Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Aged Fourteen or Older
Indecent assault and battery on a person aged fourteen or older is a criminal offense under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13H. An assault and battery is an intentional and unjustified use of force upon another’s person, however slight. Since violent force is not usually involved in this offense, “force” in this context is usually no more than a touching. An indecent assault and battery is an intentional and unjustified touching of a private area, including, but not limited to, the breast, abdomen, thigh, buttocks, genital or pubic areas of a female or the buttocks, genital or pubic areas of a male. Whether the body part is a “private area” is determined in the context in which the touching occurred.This crime is a general intent crime as opposed to a specific crime in Massachusetts. Regardless of how the law reads we view many general intent crimes as crimes that lower the district attorney’s burden of proof. In some sense it undermines any defense that centers on accident or an absence of intent. This unfortunate nuance to this law makes it necessary for you to hire someone who has practiced criminal defense law in Massachusetts for decades. There is no substitute for experience.What are the Elements of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Fourteen or Older in Massachusetts?
To be convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person aged fourteen or older, the prosecutor must prove all of the following six elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The alleged victim was over the age of fourteen.
- The defendant intended to engage in the touching;
- The defendant committed the touching;
- The touching was harmful or offensive;
- The touching was indecent.A touching is indecent when it is contrary to societal norms and is offensive to current moral values in that would be considered “immodest, immoral and improper.” Indecency is measured by “common understanding and practice.” This definition gives persons of normal intelligence an opportunity to know what is proscribed. And;
- There was no justification or excuse for the touching.
If you are convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person aged fourteen or older, you face imprisonment in the state prison for up to five years or imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for up to two and one-half years. You are also going to have to register as a sex offender. You will probably have to fight the offender level you get assigned as the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board initially assigns levels that we believe are higher than the person deserves.
If you are charged with this offense, retaining the services of a practiced and dedicated attorney like Stephen Neyman is of critical importance. The attorneys at our office are well-informed of the Massachusetts laws and court systems and use our knowledge, talent and experience to build strong defenses on our clients’ behalf. We have successfully defended this and other sex crimes in Massachusetts and throughout the country countless times in our 20 years of practice. To discuss your case or learn more about this crime, call our office at 617-263-6800 or contact us online.
Si usted habla espanol contacta a nuestro asistente de abogado Maria Rivera en 617-877-6270.
Cambridge District Court: Charges of Indecent Assault and Battery of a Person Over 14 Against Paramedic to be Dismissed
On December 25, 2017 Cambridge Police responded to a posh hotel for a report of a sexual offense. They met with a woman who worked with the housekeeping staff at the hotel. She stated that while cleaning a room the defendant approached her and touched her name tag which was over her breast. He then put his arm around her and slid it down to her buttocks and groped her. The man, a paramedic was in Massachusetts on vacation. It was his room that was being cleaned. He was charged with indecent assault and battery, G.L. c. 265 Section 13H. If convicted he would lose his job and have to register as a sex offender. He hired our office. Attorney Neyman was able to get the case continued without a finding. All charges will be dismissed.
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Lowell District Court: Charges of Indecent Assault and Battery to be Dismissed
The defendant is a college student who needs four credits to graduate. To pay for school he would drive for Lyft. On August 26, 2017 the Lowell, Massachusetts police department was called for a complaint of a sexual assault. The complainant was a woman who had been at a bar for the evening. She called Lyft for a ride for her and three of her friends. The defendant picked them up. On the way home the victim sat in the front seat. She told the police that during the ride the defendant grabbed her hand and put it on his exposed penis. Text messages confirmed the identity of the defendant. Additionally, the victim's friends corroborated her account of the incident. A single charge of indecent assault and battery in violation of G.L. c. 265 Section 13H issued. A conviction would result in a sex offender registration requirement. Today, Attorney Neyman was able to get a continuance without a finding until December 31, 2018. At that time, all charges will be dismissed.
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Haverhill District Court: Charges of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Over 14 Dismissed After Clerk Magistrate Hearing
On March 26, 2018 a Haverhill, Massachusetts woman contacted the police frantically complaining of having just been sexually assaulted. She claimed that a man grabbed her arms and breasts. After calming down the woman explained that around midnight she had given a homeless man she knows a coffee. The defendant was walking by at the time. Thinking nothing of him the woman left and walked home. She stood outside her home to smoke a cigarette. This other man had apparently followed her. He grabbed her and tried to push his way into her home. While doing so he fondled her breasts and repeated "I love you" and "You're beautiful". The victim resisted and was thrown to the ground. The defendant then fled. The incident was captured on a videotape. A clerk magistrate hearing was scheduled charging the defendant with indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14, a felony in Massachusetts. This is a violation of G.L. c. 265 Section 13H. Today, our office was able to convince the assistant clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint.
Read More in G.L. c. 265 Section 13H