Kansas Sexual Battery and Rape Laws

In Kansas, it is illegal to commit rape or engage in any other sexual touching without the other person’s consent (sometimes called sexual battery).

(Learn more about the difference between sexual battery and rape.)

Sexual Battery

Under Kansas’s law, the crime of sexual battery is committed by touching someone over the age of 16 without the person’s consent, for the purpose of sexual arousal or satisfaction.

(Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5505.)

A person may also face criminal charges for simple or aggravated battery for touching someone in an offensive way when the touch is non-sexual.

For more information on these crimes, see Simple Assault & Battery in Kansas and Kansas Aggravated Assault and Battery Laws.

Aggravated Sexual Battery

A person commits the crime of aggravated sexual battery by engaging in any touching short of sexual intercourse (vaginal penetration) with someone over the age of 16 without the victim’s consent, for a sexual purpose, when:

  • the victim is overpowered by force or fear
  • the victim is physically helpless or unconscious, or
  • the victim lacks the ability to consent because of a mental condition or disorder or because of intoxication, if the defendant knows that the victim is intoxicated or the intoxication is apparent.

(Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5505.)

For example, forcing a person to perform oral sex on a man would be considered aggravated sexual battery.

Rape

In Kansas, a person commits the crime of rape by engaging in sexual intercourse (any penetration of a woman’s vagina) without the victim’s consent when:

  • the victim is overpowered by force or fear
  • the victim is physically helpless or unconscious, or
  • the victim lacks the ability to consent because of a mental condition or disorder or because of intoxication, if the defendant knows that the victim is intoxicated or the intoxication is apparent.

A person also commits the crime of rape by engaging in sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 14 or when a person of any age consents to sexual intercourse as a result of defendant’s fraudulent claim that the act is medically or legally necessary.

(Kan. Stat. Ann. § § 21-5501, 21-5503.)

Defenses

Historically, it was a defense to any sex charge that the defendant and the victim were married. Today, the marital rape exemption has largely been abolished, but it still exists in certain circumstances. In Kansas, the marital rape exemption applies to some non-forcible sex crimes.

In Kansas, it is a defense to a charge of sexual battery that the defendant is the victim’s spouse. Under Kansas’s sexual battery law, people are not “spouses” if they are married but living apart, or if one partner has filed for annulment, separation, divorce, or a protective order against the other spouse.

It is also a defense to a charge of rape of a child that the defendant was married to the child at the time of the offense.

(Kan. Stat. Ann. § § 21-5501, 21-5503, 21-5505.)

Punishment

Judges in Kansas have discretion to choose a sentence based on the state’s sentencing guidelines and the defendant’s prior criminal history.

Rape of a child by a person over the age of 18 is an off-grid person felony, punishable by life imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000. Rape by fraud is a level 2 person felony, punishable by 109 to 493 months in prison and a fine of up to $300,000. Otherwise, rape is a level 1 person felony punishable by 147 to 653 months in prison and a fine of up to $300,000.

Sexual battery is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.

Aggravated sexual battery is a level 5 felony, punishable by 31 to 136 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $300,000.

(Kan. Stat. Ann. § § 21-5503, 21-5505, 21-6602, 21-6611, 21-6804, 21-6806.)

Sex Offender Registry

People in Kansas who are convicted of rape and sexual battery are also required to register as sex offenders every three months. Usually, offenders are required to register for 15 years, although lifetime registration is required for subsequent or very serious offenses. An offender is required to supply local law enforcement officers with personal information such as his or her mailing address and email address, and be photographed.

(Kan. Stat. Ann. § 22-4902 et seq.)

Obtaining Legal Assistance

A criminal conviction for rape or sexual battery can have extremely serious consequences, such as time in prison, a large fine, and sex offender registration. If you are charged with a crime, the best way to ensure that you understand the legal process and can protect your rights is to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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