Stillwater, Oklahoma has a number of laws on the books to protect children from lewd molestation and child sexual abuse. In some ways, they overlap, allowing prosecutors a great deal of freedom in deciding how to charge a defendant accused of lewd molestation of a minor in Oklahoma.
Children are our future. We must protect them from these crimes. However, when a child has been harmed, often a person can be wrongly accused in an effort to find the perpetrator quickly. Here are some things about this crime that you may want to know.
Defining Lewd Molestation Of A Minor In Oklahoma
Under this statute, Oklahoma law punishes both lewd proposals to a minor under the age of 16 and all lewd or indecent acts perpetrated against that minor.
Oklahoma law defines lewd or indecent acts or proposals to a child under 16 as knowingly and intentionally engaging in any sort of lewd or indecent act with a child or making any sort of lewd or indecent proposal to a child under the age of 16, or reasonably believed to be under the age of 16. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
This statute prohibits both lewd propositions such as “sexting” and engaging in indecent or lewd acts. These lewd or indecent acts which may include sexual touching of any sort. This includes sexual acts with a child such as fondling, masturbation, sexual bondage, sexual urination, and defecation.
The law includes any sort of sexual penetration or sexual intercourse. It even includes leering, lasciviously looking upon the private parts of a child, or sexually exposing oneself to or “flashing” a child.
The statute requires that the defendant be at least three years older than the victim.
Because Oklahoma is serious about protecting its children, punishment under this statute is severe. Therefore, the crime is a felony in Stillwater.
If the child is under 16, the prison term upon conviction is 3 to 20 years. If the child is under 12, the minimum sentence is 25 years in prison. A subsequent conviction could mean a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.
Child Sexual Abuse
Oklahoma law prohibits a caretaker or other person from abusing, neglecting, committing any sexual abuse, or exploiting a child in their care. Okla. Stat. 21 § 843.1
Under Oklahoma law, any person who willfully or maliciously engages in child abuse, including child sexual abuse, may be convicted of a crime punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine between $500 and $5,000, or both. Okla. Stat. 21 § 843.5
Child sexual abuse is defined as willful or malicious sexual abuse. It is the willful and malicious touching or other sexual act or activity with a minor and includes — but is not limited to — rape, incest, and lewd and indecent acts or proposals to or with a child.
If the child involved is under 12 years of age, a defendant could face at least 25 years in prison in addition to paying a fine. Enabling a child’s sexual abuse is treated as harshly under the law as the direct abuse of a child.
There are defenses that may be available to you. Many of these defenses are based on age or the mistaken belief that the child was in fact, older than their age. If you were mistaken and your belief was reasonable under the circumstances, you may have a defense.
A conviction under this statute also requires that the perpetrator act in a willful or malicious way. Any facts in your case that undermine the required intent will be helpful. Bring your case to an experienced Stillwater criminal lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you build 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.
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