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Penalties for Rape in Texas

We’re all familiar with the term “rape” and what it implies, so how does the state of Texas punish those who commit the offense of rape? Instead of rape, Texas uses the term “sexual assault” which encompasses more than just rape.

Under Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code, Sexual Assault, a person commits this offense if he or she intentionally or knowingly, and without the victim’s consent:

  • Causes sexual penetration of the anus or other sexual organ (commonly known as rape),
  • Forced oral copulation,
  • Causes one’s sexual organ to contact or penetrate the victim’s mouth, anus, or sexual organ, or
  • Does any of the above to a child (under the age of 17).

Sexual assault under Sec. 22.011 is without the victim’s consent if the offender forced the victim to participate by threatening force or violence, or the victim was incapable of consent because they were unconscious or physically unable to consent, or the victim was physically or mentally disabled.

It is also considered that the victim did not consent when the actor intentionally impaired the victim by administering drugs or alcohol without the victim’s knowledge. This is common with “date rape” drugs like GHB or other sedatives that can be dissolved in a victim’s drink.

What is the punishment for sexual assault?

Generally, sexual assault is prosecuted as a felony of the second degree, but it is a felony of the first degree if the victim was someone that the offender was prohibited from marrying due to Texas’ law on bigamy under Section 25.01.

A second degree felony under Sec. 12.33 is punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000 and by 2 to 20 years in prison. A first degree felony is punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 and by 5 to 99 years behind bars.

Need a Plano criminal attorney to defend you against sexual assault charges? Contact our firm at once to schedule an initial consultation.