In this section of our website, we outline the many sexual assault charges that a person can face in the state of Connecticut. This includes:
- Sexual assault in the first degree.
- Aggravated assault in the first degree.
- Aggravated assault of a minor.
- Sexual assault in the second degree.
- Sexual assault in the third degree.
- Sexual assault in the third degree with a firearm.
- Sexual assault in the fourth degree.
- Sexual assault statute of limitations.
But before we get in to the sexual assault statutes, it is important to understand what sexual assault is, and how it differs from other sexual issues such as sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment happens when a person makes unwanted or unwelcome sexual remarks or actions and/or physical advances toward another person in the workplace or other social situations.
The state of Connecticut does not have specific criminal statutes for sexual harassment. Connecticut only has criminal statutes for sexual assault crimes and harassment crimes, listed above.
Criminal Harassment in Connecticut
Connecticut has two criminal harassment statutes:
- Harassment in the first degree, which is classified as a Class D felony. Harassment 1 is committed when a person purposely tries to annoy, terrorize, or alarm another person by threatening to kill them or physically injure that person or a third party and communicates these threats via telephone, mail, computer network, etc., and has previously been convicted of a capital felony, a Class A or certain other B, C or D felonies. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-182b (2019)
- Harassment in the second degree, which is a classified as a Class C misdemeanor. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-183 (2019). Harassment 2 is committed when a person by telephone either communicates foul or obscene language to another person, or with the purpose to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, communicates with them through telephone, mail, computer network, etc., or whether or not a conversation ensues, they call such other person in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.
A Class D felony carries the penalties of a prison term of a maximum of five years and a fine not to exceed $5,000. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-35a (2019); Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-41 (2019). A Class C misdemeanor carries the penalties of a jail sentence of three months and a fine of up to $500. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-36 (2019); Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-42 (2019).
Sexual Harassment vs. Criminal Harassment
Sexual harassment instead is governed by civil laws. This means that there are no criminal penalties such as imprisonment or paying a fine if someone is found to have sexually harassed another person.
However, a person has the right under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not to be subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. People also have the right not to be subjected to sexual harassment in school under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If a person is subjected to sexual harassment in either of those places and their employer or school does not address the problem, they can sue for damages (money) in civil court against the institution.
Discuss Sexual Assault and Harassment with a CT Lawyer
If you face charges for sexual assault or criminal harassment, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer for help. If you have a civil lawsuit for sexual harassment, a lawyer can also assist in this situation. You can contact our office for more information and resources.