Georgia Sexual Assault Laws
Georgia's sexual assault law is different than many others throughout the nation. Under the statute, it a crime for someone with supervisory or disciplinary authority over another to have sexual contact with them, including those who are in a student-teacher relationship. This includes anyone with supervisory or disciplinary authority over someone in legal custody or someone who is detained in a hospital or other institution, including long-term care, nursing homes, home health care and hospices. It also pertains to psychotherapists and their patients. Consent is not a defense. Unlike Georgia's rape law, sexual assault can occur between any gender.
Also, keep in mind that the law prohibits any unconsented to sexual activity, with or without force.
Definition of Sexual Battery
Sexual battery occurs when a person intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of another person's body without their consent. The Code defines “intimate parts” as the “primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.”
Here, there isn't an age or gender requirement. Consent can be a defense.
Definition of Aggravated Sexual Battery
Aggravated sexual battery happens when a person “intentionally penetrates with a foreign object the sexual organ or anus of another person without their consent.”
The Code defines “foreign object” as “any article or instrument other than the sexual organ of a person.”
Again, there isn't an age or gender requirement. Consent can be a defense.
Romeo and Juliet Laws for Sexual Battery
Yes, even star-crossed young lovers can be prosecuted under Georgia's sexual battery laws. Commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet" laws, if the victim is between 14-16 years old and the defendant is 18 years years old or no more than four years older than the victim, he or she will only face misdemeanor charges.
Sexual Assault: O.C.G.A. 16-6-1
Sexual Battery: O.C.G.A. 16-6-3
Aggravated Sexual Battery: O.C.G.A. 16-6-22.2
|Elements of Sexual Assault||
Sexual Assault: “Sexual contact” that is perpetrated by “a person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another individual.” Enhanced penalties for sexual assault against a child under 16 years old. Lesser penalties if the victim is between 14 and 16 years old and the defendant is 18 years old or younger or no more than four years older than the victim.
|Who has disciplinary authority?||
|What is "Sexual Contact" under the Law?||
Any sexual contact involving intimate body parts between two unmarried persons.
|Consent a Defense to Sexual Assault?||
|Elements of Sexual Battery||
Sexual battery occurs when a person “intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person.” The Code defines “intimate parts” as the “primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.” Enhanced penalties for sexual battery against a person under 16 years old.
Elements of Aggravated Sexual Battery
Aggravated sexual battery occurs when a person “intentionally penetrates with a foreign object the sexual organ or anus of another person without the consent of that person.”
|What is a Foreign Object?||Any object other than a person's sexual organs.|
|What are "Intimate Parts?"||
Primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, and female breasts
Sexual Assault: One (1) to Twenty Five (25 Years) in prison, fine of up to $100,000. If victim is under 16 years old, 25-50 years in prison and Mandatory Sex Offender Registration. If the victim is between 14 and 16 years old and the defendant is either 18 years old or within four years of the victim's age, it is a misdemeanor.
Sexual Battery: First conviction: High and Aggravated Misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses are considered felonies, punishable by one to five years in prison including Mandatory Sex Offender Registration.
Aggravated Sexual Battery: Life imprisonment or a minimum of 25 years imprisonment followed by probation for life and mandatory sex offender registration.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted contact any of the following resources:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
- Georgia Law Enforcement
Contact an Attorney If You're Charged With Sexual Battery
If you have been convicted of sexual battery, the sentencing consequences can be severe and have lifelong repercussions. But you don't have to go through this alone, as you have the right to defend yourself in court with the help of an attorney. If you do find yourself facing a sexual battery charge in Georgia, your best option is to contact a Georgia criminal defense lawyer.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.