME OF SECOND DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT?
Below is the legal definition of Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct as defined under the Michigan Compiled Laws; MCL 750.520c
*If your actions, or the actions the accuser claims you made, match any of the below circumstances, you may be charged or investigated for Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct:
Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is sexual contact with another person when any of the following circumstances exists:
- The accuser is under 13 years of age;
- The accuser is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and any of the following apply:
- You are a member of the same household as the accuser;
- You are related by blood or affinity to the fourth degree to the accuser;
- The term “affinity,” as used in the CSC 2nd Degree statute which refers to the relationship between an offender and accuser, includes the relationship of stepbrother and stepsister
- You are in a position of authority over the accuser and you used this authority to coerce the accuser to submit;
- The accuser, a fourteen (14) year old boy, claimed that his physical therapist manipulated him into engaging in sexual contact with his penis. The therapist was in a “position of authority”. Therefore, the therapist was charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.
- You are a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator of the public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district in which the accuser is enrolled;
- You are an employee or a contractual service provider of the public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district in which the accuser is enrolled, or is a volunteer who is not a student in any public school or nonpublic school, or is an employee of this state or of a local unit of government of this state or of the United States assigned to provide any service to that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district, and the actor uses his or her employee, contractual, or volunteer status to gain access to, or to establish a relationship with, the accused; or
- You are an employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer of a child care organization, or a person licensed to operate a foster family home or a foster family group home in which the accuser is a resident and the sexual contact occurs during the period of the accuser’s residency;
- Sexual contact occurs under circumstances involving the commission of any other felony;
- Kissing a penis constitutes sexual contact, CSC 2nd Degree, but not CSC 1st Degree (sexual penetration).
- You are aided or abetted by one or more other persons and either of the following sexual contact circumstances exists:
- The actor knows or has reason to know that the accuser is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless; or
- The actor uses force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact;
- You are armed with a weapon, or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead a person to reasonably believe it to be a weapon;
- You cause personal injury to the accuser AND force or coercion is used to accomplish the sexual contact;
- The actor causes personal injury to the accuser AND you know or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;
- The accuser is mentally incapable, mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, AND any of the following:
- You are related to the accuser by blood or affinity to the fourth degree; or
- You are in a position of authority over the accuser and used this authority to coerce the accuser to submit; or
- You are under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections and the actor is an employee or a contractual employee of, or a volunteer with, the department of corrections who knows that the other person is under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections; the accuser is under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections and you are an employee or a contractual employee of, or a volunteer with, a private vendor that operates a youth correctional facility, who knows that the accuser is under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections.
Breaking Down the Requirements for Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Sexual contact: includes the intentional touching of the accuser’s or your intimate parts or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the accuser or your intimate parts, if that intentional touching can reasonably be construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, done for a sexual purpose, or in a sexual manner for: revenge; to inflict humiliation; or out of anger.
- Mentally incapable: means that a person suffers from a mental disease or defect that renders that person temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct.
- Mentally incapacitated: means that a person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his or her conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic or other substance administered to that person without his or her consent, or due to any other act committed upon that person without his or her consent
- Mentally disabled: means that a person has a mental illness, is intellectually disabled, or has a developmental disability.
- Physically helpless: means that a person is unconscious, asleep, or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.
Example: You go to check on your 11 year old step-daughter who is asleep in her bed. You swipe your hands on the sides of her breasts, over her nightgown. Because she was sleeping she is considered “physically helpless.”
- Force or coercion: Is when you overcome the accuser through the actual application of physical force or physical violence; When you coerce the accuser to submit to you by threatening to use force or violence on the accuser, and the accuser believes that you have the present ability to execute these threats; When you coerce the accuser to submit by threatening to retaliate in the future against the accuser, or any other person, and the accuser believes that the actor has the ability to execute this threat.
- To retaliate includes threats of physical punishment, kidnapping, or extortion; When the actor engages in the medical treatment or examination of the accuser in a manner or for purposes that are medically recognized as unethical or unacceptable; or when you, through concealment or by the element of surprise, are able to overcome the accuser.
