There are many sex crimes in the state of Connecticut. One type of sex crime is sexual assault. This crime is broken up into different degrees. On this page, I will discuss sexual assault in the second degree. Understanding exactly what the charge is, the potential penalties, and how to defend yourself from them are essential in getting you through a charge for this crime.
What is Sexual Assault in the Second Degree?
This crime is governed by Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-71 (2019). A person commits sexual assault in the second degree, also known as “Sex 2,” when he or she does one of the following:
(1) Engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is between the ages of thirteen and sixteen and he or she is more than three years older than the victim.
(2) Engages in sexual intercourse with a person who has a mental disability or disease to the extent that the victim is unable to consent to sex.
(3) Engages in sexual intercourse with a person considered physically helpless.
(4) Engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than eighteen years old and is the victim’s guardian or responsible for their welfare.
(5) Engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is under his or her supervision and the victim is being detained or under the custody of a law or detained in an institution or hospital.
(6) The “actor” is a psychotherapist and either:
a. Engages in sexual intercourse with a current patient during a treatment session;
b. Engages in sexual intercourse with a former patient who is emotionally dependent on the therapist;
c. Engages in sexual intercourse with a current or former patient and the sex occurs by means of therapeutic deception;
(7) The actor is a health care professional and engages in sexual intercourse with another person under the false belief that the sex is for a bonafide medical purpose.
(8) The actor is a school employee and engages in sexual intercourse with an enrolled student of that school.
(9) The actor is a coach or instructor who engages in sexual intercourse with a player or person being instructed and the victim is either under the age of 18 or belongs to the secondary school the persons work at.
(10) The actor is twenty years of age or older and stands in a position of power, whether legal, professional, or volunteer, over a victim who is under the age of eighteen.
(11) The victim is placed with or receiving services from Commissioner of Developmental Services and the person is the victim’s supervisor or disciplinary authority.
Connecticut defines “sexual intercourse” as; vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, and oral sex. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-65(2) (2019). Slight penetration is enough to count as vaginal or anal intercourse. In addition, penetration can be done with an object or a body part.
“Impaired because of mental disability of disease” is defined as a person who suffers from a mental disability that renders the person incapable of understanding the consequences of decisions. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-65(4) (2019).
Finally, Connecticut defines “physically helpless” as an unconscious person or someone who is physically unable to resist sexual intercourse or contact or unable to communicate their non-consent. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-65(6) (2019).
Consequences of This Crime
Sexual assault in the second degree is classified as a Class C felony, unless the victim is under the age of 16. In that case, the crime is classified as a Class B felony. The mandatory minimum period of incarceration of conviction is nine months, which may not be suspended or reduced. In addition, the defendant may be subject to a fine not to exceed fifteen-thousand dollars if convicted of the Class B felony. If convicted of the Class C felony, you may face a fine not to exceed ten-thousand dollars. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-35a (2019); Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-41 (2019).
There are also special circumstances that create additional penalties for this crime. If a person is convicted of sexual assault in the second degree and the victim at the time of the crime was ten years old or younger, the court will order that the defendant undergo psychological counseling in addition to their other penalties. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-40c (2019).
Finally, consider that after a person has been convicted of Sex 2 and released into the general public, they need to register as a sex offender. Conn. Gen. Stat. § § 54-251, 54-252. If it is as a first offense, registration is for a ten-year period. If it is a second or subsequent sexual offense, the person may be subject to lifetime registration.
Defenses to Sexual Assault in the Second Degree
If charged with Sex 2 under subsection (2), a defendant can allege an affirmative defense that if the victim was mentally incapacitated at the time of the crime, the defendant may give evidence that at the time of the sexual intercourse the defendant did not know the condition of the victim. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-67 (2019).
If you have been charged with such a crime or have suspicions that you might be charged with sexual assault in the second degree, it is best to contact an attorney for help.