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Definition of Penetration

The legal definition of penetration, our word of the day, can be found under MCL 750.520a(r) which specifically states:

“Sexual Penetration” is the act of entering through sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body, but emission of semen is not required.

While most people think of our word of the day, penetration, as penis/vagina or penis/anus, they don’t realize that under the law, Oral Sex is considered to be penetration as well. While fellatio (penis in mouth) makes it easy one to figure out penetration, oral sex with a female and anal sex are not as easy to figure out. Refer to the Breaking Down the Definition of Penetration section for further details.

While you are not expected to know all the nuances of the law, your lawyer is to know the depth to which something constitutes the word of the day, penetration. You may not think that you did not commit an “enemy territory” attack that penetrates the accuser, however, under the law, you did.

Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is well versed in the numerous nuances of the law when it comes to accusations of, the word of the day, penetration. As the prior Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, along with her 20+ years of experience, as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, Nicole has both the knowledge and credentials to get to the bottom of every “enemy territory” accusation and knock the opponent out. Hiring Nicole may be the difference between doing time in prison and having your freedom.

What Is Penetration?

Breaking Down the Definition of Penetration

Because of the importance of penetration when it comes to being charged/ investigated for Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree and/or Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree, it’s imperative that you understand what the law considers “Sexual Penetration” to be. The following are definitions of the depth to which something constitutes Sexual Penetration under the law.


  • Sexual Intercourse: the act of entering of the male penis, or any object, into the genital opening of a female or into the anal canal or butt cheeks of a male.


  • Cunnilingus: requires the placing of the mouth of a person upon the external genital organs of the female which lie between the labia, or the labia itself, or the mons pubes.
    • Example: The accuser says that you put your mouth part on the part of her body that she goes to the bathroom with.  That is enough to show “Cunnilingus.


  • Genital Opening: The fact that the Legislature used the words “genital opening” and not just vagina, infers that there was an intent on their part to include the labia of a female when determining if there was “penetration of the vagina”.

          The law considers anything that is introduced or goes past the labia majora of a female to be considered penetration:

    • What is the labia majora? The labia majora are the large lips, outer lips, of the vagina. They are fleshy folds of tissue that enclose and protect the other external genital organs. They are comparable to the scrotum in males. During puberty, hair appears on the labia majora.
    • What is the labia minora? The labia minora are the small, inner lips, of the vagina. The labia minora lie just inside the labia majora and surround the openings to the vagina and urethra. During sexual stimulation, these blood vessels become engorged with blood, causing the labia minora to swell and become more sensitive to stimulation.


  • Fellatio: requires the entry of a penis into another person’s mouth or oral stimulation of the penis.
    • Example: The accuser asserts that you made her put your penis in your mouth. That is enough for “Fellatio“.


  • Anal Intercourse: includes both the anal canal and the crease of the buttocks or, in laymen’s terms, the void between the butt cheeks.
    • Example: The accuser says that you placed his penis between the fold of your buttocks before ejaculating. That is enough for “Anal Intercourse”.


  • “…other intrusion, however slight…”: This is a very important part of the definition of penetration. When the legislature says, “… however slight …”, that means that the entry of the penis and/or an object into the genital organ or anal organ need only be very, very small.

What Is Penetration?

Frequently Asked Questions about Penetration:

Q: I don’t think there was penetration, I only put the very tip of my penis/finger inside her vagina, is that enough to charge me with penetrating her?

A: Under the law, putting a very small amount of your body/object into her vagina is enough to charge you with penetration.  Specifically, Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree.


Q: I only put my penis in her vagina for about a second, is that considered  penetration?

A: Under the law, whether it was 1 second or 100 seconds, it doesn’t matter.  Having put your penis/object inside her vagina, even for a second, is enough to charge you with penetrating her.  Specifically, First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.


Q: I only touched her vagina, I never put my finger/s inside her vagina, why am I being charged with First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct?

A: Just because you think you only TOUCHED her vagina, that does not mean that the accuser feels the same way.  If the accuser tells someone that your finger/penis/object didn’t just touch the outside of her genitals but went slightly past the outside lips, even for a moment, that is enough to charge you with penetration, i.e. First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. Remember, whether or not penetration existed, is determined by what the accuser claims occurred, not you.


Q: Doesn’t the HYMEN of a girl have to break in order to be considered penetration?

A: A common misnomer is that if the child’s hymen is intact, then no penetration occurred. That is NOT true.  Medical Experts will testify that the fact that the HYMEN is intact, does not rule out penetration. This fact is true no matter what the age of the girl.


Q: In the medical records of the accuser, the nurse who did the medical exam of the accuser wrote that she observed a very small abrasion (an area damaged by scraping or wearing away) to the accuser’s labia minora (inside lips), but no abrasions to the labia majora, couldn’t that abrasion be from riding a bike? Why am I being charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree?

A: If there is testimony from a nurse or a doctor that there were abrasions to the labia minora, a nurse or doctor may testify that in order to have abrasions on the labia minora, the labia majora must have been penetrated.


Q: The accuser asserts that “it hurt” when she felt my penis inside her vagina, but i didn’t even put my penis in her vagina, it was just on the outside. Why am I charged with penetrating her vagina?

A: The assertion by the accuser that “it hurt” when your penis/object was in close proximity to her vagina is enough to charge you with penetration, Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree.


Q: The accuser did not RESIST, scream or say stop, when we were having sex, can I still be charged with First Degree Criminal Sexual Degree?

A: There is NO requirement that the accuser RESIST you.  Even if he/she did not say “No”, scream or fight back, you can still be charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree.  The accuser will come up with reasons “why” she did not say “No”, scream or fight back.  That reasoning by the accuser is  enough to charge you with Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree.

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