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The Matter of Consent in Sexual Assault Cases

Nov. 17, 2016

Being accused of sexual assault puts you in the position of having to defend yourself against what might have been a consensual sexual encounter. If you are facing these charges, you have to look into all of the possible defense options that might apply. While these can vary from case to case, there are often similar themes that are shared between many cases.

Sexual assault cases hinge on the ability to be able to show that unwanted sexual contact occurred. When you are the defendant in these cases, you have to try to find methods of showing that the contact was consensual. The way you will do this depends on the case that the prosecution has built against you.

In some cases, you might be able to prove that the acts were consensual through witness accounts. There aren't always witnesses that can state the sexual contact was consensual because many of these sexual encounters occur in private.

There are some instances that even an encounter that was consensual could still be considered unlawful. One example of this is that the consent came from a person who is legally unable to give consent, such as a minor or a person who is mentally impaired. In those cases, even if the person agreed to the sexual contact, it might still be possible to face criminal charges.

Determining how to approach your defense to sex-related charges can be difficult. If you are facing sexual assault charges, be sure that you understand the specifics of the case against you, as well as the penalties that you are facing so that you can determine how you want your case handled.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Overview," accessed Nov. 17, 2016