Sexual assault charges are some of the most serious charges you could face.
Even apart from the legal issues, mere allegations of sexual assault can smear your reputation and ruin your life.
Because of the complexities of this area of law, it can be challenging to understand the charges you face.
If you are facing sexual assault charges, you need to get ahead of the situation as soon as possible.
First and foremost, remain silent. Exercise your right to counsel and demand to talk to a lawyer.
While everyone is listening to the alleged victim, you also have the right to be heard.
In North Dakota, several crimes fall within the category of sexual assault offenses.
Sexual assault is defined as the forcing of unwanted sexual activity by one person on another by using threats or coercion.
A person knowingly has sexual contact with an alleged victim when:
- That contact is offensive,
- That person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the alleged victim suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders them incapable of understanding the nature of the conduct,
- That person has substantially impaired the alleged victim’s power to resist (e.g., drugging the person),
- The perpetrator is in a position of supervisory or disciplinary authority over the alleged victim,
- The alleged victim is a minor, fifteen years of age or older, and the actor is an adult.
If you have been accused of sexual assault, contact Arechigo & Stokka today.
Gross Sexual Imposition
Gross sexual imposition (GSI) occurs when the alleged perpetrator compels the victim by force or threat of force.
An individual may be charged with GSI under several circumstances, including:
- When the perpetrator administers intoxicants like alcohol or drugs to a victim without that person’s knowledge to prevent that person from resisting,
- When the victim is unaware of what is occurring,
- When the victim is a minor under the age of 15 years old, or
- When the victim suffers from a mental disease or defect that renders them incapable of consenting.
GSI can be a class AA felony punishable by up to life in prison without the possibility of parole or a class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
A person may be charged with sexual imposition if they force someone to engage in a sexual act through threat or coercion.
A conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
One of the most severe sexual assault crimes in North Dakota is the continuous sexual abuse of a child.
The statute defines the offense as three or more sex acts with a child under the age of 15 for over three or more months.
If the offender is over the age of 22, then it is a Class AA felony punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
If the offender is younger than 22, it is a Class A felony. A conviction is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Contact a North Dakota Defense Lawyer Today
Sexual assault charges in North Dakota and the process of defending them can be daunting and complex.
Sexual assault offenses carry severe consequences. It is not wise to face these allegations alone.
Our Fargo criminal defense attorney has been representing clients accused of sexual assault for decades.
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.