New Mexico Rape and Sexual Assault Laws

New Mexico has a number of rape and sexual assault laws. These crimes fall under the state's sexual offense statutes. Penalties range in severity based upon factors such as the age of the victim and the degree of violence used.

For example, rape of a child under 13 years of age with the intent to kill is punishable by up to life imprisonment whereas rape of an adult which causes great bodily harm or mental anguish is punishable by up to 18 years in prison. The following is a brief summary of New Mexico's rape and sexual assault laws.

New Mexico Rape and Sexual Assault Laws

The following table outlines New Mexico's rape and sexual assault laws.

Code Sections

NEW MEXICO STAT. ANN. ยง 30-9-11 et seq.
What is Prohibited?

Rape (a.k.a. criminal sexual penetration):

Intentionally causing another person to have unlawful sex or causing the penetration of another person's genital or anal opening.

Aggravated rape:

Rape of a child under 13 years of age with the intent to kill or with a depraved mind without regard for human life.

First-degree rape:

Rape of a child under 13 years of age or rape of a person through force or coercion which causes that person great bodily harm or mental anguish.

Second-degree rape:

Rape of a child 13-18 years of age through force or coercion, on an inmate in a correctional facility or jail and the perpetrator is in a position of authority at the facility or jail, through force or coercion causing the victim personal injury, through force and coercion with the aid of one or more persons, while committing another felony, or while armed with a deadly weapon.

Third-degree rape:

Rape by force or coercion in a manner not otherwise specified in the statutes above.

Fourth-degree rape:

Rape of a child 13-18 years of age by a school employee, contract employee, health provider, or volunteer and the perpetrator is at least 18 years of age and 4 years older than the child, not the child's spouse, and knowingly working in the child's school.

Criminal sexual contact:

Touching of another person's unclothed intimate parts using force or coercion by a person who is at least 18 years of age.

Fourth-degree criminal sexual contact:

Criminal sexual contact causing the victim personal injury, done with the aid of of one or persons, or while armed with a deadly weapon.

Criminal sexual contact with a minor:

Touching a minor's intimate parts or causing of the minor to touch one's intimate parts.

It is second-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor if the child's unclothed intimate parts were touched and the child was under 13 or 13-18 years of age and the perpetrator was in a position of authority and used his/her authority to coerce the child, used force or coercion causing personal injury, used force and coercion and was aided by one or more persons, or was armed with a deadly weapon.

It is third-degree criminal sexual contact with a minor if there was any sexual contact with the additional elements outlined under second-degree criminal sexual contact.

It is fourth-degree criminal sexual contact with a minor if there was any sexual contact of a child 13-18 years of age using force or coercion or by a school employee, contract employee, health provider, or volunteer, who was at least 18 years of age and 4 years older than the child, not the child's spouse, and was knowingly working in the child's school.

Penalties

Aggravated rape is a first-degree felony punishable by life imprisonment and up to $17,500 in fines. First-degree rape is also a first-degree felony, but it is punishable by up to 18 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

Second-degree rape is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 9 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Second-degree rape involving a child and second-degree criminal sexual contact with a minor are also second-degree felonies but they are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $12,500 in fines.

Third-degree rape is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Third-degree sexual contact with a minor is also a third-degree felony but punishable by up to 6 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Fourth-degree rape and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact (regardless of whether a minor is involved) are fourth-degree felonies punishable by up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Criminal sexual contact through force or coercion is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.

New Mexico Rape and Sexual Assault Laws: Related Resources

If you have been charged with a rape or sexual assault crime and need help, you may want to contact a New Mexico criminal defense attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's sections on Rape, Sexual Assault Overview, and Sex Offenders and Sexual Offenses: Overview for more articles and information on these topics.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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