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Thousands of people in Minnesota face sexual conduct allegations every year. Sex crimes allegations hold a negative stigma and can cause immediate damage to your reputation.

Criminal sexual conduct allegations can arise in heated situations where one party has a motive to make accusations against another. Unfortunately, the prosecuting attorney may file charges against you anyway. 

Many clients facing 4th degree sexual charges in Minnesota want to know:

  • What is 4th degree sexual assault?
  • Can I go to prison for a 4th degree sexual conduct charge?
  • What is the penalty for a 4th degree sexual conduct charge?

Our St. Paul criminal defense lawyers can explain the penalties associated with your charge and create a strategy to help you get the best possible outcome. If you have questions, please contact us today.

What Is Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 4th Degree?

The definition of criminal sexual conduct depends on whether the alleged crime is committed against an adult or a child. When the victim is an adult, Minnesota defines criminal sexual conduct in the 4th degree as any of the following:

In cases of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, the law stipulates that a person is guilty if sexual contact occurs under certain circumstances, notably when force or coercion is used. This can include situations where the victim is mentally impaired, incapacitated, physically helpless, or between the ages of fourteen and sixteen. It’s crucial to recognize that criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree is considered a felony of the third degree, with exceptions for first-time offenders and victims who are over the age of eighteen.

prohibited occupational relationship exists when the accused performed a massage for hire and nonconsensual sexual contact occurred during or immediately before or after the actor performed or was hired to perform their services.

Additionally, the following relationships are considered prohibited occupational relationships, regardless of consent:

  • Psychotherapist and patient,
  • Medical provider and patient,
  • Member of clergy and congregant,
  • Special transportation driver and rider,
  • Employee or contractor for any adult or juvenile correctional facility or treatment facility and patient,
  • Licensed educator for secondary school and student,
  • Licensed educator for elementary school and student,
  • Facility caregiver or staff member and resident, or
  • Police officer and detainee.

Minnesota law also identifies sexual contact with a person under the age of 18 as fourth degree criminal sexual conduct when specific circumstances exist.

Some relevant circumstances include the age of the victim, the age difference between the victim and the accused, and whether the accused used coercion to accomplish the act.

What Are the Penalties for Fourth Degree Sexual Assault?

A fourth degree sexual assault charge carries a potential penalty of up to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine. This is a significant prison sentence and a large fine.

A 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct conviction will also require you to comply with sex offender registration. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer gives you the best chance to avoid prison time and secure a favorable outcome.

Need Information About Criminal Sexual Conduct? Contact Arechigo & Stokka Today to Discuss Your Case

Our team focuses a large part of our practice on representing the rights of those facing criminal accusations. We understand criminal sexual misconduct charges in Minnesota and can answer any questions you have about potential defenses to your charges and possible penalties.

Hiring a criminal defense lawyer to fight your charges can help you get them reduced or dismissed, depending on the facts of your case. We have the knowledge and expertise necessary to protect your rights and defend you against the allegations.

Contact a member of our team at Arechigo & Stokka today, so we can start reviewing your case.

Author Photo John T. Arechigo, Esq.

Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.