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Massachusetts G.L. c. 265 § 22B: Aggravated Rape of a Child Under 16

Massachusetts General Laws chapter 265 section 22B governs the crime of rape of a child under 16 years of age when certain additional elements, or aggravating factors, are present in the commission of this offense.

The statute defines rape of a child under 16 years of age as follows:

“Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under 16, and compels such child to submit by force and against his will or compels such child to submit by threat of bodily injury…”

Under section 22B of this section, one of the following additional elements must be present:

  1. the rape is committed during the commission of one of the following enumerated offenses: (1) armed burglary (2) unarmed burglary (3) breaking and entering (4) entering without breaking (5) breaking and entering into a dwelling (6) kidnapping (7) armed robbery (8) unarmed robbery (9) assault and battery with a dangerous weapon or assault with a dangerous weapon (10) home invasion; or (11) posing or exhibiting child in state of nudity or sexual conduct.
  2. The rape is committed by means of or results in substantial bodily injury;
  3. The rape is committed while the victim is tied, bound or gagged;
  4. The rape is committed after the Defendant has administered alcohol or controlled substance to the victim, without the victim’s consent
  5. The rape was committed in conjunction with others by means of a joint enterprise;
  6. The rape was committed in such a way that the victim could contract a sexually transmitted disease or infection of which the defendant knew or should have known he was a carrier.

For a conviction under this section, in addition to the act of sexual intercourse by force of a victim under the age of 16 years old, the Commonwealth need only prove the existence of one of these additional aggravating factors beyond a reasonable doubt.


The potential punishment for aggravated rape of a child under 16 as provided by G.L. c. 265 section 22B is significant, and includes imprisonment in state prison for life or any term of years but not less than 15 years.

This statute provides that a person convicted of this offense will be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, and any offender may not be eligible for parole, probation, work release or good conduct reduction in any such sentence until having served at least 15 years.

Further, any charges under this statute may not be continued without a finding or placed on file.

Given the serious nature of this charge as well as the potential punishments accompanying such a charges, it is important to consult with a criminal law attorney experienced in defending rape cases who can help you explore your defenses and receive the best possible disposition for such an offense.

Massachusetts Assault and Battery Attorney 617-263-6800

Attorney Stephen Neyman represents individuals charged with various criminal offenses throughout the state of Massachusetts. Attorney Neyman has decades of experience defending against these types of charges and is a fierce advocate who will help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Call Attorney Neyman’s office at 617-263-6800 or send him an e-mail today.

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