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There are many potential consequences for inappropriate sexual behavior. Depending on the conduct involved, these may range from professional or social consequences to steep criminal penalties.

You may have heard the terms sexual assault and sexual misconduct. But you may not know the difference between sexual assault vs sexual misconduct in Minnesota.

Sexual assault is a term generally used to describe a variety of sex acts criminalized by law. Sexual misconduct, on the other hand, is a broad term that includes different types of inappropriate acts of a sexual nature. Sexual misconduct may include sexual assault.

A Minnesota criminal defense lawyer can explain and highlight the differences. If you have been accused of a sex crime, contact an attorney today.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is a “catch-all” term that includes different inappropriate sexual acts or behaviors.

Sexual misconduct does not have to be criminal. For example, you can be accused of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Sexual misconduct examples include the following:

  • Sexual assault,
  • Sexual harassment,
  • Stalking,
  • Domestic violence,
  • Dating violence, and
  • Other types of nonconsensual sexual contact.

Typically, the main element of these acts is the lack of consent.

Committing an act of sexual misconduct can result in criminal penalties or civil penalties. If you violate a sexual misconduct policy at work, you may be subject to professional consequences, even if your conduct is not illegal.

Sexual Assault

If your sexual conduct rises to the level of criminal behavior, you may be charged with a sexual assault crime in Minnesota. States prosecute sex crimes aggressively.

Sex crimes include:

  • Rape, 
  • Attempted rape, 
  • Nonconsensual sexual contact
  • Abuse, and 
  • Molestation.

 The terms used to describe these crimes vary by state. 

Minnesota labels sexual assault crimes as “criminal sexual conduct” and separates the crime into five degrees of severity. First-degree criminal sexual conduct crimes carry the highest penalty, while fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct crimes carry the lowest penalty.

The severity of a sex crime depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Whether there was sexual penetration,
  • The age of the accuser,
  • The actor’s use of a dangerous weapon,
  • The actor’s use of coercion,
  • Whether the accuser was incapacitated or mentally impaired, and
  • Whether the alleged accused was in a position of authority.

If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, it’s essential that you consult with an attorney to help you build the strongest possible defense.

Contact Arechigo & Stokka

Never handle a criminal case on your own. If you have been charged with a sex crime, speak to a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer at Arechigo & Stokka.

John T. Arechigo has dedicated his life to defending the rights of the accused. He has over 17 years of legal experience. He fights to protect your constitutional rights. John has been recognized twice as an Attorney of the Year and four times by Super Lawyers.

Your reputation, freedom, and future are at stake. Contact Arechigo & Stokka for a free consultation with John today.

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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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