Indiana Sexual Battery Laws

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In Indiana, it is a crime to engage in sexual conduct with a person by force or when the victim is unaware of what is happening or unable to consent.

Sex crimes committed by force may sometimes be referred to a “sexual battery.” Indiana also happens to have a particular sex crime that is called “sexual battery.”

For general information on sex crimes, see Sexual Battery Laws and Penalties.

Sexual Battery

In Indiana, a person commits sexual battery by touching the victim in order to arouse or satisfy the defendant (or some other person’s) sexual desires:

  • by force or threat of force, or
  • when the victim is unable to consent due to a mental disability.

A person can also commit sexual battery by touching the victim sexually when the victim is unaware that the touching is occurring.

(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-4-8.)

For example, forcibly fondling a person’s breasts would be considered sexual battery, as long as the fondling was sexually motivated. Fondling people while they sleep could also be considered sexual battery.

Criminal sexual conduct that involves physical force may also result in regular battery charges.

For more information on non-sexual battery, see Indiana Battery Laws and Indiana Felony Battery Laws.

Rape

Under Indiana’s laws, a person commits the crime of rape by having sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex:

  • by force or threat of force
  • when the victim is unaware that sexual intercourse is occurring, or
  • when the victim is unable to consent because of a mental disability.

(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-4-1.)

For example, forcing a person to have sex under the threat of physical harm is rape, as is having sex with a person who is so intoxicated that the person does not know what is happening.

Marital rape

In Indiana, rape and other sex crimes between spouses are treated identically to other sex crimes.

For more information, see Indiana Marital Rape Laws.

Deviate Conduct

A person commits the crime of deviate conduct in Indiana by causing another to perform or submit to oral or anal sex or sexual penetration, including digital penetration:

  • by force or threat of force
  • when the victim is unaware that the act is occurring, or
  • when the victim is, by reason of a mental disability, unable to consent.

(Ind. Code Ann. § 35-42-4-2.)

Aggravated Sex Crimes

Rape, deviate conduct, and sexual battery are punished more severely if the defendant:

  • uses or threatens to use deadly force
  • is armed with a deadly weapon, or
  • gave the victim drugs, or knew that the victim had been given drugs, without the victim’s knowledge.

Rape and deviate conduct are also punished more severely if the crime results in serious bodily injury to any person other than the defendant.

A deadly weapon is a firearm or other object designed or used in such a way that could cause serious bodily injury. Deadly force is force that creates a significant risk of serious bodily injury.

Serious bodily injury creates a risk of death or causes serious and permanent disfigurement, unconsciousness, substantial pain, miscarriage, or permanent or lasting impairment of any body part.

(Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-31.5-2-85, 35-31.5-2-86, 35-31.5-2-292, 35-42-4-1, 35-42-4-2, 35-42-4-8.)

For example, any defendant who commits a sex crime while armed with a knife will be punished more severely, as will any defendant who seriously injures the victim.

Punishment

Sexual battery is a Class D felony, punishable by six months in jail or up to 3 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. Aggravated sexual battery is a Class C felony, punishable by two to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Rape and deviate conduct are Class B felonies, punishable by six to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Aggravated rape or aggravated deviate conduct is a Class A felony, punishable by 20 to 50 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

(Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-42-4-1, 35-42-4-2, 35-50-2-4, 35-50-2-5, 35-50-2-6, 35-50-2-7.)

Sex Offender Registration

People in Indiana who are convicted of rape, deviate conduct, or sexual battery are required to register as sex offenders for at least ten years. Many offenders are required to register for life. Registered sex offenders must provide personal information and a photograph to local police and must sign a consent form allowing law enforcement officers to search their computers at any time.

(Ind. Code Ann. §§ 11-8-8-4.5, 11-8-8-7, 11-8-8-8, 11-8-8-19.)

Obtaining Legal Advice and Representation

Being convicted of a sex crime has serious consequences. If you are charged with rape, sexual battery, or deviate conduct, you should consult with an Indiana criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

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