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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.