Example: You tell the accuser that if he doesn’t give you a handjob, you will tell his parents. Because you used a threat in order to accomplish unwanted sexual touching, you have used “Force or Coercion.”
- Personal Injury: means bodily injury, disfigurement, mental anguish, chronic pain, pregnancy, disease, or loss or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ.
Frequently Asked Questions about SECOND DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT:
Q: What if I touched the accuser’s breast or vagina on accident? Do I have to intend to touch the accuser’s private areas to be charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?
A: If you accidentally touched the accuser’s private areas, there is still a possibility that you may be charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. The surrounding circumstances that are given to the police by the accuser may be enough to show that when you touched the accuser’s private parts your actions were not accidental.
Q: What if my penis accidentally touched my 7 year old little sister’s butt while we were playing Truth or Dare? Can I be charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?
A: If your penis touched your little sister’s butt while playing Truth or Dare the facts surrounding the incident will play a big role on whether or not you will be charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. If you say it was accidental and the accuser says he/she never wanted to be touched sexually by you, you can be charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.
Q: I only dragged my fingers across her vagina on the outside of her clothes, why am I being charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?
A: You are being charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct because whether you touch her on her skin or the clothing that covers her vagina, both are considered sexual contact with an intimate part.
Q: I touched her vagina by accident. I didn’t do it for sexual gratification, so why am I charged with Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?
A: This is a common question asked by many. In order to charge you with a CSC 2nd Degree charge, the state is not required to prove that you had an actual sexual purpose for touching her intimate parts, rather they only need to show that that contact could be construed as having been done for sexual gratification. Oftentimes the state is able to show or prove that by looking at the circumstances that occurred before, during or after the touching.
Q: If I am being accused of “Penetration”, why am I only being charged with CSC 2nd Degree or Criminal Sexual Conduct second degree?
A: It is common for the prosecutor to charge a lesser degree of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC 2nd Degree is a lesser degree of seriousness than CSC 1st Degree) in order to secure a plea. In other words, although the accusations involve penetration, there may be a benefit to the prosecutor to initially charge a lesser crime, which in turn is a benefit for you. Beware, the prosecution has the legal right to change the charges at any time during the investigation and/or the criminal process. So that CSC 2nd Degree can quickly be changed to a CSC 1st Degree.
Q: Why am I charged with CSC 2nd Degree when the accuser is not an ADULT?
A: The law in Michigan allows for sex offender charges to be elevated to a higher degree of Criminal Sexual Conduct if certain facts apply. For example, if the accuser claims that he or she is experiencing “extreme” mental anguish, such as a need for psychiatric care or inability to live a normal life, due to your actions, a charge of CSC 4th Degree can be elevated to CSC 2nd Degree. It is not enough to simply show that the accuser was “upset” by your actions to raise a charge to CSC 2nd Degree. Being “upset” does not establish the mental anguish necessary to constitute the personal injury element of CSC 2nd Degree.
Q: What if I were intoxicated and didn’t mean to touch her intimate parts?
A: Intoxication is never a defense to a CSC charge, especially CSC in the 2nd Degree. Since CSC 2nd Degree requires only a general intent, voluntary intoxication is simply not a defense CSC 2nd Degree.
THE FORENSIC INTERVIEW
For you to get formally charged by the state with Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree, with a child under the age of 13, the child must disclose some type of sexual touching during a forensic interview done at a Child Advocacy Center (ex: Care House, Kids Talk, etc.). If no forensic interview is performed, then the state cannot charge you with a sex crime.
DEFENSES FOR SECOND DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT
Anyone under the age of 16 cannot consent to a sexual touching. Legally, the child cannot touch you and you cannot touch the child. Even though you may believe he/she was the aggressor, there is no such thing as using his/her consent as a defense to Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.
Put simply, there is NO defense to touching a person’s private parts who is under the age of 16.
The only defense to touching a child, under or over their clothes, on their private parts is that it never happened. In other words, the child is lying. Calling a child a liar is not the easiest of tasks. Most people have the propensity to believe a child would not say they were sexually molested unless they truly were sexually molested.
