Criminal Sexual Conduct

Every year hundreds of Minnesotans are charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct.  Some of these allegations have strong evidence and multiple witnesses, others are based on the simple statements of one individual.  No matter what the evidence, being charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct is a very serious situation. Not only can it result in up to 25 years imprisonment and severe fines, but the additional consequences of a Criminal Sexual Conduct conviction can severely affect a person’s personal and professional life. Such consequences can include DNA samples, professional psychological assessments, lifetime registration, and can lead to indefinite civil commitment. If you or someone you love has been charged with a Criminal Sexual Conduct offense, the best thing to do is to take the time to sit down with a criminal defense attorney and talk about your case.

At Ascheman Law, we understand how devastating even the implication of Criminal Sexual Conduct can be. We offer free consultations so that you can be informed and know you are not alone. We explain how the system works, how to protect your rights, what your options are, and the pros and cons of each and every choice.

What is Criminal Sexual Conduct?

Under Minnesota law there are numerous acts that can constitute Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) or sex crimes, including: rape, statutory rape, unwanted sexual contact, criminal sexual assault, child pornography, child solicitation or child enticement, solicitation of mentally impaired persons, sodomy, incest, fornication, pimping, and prostitution. Even though Criminal Sexual Conduct is historically known as rape, the phrase is no longer used in Minnesota statutes.

Criminal Sexual Conduct is divided into five degrees depending upon the age of the victim, age of the accused, whether force is used and the relationship between the victim and the accused. It is important to understand the differences between all of these degrees when you are charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct to understand the potential consequences. It is also important to remember that this information is general in nature. To receive answers to your questions, please call our office for an initial consultation at no cost.

Additional Facts about Criminal Sexual Conduct

  • When facing a Criminal Sexual Conduct charge based on the age of the victim, the accused may not use the excuse of mistaking the victim’s true age or the victim’s consent to the sexual contact as a defense.
  • Often times, a person convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct is required to register with an assigned agent or local law enforcement shortly after a conviction or release from prison. Disclosed information may include addresses, a list of all property owned, employment, and any vehicles they own or operate. This information is then reported to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and may be made available to the public.
  • If a court decides that someone convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct is a sexually dangerous or psychopathic person, it may decide to civilly commit that person to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), a treatment program for sex offenders. The treatment program uses various strategies to help offenders reduce their chances of relapsing and hopefully one day, allow them to return to society. It is important to note that not all individuals convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct are civilly committed, only those the court views as a serious danger to society, which are typically habitual sexual offenders who are unable to control their own sexual impulses.

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (Minn. Stat. § 609.342)

A crime constitutes First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct if the individual engages in sexual penetration (as defined in Minn. Stat. §609.341) with another or sexual contact with a person under the age of 13 in one of the following circumstances:

  • The victim is less than 13 years old and the individual is more than 36 months older than the victim;
  • The victim is more than 13 years old, but less than 16, and the individual is more than 48 months older and in a position of authority over the victim;
  • The victim had a reasonable fear of imminent great bodily harm to him/herself or another at the time of the act;
  • The individual is armed with a dangerous weapon and uses or threatens to use it to make the victim submit;
  • The individual injures the victim and either forces or coerces the victim to achieve sexual penetration;
  • The individual injures the victim and knows that the victim is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless;
  • The individual is aided by another and the other uses force or coercion to get the victim to submit;
  • The individual is aided by another and the other is armed with a dangerous weapon and uses or threatens to use the weapon to get the victim to submit;
  • The individual has a significant relationship to the victim and the victim was under the age of 16;
  • The individual has a significant relationship to the victim, the victim was under the age of 16 and the individual uses force on the victim to achieve sexual penetration;
  • The individual has a significant relationship to the victim, the victim was under the age of 16 and the victim was injured; or
  • The individual has a significant relationship to the victim, the victim was under the age of 16 and the sexual abuse of the victim by the individual involved multiple acts committed over an extended period of time.

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct carries a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment and/or a fine of no more than $40,000.

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (Minn. Stat. § 609.343)

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is almost the same as First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct except that sexual contact (as defined in Minn. Stat. §609.341) is required in each circumstance rather than sexual penetration.

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct carries a maximum sentence of 25 years and/or a fine of no more than $35,000.

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (Minn. Stat. § 609.344)

A crime constitutes First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct if the individual engages in sexual penetration in any of the following circumstances:

  • The victim is less than the age of 13 and the individual is no more than 36 months older than the victim;
  • The victim is more than the age of 13 but less than 16 and the individual is more than 24 months older than the victim;
  • The victim is force or coerced by the individual;
  • The individual knows that the victim is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;
  • The complainant is at least 16 years old but less than 18 and the individual is more than 48 months older than the victim and is a position of authority over the victim;
  • There is a significant relationship between the individual and the victim, who is more than 16 years old, but less than 18;
  • The victim is a patient of the psychotherapist and the penetration occurred either during the psychotherapy session or outside the session as an ongoing relationship exists;
  • The victim is a former patient of the psychotherapist and is emotionally dependent upon the psychotherapist;
  • The sexual penetration occurred between a psychotherapist and a victim by means of therapeutic deception;
  • The victim deceives the victim by falsely representing that the penetration is for a bona fide medical purpose;
  • The individual is or pretends to be a member of the clergy (and is not married to the victim) and the sexual penetration occurred while the victim was seeking religious or spiritual advice from the individual;
  • The individual is or pretends to be a member of the clergy (and is not married to the victim) and the sexual penetration occurred during a time when the victim was meeting with the individual on an ongoing basis seeking religious or spiritual advice;
  • The individual is an employee of a correctional system and the victim is under the supervision of the correctional system;
  • The individual is an agent of a special transportation service that the victim uses and the nonconsensual penetration occurs during or immediately before or after the service; or
  • The individual is hired by the victim or massage or other body work and nonconsensual penetration occurs.

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct carries a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and/or a fine of no more than $30,000.

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (Minn. Stat. § 609.345)

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is almost the same as Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct except that sexual contact is required in each circumstance rather than sexual penetration.

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of no more than $20,000.

Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (Minn. Stat. § 609.3451)

A crime constitutes Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct if:

  • An individual engages in nonconsensual sexual contact; or
  • An individual masturbates or lewdly exposes his or her genitals knowing a minor under the age of 16 is present.

Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct carries a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and/or a fine or no more than $3,000.

What To Do:

For more information or to set up a free consultation, call us today at 612-217-0077. You will be happy you did!