Idaho laws take a very severe view of crimes of a sexual nature. In addition to the harsh penalties for such crimes, you may also face severe social and professional repercussions if you are accused of such a crime. Unfortunately, false accusations can sometimes prompt charges related to these offenses. This is why you will need an expert Boise sex crimes attorney if you are charged with one.
When it comes to sex crimes, Idaho law distinguishes between different types of crimes. The penalties for each crime also vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Here is a look at these types of sex crimes and their penalties under state laws.
Age of Consent in Idaho
In Idaho, the age of consent is 18 years old. Therefore, it is against state law for an adult who is at least 18 years of age to engage in sexual activity with a minor (anyone who is 17 years old or younger).
There are close-in-age exemptions in Idaho. Also known as “Romeo and Juliet laws,” the exemption applies to minors who are 16 or 17 years old and the older person is less than 3 years older than the minor. Keep in mind, sexual contact involving a child younger than 16 years of age is a serious offense, no matter the age of the other party.
Types of Sex Crimes
There are a number of different types of sex crimes, with different penalties under Idaho law.
Statutory rape is when someone who is 18 or older has sexual intercourse with a younger person. In Idaho, statutory rape is typically of two types. In one type, if a person who is 18 or older has intercourse with a person who is 16 or younger, this is deemed as statutory rape.
In the second type, the gap between the ages of an underage person and an adult is seen to determine if statutory rape has occurred. As per this type, if a person has intercourse with someone who is 16 or 17, and the age gap between the two is 3 years or more, this will be considered statutory rape.
Penalties for statutory rape are defined in Idaho Code Section 18-6101. As per the statutes, penalties for this crime include a prison sentence ranging from one year to life. In addition to these penalties, a person charged with statutory rape is also required to register as a sex offender.
Sexual Abuse of a Minor Aged Below 16
Sexual abuse of a minor is when an adult person engages or solicits sexual acts involving a child below the age of 16. Consent is not considered in such a situation. Instead, if evidence shows that the offense has been committed, the suspect is charged with the crime. Penalties for the offense include a person sentence of up to 25 years.
Sexual Battery of a Minor
When a minor who is 16 or 17 is involved in sexual contact with an adult who is at least five years older than the minor, this constitutes sexual battery. Under Idaho Code Section 18-1508A, the penalties for the offense include a prison sentence of 25 years to life, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Lewd & Lascivious Conduct
Lewd & lascivious conduct is a broad category of offenses that comprise of sexual contact of an adult with a child under the age of 16. If any form of sexual contact has occurred, the adult person can be charged with this offense. Penalties for this offense include a prison sentence of up to life.
Child enticement is a separate category of sex crimes under Idaho laws. This particular type of offense constitutes communicating with a child under the age of 16 about sexual activity. Such communication may typically take place online.
If any other form of communication is proven with the intent of luring a child away from parents, the child enticement charge may still be brought. A person convicted of the offense can be sent to prison for up to 15 years.
Rape involving adult persons is distinct from statutory rape as a criminal offense. Idaho laws stipulate that the penalties for rape include a prison sentence of no less than 1 year and up to life. The actual sentence depends on the circumstances of a case.
Defending Against a Sex Crime
As noted above, Idaho laws take a severe view of sex crimes, especially when they involve a minor. However, it is not uncommon for allegations of a sex crime to be based on personal vengeance or other motivations. Such false accusations can still mar your career, image, and reputation if you don’t immediately seek professional legal help.
Hiring a Boise Sex Crimes Attorney
If you have been charged with a sex crime in Boise, Idaho, it is imperative to hire a good lawyer at the earliest. Here at Aaron Hooper, Attorney at Law, we help victims of false allegations defend themselves effectively against such charges.
We work with you to create a solid defense against the allegations and bring together relevant evidence to support your side of the story. Get in touch with our lawyers today to discuss your case and see how we can help you.