In Wisconsin, Second-Degree Sexual Assault is a Class C Felony. The maximum penalty is 40 years prison and/or a $100,000.00 fine, if convicted. There are several types of situations that can result in charges of Second Degree Sexual Assault, including: using or threatening to use force to have non-consensual sex; non-consensual sex resulting in injury to the other person’s reproductive organs; having sex with someone who cannot consent because of a serious mental illness/inability to choose consent; having sex with someone who cannot consent due to alcohol or drugged impairment; having sex with an non-consenting, unconscious person; having non-consensual sex with someone while aided by one or more other people; having sex with an older adult patient in an assisted living facility or a patient resident at an inpatient mental health treatment facility; having sex with an individual while acting as their probation/parole/extended supervison agent; and having sex with someone aged 12-15, unless you that person was 15 years old and you were younger than 18 years old or younger, which would be a Class A Misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of nine months jail and/or a $10,000.00 fine if convicted. Many, if not all of the situations listed above apply whether the sex involved intercourse, or intentional sexual contact.
To prove you guilty of Second Degree Sexual Assault, the State generally needs to prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that you had sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another person; (2) that the person did not consent, or was incapable of consenting based on age/mental status/incapacitation, etc. The definition of sexual contact is fact-specific so you will need to consult with an experienced defense attorney to determine whether the alleged behavior amounts to unlawful sexual contact.
There are many potential defenses to Second-Degree Sexual Assault depending on the facts of the case. For example, unfortunately, individuals have been wrongfully accused of sexual assault based on incorrect eyewitness identification problems. That happens more often when the accuser does not know the perpetrator. Additionally, children’s memories are more prone to make mistakes, or reconstruct facts incorrectly, particularly when a parent or interviewer suggests information to them. A recent example of this is a 10 year-old child interviewed by her mother after a man exposed himself in public misremembered what happened to the point that she falsely believed she had been sexually assaulted when she actually had not. As another historical example, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, police officers and prosecutors in the United States investigated hundreds of claims of child sexual abuse as part of an investigation into claims of Satanic Cult behaviors at child daycare centers. The FBI eventually concluded that virtually all of the allegations made by children who claimed to be abused were not credible. It was later confirmed that interview techniques used to interview children resulted in hundreds of individuals being wrongfully accused or convicted of child sexual assault. Another potential defense includes using forensic evidence, including DNA evidence, to prove that the person accused of the crime did not commit the sexual assault. Another potential defense involves using evidence of the accuser’s improper motives and acts demonstrating dishonesty to demonstrate why he or she made the false accusation of sexual assault against the person accused of a crime. Our attorneys have a history of successfully defending these types of cases. We consult with leading forensic scientists, psychologists, and investigators to provide our clients with the best possible defense. Because each defense depends on the specific facts of a case, please contact our law firm to schedule a meeting with an attorney discuss the facts of your case and potential defenses that may apply.