A charge of continuous sexual assault of a child under 14 is the most serious offense an individual can be charged with outside of capital murder. Let that sink in for a minute. Other than capital murder – which is punishable by the death penalty – this is the most severe criminal charge in the state of Texas. That’s why it is absolutely imperative to call our firm today and speak to a Fort Worth child sex crimes attorney if a detective is trying to speak with you or if an allegation has been made.
What is Continuous Sexual Assault Child in Texas?
In the simplest terms, Continuous Sexual Assault Child is an allegation that a person sexually assaulted a child or children under the age of 14 and at least two of the acts took place at least 30 days apart.
What is the Punishment for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child?
This crime is considered to be a super aggravated offense. Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child under 14 carries a punishment range from 25 years to 99 years or life in prison without the possibility for parole. That means if a defendant is convicted of continuous sexual assault of a child under 14, the punishment starts at 25 years and goes up from there – and there is no early release from prison.
Generally, for aggravated offenses, a person is eligible for parole in half time, and for non-aggravated offenses, a person is eligible for parole in quarter time. A second conviction of continuous sexual assault of a child is punished by life in prison without the possibility of parole.
For more information, please reference Penal Code § 21.02.
What You’re Facing with Continuous Sexual Assault and Why You Need the Best Defense
How are Allegations of Continuous Sexual Abuse Investigated?
Once an outcry has been made, Child Protective Services (CPS) is likely the first agency that is going to reach out to you, although occasionally first contact is made by a detective. It is imperative that you do not speak to either of them and contact an experienced Fort Worth Continuous Sexual Abuse attorney immediately. Even if you are innocent of the charges against you, nothing good is going to come out of your conversation with CPS or law enforcement. You also need to talk to us about what your lack of cooperation will mean in regards to your own kids and your day to day life.
If you are reading this article after you have already talked to an agent, contact us to discuss the road ahead, what to expect, and the possible outcomes of your case. We will also help you prepare for the arrest, arraignment, and bond process.
What are the Elements of Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child in Texas?
Texas Penal Code 21.02 lays out the elements for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child. It’s important to point out that jurors do not have to agree that the same acts of sexual abuse occurred. The jury must unanimously agree that at least any two acts of sexual abuse alleged in the indictment occurred. The State can also allege the abuse involved different victims.
Again, a jury deliberating on this offense does not need to agree on:
- the specific acts that make up the two offenses more than 30 days apart; or
- if more than one victim is alleged that both victims were abused, so long as the elements of the offense are met;
- the specific acts that constituted sexual assault.
It is worth noting that probation is not an option because the minimum sentence is 25 years and only sentences of 10 years or less may be probated. Statutorily, deferred adjudication is also not available for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child in Texas. More specifically, pursuant to Texas Penal Code Ann. § 21.02(h), the minimum punishment for continuous sexual abuse of a child is 25 years. Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42.12, § 4(d)(1), a defendant is not eligible for jury recommended community supervision if the defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment that exceeds 10 years.
Do You Have to Register as a Sex Offender for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child?
Compared to a minimum of 25 years in prison, the collateral consequences of a continuous sexual assault of a child sentence may seem ancillary, but it’s important to understand that this charge also requires the defendant to register as a sex offender for life.
Possible Defenses to Allegations of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Fort Worth
There are a number of defenses to Continuous Sexual Abuse charges. First and foremost, attacking the credibility of the allegations. This includes the outcry statement and statements obtained by CPS or police investigators. Our team of attorneys are former prosecutors with expertise in these cases. We will investigate biases and any reasons to lie, including coaching, recent discipline, transference, and issues with the other parent, including divorce proceedings. Our attorneys have handled a large number of these cases, both in pre-trial and trial settings. Call today to find out how we can help.
Affirmative Defenses in Fort Worth to Continuous Sexual Assault of a Minor under 14
There is an affirmative defense to the charge of continuous sexual assault of a child under 14 in Texas. An affirmative defense is a defense that acknowledges the elements of the underlying offense but provides a means to avoid punishment. 21.02 (g) sets out the affirmative defense if the defendant and the alleged victim were not more than five years apart, no force or duress was used, and the defendant was not a sex offender.
Limitations of Prosecutions
Penal Code Section 21.02 went into effect on September 1, 2007, and only offenses that took place after that date can be prosecuted under this section. See Flores v. State, 13-12-00606-CR (Tex. App. Apr. 17, 2014).
Is there a Statute of Limitations for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child in Fort Worth?
Pursuant to Penal Code 12.01, there is no limitation in Texas on when a continuous sexual assault of a child allegation can be raised.
Call an Attorney for Help Defending Against Charges of Continuous Sexual Assault of a Minor in Fort Worth
Why do individuals hire Varghese Summersett PLLC for defense against charges of continuous sexual assault of a minor in Fort Worth?
- Individualized Attention: We understand that clients who hire us are coming to us with the biggest problems in their lives, and we treat their problems with the care and attention warranted. We seek out the best outcomes by over-preparing, finding weaknesses in the State’s case, through careful negotiations and, when necessary, trial.
- Exceptional Experience: We’ve handled hundreds of sex crime charges. All of our partners are former prosecutors. We not only know the State’s playbook, in many cases we helped write it. We have over half a century of experience handling criminal cases, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.
- Proven Results: We know you have a lot of options to chose from. We have more five-star reviews than any other defense firm in North Texas. Our results and reviews speak for themselves. Recent Results.
- Time is of the Essence: As former prosecutors, we know the best results go to the most proactive attorneys. Call us today or contact us online to find out how you can get started with our firm.