Child Sexual Abuse: A Serious Allegation
We want to protect our children from predators. That instinct is hard-wired into our DNA. And child sexual abuse in Oklahoma is one of the most highly emotionally charged legal allegations that can be made against a person.
When a child is abused, adults become rightfully outraged. Tempers flare and sometimes, the wrong person is charged. If that is happening to you, you want to get experienced legal help as soon as possible.
Child Sexual Abuse Laws in Oklahoma
There are a number of Oklahoma laws that deal with child abuse. Some of them overlap. As a result, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, the district attorney has a number of different criminal charges that may be brought against a defendant.
At its core, Oklahoma law prohibits a caretaker or other person from abusing, neglecting, committing any sexual abuse, or exploiting a child. It also prohibits a person from enabling child abuse to occur. This includes child sexual abuse. Enablers and perpetrators are dealt with equally under Oklahoma law. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 843.1
Enabling child abuse is defined as causing, procuring, or permitting a willful or malicious act of harm or threatened harm or the failure to protect a child from harm or the threat of harm. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 843.5
Here is how enabling may play out. The father of a young child sexually abuses his child for a protracted period of time. The mother and wife, afraid of tearing the family apart, knows on some level that it is happening, but chooses to turn a blind eye. In Oklahoma, both the father and the mother could be convicted.
Child sexual abuse is defined as the willful or malicious sexual abuse of a child under the age of 18. This includes, but is not limited to, rape, incest, and lewd or indecent acts or proposals.
All child abuse, including child sexual abuse, is a felony in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The crime is punishable by up to a year in the county jail, a fine between $500 and $5,000, or both. If the child is under 12 years of age, a defendant may face at least 25 years in prison and pay a fine between $500 and $5,000.
Lewd or Indecent Acts or Proposals of a Child Under 16
This is another statute that a defendant may be charged with. In Oklahoma, engaging in any sort of lewd or indecent act with a child is against the law. It is also against the law to make any lewd or indecent proposals to a child. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
Lewd or indecent acts may include touching, mauling, or lasciviously looking upon the private parts of a child, engaging in any sexual activity with a child, and enticing a child to a private place with the intention of doing so. All of these are against the law.
Thus, forcing a child to view any sort of pornography, urinating or defecating on the child, and exposing yourself sexually to a child are all against this law in addition to the above actions.
Lewd proposals include all oral and written communications of a sexual nature or to entice a child into sexual abuse, and includes “sexting.” Physical contact with the child is not required for a conviction. The sexual nature of the exchange is all that is required.
The statute requires that the defendant be at least three years older than the victim.
If you are convicted, penalties are severe and include prison terms from 3 to 20 years if the child is under 16, and at least 25 years if the child is under 12. Subsequent convictions could mean a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.
You could also be convicted of a sexual battery if the child is 16 years or older.
Sex Offender Registration is Required
In Oklahoma, once you are released from prison, you will be required to register with the Oklahoma Sex Crimes Registry. Child sexual abuse is one of the most harshly treated crimes. A conviction of lewd or indecent acts or proposals is a Level 3 sex offense. If you are convicted, you will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Facts and chronology are very important in these cases. Makes sure that you hire an experienced Stillwater criminal defense attorney as soon as possible and certainly before you speak to the police. These can be difficult cases for the prosecutor to prove, so everything that you say and do matters. Your attorney can help you to draft a strong defense.
Free Consultation with a Stillwater OK Attorney
Wirth Law Office – Stillwater is here to help you when you need it the most.
We offer a free consultation with an experienced Stillwater OK attorney to help you defend your legal rights. Don’t try to handle your legal matter by yourself.
Call 405-673-1600 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.