Iowa Rape and Sexual Assault Laws

All states have rape and sexual assault laws, which basically make it illegal for a person to engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual acts with a person who doesn't give consent or can't give consent. In Iowa, rape and sexual assault are called "sexual abuse."

The Iowa Code defines sexual abuse generally, and then divides it into different degrees of sexual abuse. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the sexual abuse, a person will be guilty of committing sexual abuse in the first degree, second degree, or third degree. Iowa classifies all sexual abuse crimes as felonies; however, the actual class of the felony and the penalties vary depending on the degree of the sexual abuse.

Iowa Rape and Sexual Assault Statutes

The following table is a quick summary of Iowa's rape and sexual assault laws.

Code Sections

Iowa Code Annotated ยง 709.1, Sexual Abuse Defined.

What is Prohibited?

Sexual abuse occurs when one person engages in a sex act with another person in any of the following circumstances:

  1. The sex act is done by force, threat of violence toward any person, or against the will of the other person. It's considered against a person's will if he or she is under the influence of a sleep-inducing drug or otherwise unconscious.
  2. The other person has a mental defect that makes him or her unable to give consent, or lacks the mental capacity to understand the right and wrong of conduct in sexual matters.
  3. The other person is a child.

Penalty

The penalty for sexual abuse depends on whether it's sexual abuse in the first degree, second degree, or third degree.

  • Sexual abuse in the first degree is a class A felony punishable by life in prison.
  • Sexual abuse in the second degree is a class B felony punishable by a prison term of up to 25 years.
  • Sexual abuse in the third degree is a class C felony punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years, and a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Iowa Rape and Sexual Assault Laws: Related Resources

You can visit FindLaw's section on Sex Crimes for more information and articles on this topic. If you or someone close to you is facing a rape or sexual assault charge, it's in your best interest to contact a local sex crimes attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.