Kentucky law recognizes three degrees of rape as well as three degrees of sexual abuse. The degree depends on such things as:
-- Whether or not force was used
-- The age of the alleged victim and, in some cases, of the alleged perpetrator
-- Whether or not the alleged perpetrator was in a position of authority or trust in relation to the alleged victim
-- Whether or not the alleged victim was able to give consent
Consent in legal terms isn't as easily defined as some might think. It goes far beyond whether or not the person said "yes" or "no." Of course, if someone is forced into engaging in an act, he or she did not consent. Further, with sexual abuse, which generally involves some sort of sexual contact, if the person didn't acquiesce, he or she is deemed to not have given consent.
However, Kentucky law says that people are considered incapable of giving consent if they are any of the following:
-- Mentally incapacitated
-- Mentally ill
-- Intellectually disabled
-- Under 16
-- Physically helpless
-- Unable to give consent
-- In the custody or care of a local or state agency and the alleged perpetrator is employed by that agency
All of these rape and sexual abuse charges should be taken seriously. Even a conviction for third-degree sexual abuse can get a person up to 90 days behind bars. Sex crime convictions can impact your ability to get a job and/or to live where you choose. If you are in a career that involves being around kids, you may be prevented from ever getting another job in that field. You could also end up on the state's sex offender registry.
That's why it's essential to have experienced legal representation if you find yourself facing any of these charges. Even if you believe that the whole thing was just a misunderstanding, these are not charges to be taken lightly. An experienced criminal defense attorney can protect your rights, present your case and work to help mitigate the consequences of the charges on your life.
Source: FindLaw, "Kentucky Rape and Sexual Assault Laws," accessed March 03, 2016