It takes a very skilled criminal defense lawyer, who has been trained in the art of questioning of a child, to effectively raise the defense that the child is not telling the truth. Questioning a witness who is a child takes special skills and knowledge. Imagine how intimidating it is for a child to take the stand and then get attacked by the defense attorney because that criminal defense lawyer has no formal training on how to properly have the child admit to falsehoods. The jury will hate the criminal defense lawyer and more importantly, the jury will in turn hate you.
That is why it is imperative that you call Attorney Nicole Blank Becker now! Nicole was the former Cheif of the Sex Crimes Unit for years. Therefore, Nicole has special training under her belt that the majority of the defense attorneys do not! When it comes to handling child witnesses, Nicole is known for her amazing ability to question children and get to the truth. Her skills and expertise in this arena make her the most qualified attorney to handle cases that involve a child who may not be telling the whole truth.
DEFENSES THAT WILL NEVER WORK
FOR SECOND DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT CHARGES
When coming up with a defense to CSC 2nd Degree there are certain defenses that will never be allowed in court:
- If the child is under 16 years old, there is no defense of: “He or she wanted me to touch his or her butt, vagina, penis, etc.” Legally, if the child is under 16 years old and wants to engage in sexual touching, it is your responsibility as the adult to say NO.
- A common response from those charged with CSC 2nd Degree is: “I was just tickling him/her.” Tickling is not a very good defense. Yes, oftentimes when an adult is tickling a child the child is moving all around and legs and arms are flailing all over the place, but it is up to YOU to make sure that your fingers do NOT go anywhere near the child’s private parts. Remember, the child has already made a statement to the Child Advocacy Center. If that statement was that the adult just tickled the child, you would NOT be charged with CSC 2nd Degree. As you know, tickling on its own is Not illegal. However, tickling AND putting your hand, fingers or an object on the child’s private parts is enough to get you charged with a CSC 2nd Degree charge.
- There is no defense: He or She lied about her age. It is your responsibility as the adult to make sure you know the age of the person you decide to get intimate with. If you hook up (sexual touching) with a girl or a boy that you met online, who told you she or he was 18 years old and later you find out that she or he was only 15 years old, YOU can be charged with a CSC 2nd Degree charge, not them.
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM CHARGED WITH SECOND DEGREE CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT?
CALL ATTORNEY NICOLE BLANK BECKER NOW. Whether you are charged with a CSC 2nd Degree or being investigated for a CSC 2nd Degree, you need the best representation and you need it now. Nicole only does Sexual Assault cases. Nicole has the 20 + years of experience to back up her excellent work with children. Nicole has skills in how to question and talk to children that most attorneys do not have.
The moment you find out that you or someone you know is being investigated or charged with CSC 2nd Degree you must call Attorney Nicole Blank Becker immediately. The moment a detective from the police department calls you and wants to hear your side of the story, STOP! Tell them you want to speak to an attorney first. You have a right to NOT speak to the detective and call Attorney Nicole Blank Becker immediately. Nicole will guide you through each and every step of the process, with her by your side.
CSC 2nd Degree has such serious penalties that you do not want to leave your future and your life in just any attorney’s hands. Nicole knows how to handle Sexual Assault cases, specifically CSC 2nd Degree charges, in her sleep. Nicole has been requested to consult with police departments, lawyers and lay people about how to best handle CSC 2nd Degree cases. There is a reason Nicole is chosen to do such work, Nicole is the real deal who can answer most questions when it comes to CSC 2nd Degree charges.
When hiring Attorney Nicole Blank Becker, a criminal defense lawyer who solely focuses on Criminal Sexual Conduct charges, you know you have the best in your corner when it comes to the fight of your life. It takes a skilled lawyer when charged with a sex crime to properly navigate the criminal justice system for you. It takes an experienced criminal defense lawyer in sex crimes to understand the difference in sex charges, degrees and the right defense for your specific situation.
Nicole has both prosecuted and defended over thousands of CSC 2nd Degree cases in her career. Nicole’s experience on both sides of the law (as a prior prosecutor and defense attorney) will be your secret weapon. Nicole knows the difference between a proper charge and a trumped up charge. Nicole knows what must be shown or proven in order for the other side to move forward with their case. Nicole uses her skills in defending those who are wrongfully accused of CSC 2nd Degree.
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