Indecent Assault and Battery is one the most serious district court charges that a person in Massachusetts could face.
As you might expect, we can break down Indecent Assault and Battery into “assault and battery” and “indecent.” Assault and battery is the lesser-included offense in this crime. In order to be convicted, the government must prove both parts of the crime individually.
This crime comes in two different forms:
- Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Under 14 Years Old
- Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person More than 14 Years Old
Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, Section 13H, both types of Indecent Assault and Battery are felonies if a person is found guilty or pleads guilty. Additionally, a guilty finding caries a very significant chance of jail time and mandatory sex offender registration
Criminal Defenses for Success in the Courtroom
Like with every other crime, certain things need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to convict someone of Indecent Assault and Battery. For Indecent Assault and Battery this includes:
- The alleged victim was over / under fourteen years old
- The person intended to touch the alleged victim
- The defendant actually touched the alleged victim
- The touching was harmful or offensive
- The touching was indecent
- There was no justification or excuse for the touching
Fortunately, there are criminal defenses to an Indecent Assault and Battery charge. These include:
- Identification. Was the correct person identified? Did the government make a mistake? If the wrong person was identified or the government made a mistake, the defendant must be acquitted.
- Accident. Did the defendant merely bump into the accuser? Was the touching innocent or accidental? Accidental touching requires a not guilty finding.
- False Charge / Fabrication. Was the defendant falsely accused of the crime? Did the accuser have a motive to accuse the defendant? Is the accuser being biased? A false accusation will also result in acquittal.
- Consent. The district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accuser did not consent to the alleged conduct. Did the government meet its burden of proof? Is there enough evidence to show that the accuser did not consent to the conduct? Is there any reason to believe that the touching was okay? If the conduct was consented to (in the case of the over 14 years old version of the crime), the defendant must be found not guilty.
- Indecent. Indecent touching occurs when a reasonable person would to believe that conduct violates social and behavioral expectations in an offensive, immodest, immoral or improper manner. Just because a person touches another, does not mean that the touch was necessarily indecent. A comprehensive review of the background and available information of the defendant and accuser helps determine if the indecent requirement was met.
Contact Attorney Barabino
If you or a loved one are facing an Indecent Assault and Battery charge, take action today and contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer with a track acquittals and dismissals. Contact Attorney William Barabino by calling his Medford office at 781-393-5900 or by completing his online contact form.