What is Offensive Touching?
Michigan law classifies criminal sexual conduct offenses into four different CSC degrees, which are:
● Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree
● Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree
● Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree
● Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree
These classes of offenses then fall into two categories: offenses involving what is sexual penetration, which is either criminal sexual conduct 1st degree or criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree, and crimes involving unwanted sexual contact (harmful or offensive touching), which is either criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree or criminal sexual conduct 4th degree.
What is Offensive Touching?
Touching another person with any part of your body or with any type of object while knowing it would cause offense or alarm to the person is known as offensive touching.
A crime involving offensive touching may be found in multiple Michigan statutes. For instance, under MCL 750.81, assault and battery is an example of offensive touching. A battery is considered a forceful, violent, or offensive touching of another person or something closely connected with the person. It is important to note the fact that the offensive touching, for a battery, must have been purposeful, not an accident. There is no requirement that serious physical injury takes place, it just simply has to be against the other person’s will.
When used in the context of a sexual crime, offensive touching refers to touching of another person’s intimate parts of his or her body without their consent. In Michigan, unwanted sexual touching constitutes criminal sexual conduct 2nd degree, which is a felony, or criminal sexual conduct 4th degree, which is considered a Class A misdemeanor, low felony.
If you are under investigation for unwanted sexual touching in Michigan, you will face lengthy prison sentences, sex offender registration on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, fines, and/or probation. The penalties are often dependent on the alleged victim’s age and other circumstances surrounding the crime. Hiring an experienced Michigan criminal sexual conduct attorney that is solely focused on sex crimes would be your best chance of getting a favorable outcome.
Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Second degree criminal sexual conduct is the most severe form of offensive touching-related offenses in Michigan. It involves offensive touching of such other person’s intimate parts or the clothing covering those parts for the purpose of sexual gratification, arousal, revenge, anger, or humiliating such other person. As expressed under MCL 750.520c, the emphasis for CSC 2nd degree is on power relationships and the abuse of the powers; for example, teacher sexual misconduct with a student or correctional officer-inmate relationships.
The statute also defines the elements that constitute second degree criminal sexual conduct, which include:
- A child aged under
- A child over 13, but younger than 16, who lives in the same household as the defendant who has a position of authority over the minor.
- There exists a teacher-student relationship where the child is aged 13 or older, but younger than 16 years old. The same applies to all employees at a school where the victim is a student at a child day care facility where the victim attends or employees where the child is a resident.
- The victim is mentally or physically incapacitated, the complainant is related to the defendant up to the fourth degree, or the defendant has a position of authority over the child.
- The victim is under the department of correction’s jurisdiction while the defendant is a correctional officer or a worker in the facility. The same applies where the complainant is in a county prison or detention center while the defendant has authority over him/her.
Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Fourth degree CSC is the lesser of the two CSC offenses that involve offensive touching. Like second degree criminal sexual conduct, CSC 4th degree involves touching such other person’s intimate parts or the clothing covering those intimate parts. Intimate parts of his or her body, as used under MCL 750.520e, include genitalia, groin area, thighs, buttocks, and breast area for females. The main difference between second and fourth degree CSC is the complainant’s age.
A person can be charged with fourth degree CSC if any of the following circumstances exist:
- The offensive touching involves a person aged between 13 and 16 years old, while there is a five or more year gap between the defendant and the complainant.
- Use of force and coercion, including physical force that causes serious physical injury or threats of violence with a deadly weapon.
- The defendant is a medical professional, i.e. a doctor or emergency medical technician, who engages in offensive touching.
- The complainant is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless during the commission of the offense while the defendant knows of the
- The defendant is a mental health medical professional and has had a doctor-patient relationship.
- The complainant is between 16 and 18 years old, while the defendant is a teacher or school employee at their school. The same applies to government representatives, volunteers, or service providers in the school.
- The complainant is a special needs student aged between 16 and 26, while the defendant is a teacher or an employee of a school where they are a student, unless they are married. The same applies to government representatives, volunteers, or service providers.
- The complainant is under 16, and the defendant is an employee of a child care facility where the minor is a resident.
Penalties for Offensive Touching-Related Offenses in Michigan
Penalties for offensive touching-related offenses vary based on the class of the offense. For instance, the CSC 2nd degree Michigan penalty carries more severe penalties than the CSC 4th degree Michigan penalty.
Upon an offensive touching conviction of CSC second degree, the sex offender will be looking at up to 15 years in prison and Michigan lifetime electronic monitoring. Second and subsequent convictions for a CSC charge may be subject to sentencing enhancements, attracting a minimum of five years in prison. Please note that a repeat offender does not have to commit the same offense for enhancements to apply — a prior conviction of any sex crime will sufice.
Upon a conviction of fourth degree CSC, the offender will be guilty and will be a Class A misdemeanor (low misdemeanor/high felony) punishable with no more than two years in prison, a fine of no more than $500, or both. For certain fourth degree CSC crimes, registering as a sex offender applies as well. Habitual offender enhancements are also applicable for fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.
Sex Offender Registration
All CSC convictions qualify for sex offender registration on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. However, the time and the nature of registration depends on the nature of the crime. For example, fourth degree CSC involving an adult or persons above 16 years old is classified as what is a Tier 1 sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), requiring a 15-year registration in Michigan’s non-public sex offender registry. If the sex crime involves a minor, the offender will most likely be on the public sex offender registry.
A fourth degree CSC involving minors aged over 13, but under 16, fall under what is a tier 2 sex offender offense, which requires a 25-year registration on the public Michigan Sex Offender Registry. A second degree CSC is what is a Tier III sex offender offense and requires lifetime registration as a sex offender.
The chances of getting off the sex offender registry in Michigan are pretty slim. The best you can do is work with a skilled criminal sexual conduct attorney to avoid getting a conviction in the first place. While getting an attorney is not always a guarantee of getting completely off the hook, it is a substantial risk moving forward without one. The right criminal defense lawyers will help reduce your charges, thus having much fewer repercussions.
Are You Facing Offensive Touching Charges? Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is Here to Help!
If you are facing an offensive touching charge, a lot may be going through your mind. No matter what is happening, never face criminal sexual conduct charges alone, even when you think you have solid evidence to prove your innocence. The prosecution is usually very aggressive when it comes to sex crimes charges, therefore getting off the hook will require you to work with an experienced attorney who has decades of sex crimes experience.
Your go-to lawyer for sex crime charges is attorney Nicole Blank Becker, with the law offices of Blank Law, PC. With over two decades of experience and being solely focused on sex crimes, Nicole will agressively work to get you the best possible outcome for your sex crime (offensive touching) charge.
Nicole does not judge her clients based on their charges. Having served as the Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit and Child Abuse Unit in Macomb County, she has seen it all, from outright false sexual assault allegations to a clear embellishment of the facts, leading to clients making a wrong move due to misinterpreting signals.
Nicole Blank Becker seeks to build a solid attorney-client relationship so her clients’ stress is moved from their shoulders and put on to hers. Nicole’s goal is to ensure that all of her clients feel free to share the details of their case in order to build a solid criminal sexual conduct defense.
Nicole’s aggressive, yet appropriate, hard work will benefit you and your family in the future. When you have an issue with your heart, you don’t go to a foot doctor, you go to the doctor that solely focuses on hearts. This same analysis applies here! When you have an issue with the law regarding sexual assault cases, you don’t go to just any general lawyer, you go to a lawyer who focuses on sexual assault cases only.
In order to hire the law offices of Blank Law, PC to help you and defend you in your case, contact attorney Nicole Blank Becker or call (248) 515-6583 to book your free consultation.