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Facing sexual misconduct charges in St. Paul can seriously impact your life. These allegations can tarnish your reputation, strain relationships, and jeopardize future opportunities.

Additionally, sexual assault convictions might lead to substantial fines and imprisonment. The specific penalties you face will depend on the nature of the allegations, affecting nearly every aspect of your personal and professional life.

Knowing your rights and the defenses available to you is essential if you’re falsely accused of sexual misconduct.

Securing a skilled criminal defense attorney early can significantly affect the outcome of your case. Your attorney will actively challenge the evidence against you, navigate the legal process, and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.

Choosing to work with a lawyer who can mount a vigorous defense is crucial—it’s your right and a vital step in securing a fair trial and minimizing the potential consequences of these grave charges.

To speak with an experienced criminal sexual conduct lawyer in St. Paul, please contact our team today. 

What Is Sexual Misconduct?

Under Minnesota law, sexual misconduct encompasses a range of illegal behaviors that involve non-consensual sexual actions or inappropriate sexual behavior towards others.

Sexual misconduct can result in criminal charges that carry significant penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and the possibility of being registered as a sex offender.

The following are some key forms of sexual misconduct under Minnesota law: 

  • Sexual harassment. This type of harassment involves unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that may affect an individual’s employment, interfere with an individual’s work performance, or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
  • Indecent exposure. The deliberate exposure of one’s private body parts in public or in front of others without their consent can result in an indecent exposure charge. 
  • Sexual assault. Individuals may be at risk for sexual assault charges if they engage in any form of non-consensual sexual contact or behavior, ranging from touching to rape.
  • Stalking. This encompasses engaging in a pattern of behavior that causes someone to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated. This may include following someone, repeatedly contacting them, or interfering with their property.

Under the law, these behaviors are considered serious offenses and are subject to strict penalties.

Sexual Misconduct vs Sexual Assault

It’s critical to differentiate between sexual misconduct and sexual assault, as both terms cover different aspects under the law.

Sexual misconduct is a broader category that includes various types of inappropriate sexual behaviors, such as indecent exposure and sexual harassment. These offenses can range in severity and do not always involve physical contact.

Sexual assault, however, specifically involves a physical sexual act performed without consent. This includes rape, attempted rape, and other forms of non-consensual sexual penetration or touching.

Sexual assault is generally treated as a more serious crime compared to other forms of sexual misconduct and carries more severe consequences.

Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

Under Minnesota law, specifically statute 609.342, “Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree” is a serious offense involving victims under the age of 18.

Below are the crucial aspects of the law regarding sexual activities involving minors:

  • Age of consent– in Minnesota, the legal age of consent is 16. However, there are restrictions based on the age differences between the involved parties;
  • Statutory rape–this refers to sexual relations with someone below the age of consent, regardless of whether the minor appeared to agree to the sexual activities; and
  • Child pornography–creating, distributing, or possessing images or videos of minors engaged in sexual activities is strictly illegal and severely punished.

Violations involving minors can lead to particularly harsh penalties, including extended prison sentences and mandatory registration as a sex offender, which can impact one’s life and reputation permanently.

If you or someone you know is facing accusations of sexual misconduct, it is imperative to seek skilled legal representation immediately.

A qualified criminal defense attorney can provide guidance, help understand the charges, and offer a defense strategy tailored to the specifics of the case.

Sexual Misconduct Penalty in Minnesota

Being falsely accused of sexual misconduct is a grave matter that can have profound and lasting effects on your life.

In Minnesota, the penalties for sexual misconduct vary widely depending on the severity of the offense, but are uniformly significant and can lead to severe legal consequences.

Penalties for sexual misconduct under Minnesota law may include:

  • Criminal charges. These range from misdemeanors, which can result in fines and shorter jail terms, to felonies, leading to long-term imprisonment. The specific charges depend on the nature of the misconduct.
  • Fines. Monetary penalties can be substantial, often reaching thousands of dollars, reflecting the gravity of the offenses.
  • Imprisonment. Depending on the severity of the offense, sentences can vary from less than one year to several decades in prison. For the most serious offenses, such as criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, you could face up to 30 years in prison.
  • Sex offender registration. Many sexual misconduct convictions require registration as a sex offender. This status can drastically limit where you can live, work, and travel and is publicly accessible information.
  • Social and professional consequences. Beyond legal penalties, the accusation alone can damage your reputation, career, and personal relationships.

Given these potential outcomes, if you are falsely accused, it is crucial to take the accusations seriously and act swiftly. Consulting with a skilled criminal defense attorney is imperative.

An experienced lawyer can help you understand the charges, develop a robust defense strategy, and work to protect your rights and future.

Navigating this challenging time with professional legal assistance is vital to ensure that you are justly represented and that your side of the story is heard.

Speak with an Experienced Sexual Misconduct Lawyer About the Charges You Face Today

If you were recently arrested for sexual misconduct in Minnesota, it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side at every step of the way.

At Arechigo & Stokka, we take pride in providing each of our clients with dedicated, strategic legal counsel designed to minimize the impact that your recent arrest has on the rest of your life.

To learn more about our firm and to schedule a free consultation today, give Arechigo & Stokka a call or fill out our secure online contact form and one of our lawyers will get back with you shortly.

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.

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