Rape

Until recently, Indiana had a fairly narrow definition for the crime of rape. However, in 2014, the criminal code was updated, and the crimes of rape and criminal deviate conduct were essentially merged under Indiana Code 35-42-4-1. The consequences of a rape conviction can be catastrophic. Depending on the nature of the allegations, a person can be charged with either a level 1 or level 3 felony. Regardless, of the level of felony, any rape conviction will require the offender to register as a sexually violent predator for a minimum of ten (10) years. Rape cases can be particularly complex as they often are based on forensic DNA evidence, and require expert witnesses.

Sexual battery is similar in nature to rape but carries far less severe penalties. Unlike, rape, a sexual battery charge does not require an allegation of “sexual conduct” but instead only requires a prosecutor to prove an unlawful touching occurred that was intended to satisfy a sexual desire. Sexual battery is codified under Indiana Code 35-42-4-8, and can be either a level 4 or level 6 felony. Under certain circumstances sexual battery can be entered as an A misdemeanor but in all cases it requires an offender to register as a sex offender for at least ten years. Sexual battery is sometime referred to as a lesser included charge of rape.

Much like with child molestation allegations, rape cases can be particularly emotional as they often pit family and friends against each other. You may be required to provide a DNA sample as part of an investigation, or be subjected to a lengthy police interrogation. Many people accused of rape have no prior experiences with the criminal justice system, making the situation even more precarious.

How you act and what you say may have a significant impact on whether charges are brought against you. From the moment you are made aware that a rape accusation has been made against you it is important to seek competent and experienced legal counsel. You should make sure that whomever you retain to be your attorney in these types of cases has previous experience in cross examining forensic experts who will be testify about DNA and serological witnesses.

The attorneys at Hayes Ruemmele have litigated rape cases at both the trial court and appellate levels. We can provide representation from the early stages of a rape investigation all the way to an appeal at the Indiana Supreme Court.