continuous sexual assault child

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.

A charge of continuous sexual assault of a child under 14 is the most serious offense a person can be charged with outside of capital murder, which is why you should call us immediately if you have been charged with this offense or if a detective is trying to speak to you.

Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child under 14 carries a punishment range of 25 years to 99 years or life in prison. To prove the assault was continuous, there must be evidence that sexual assault occurred repeatedly for a period of more than 30 days.

Investigations of Continuous Sexual Abuse

Once an outcry has been made, 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 if you are contacted by either that you do not speak to them and contact us immediately instead. 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.

Elements of Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child in Texaswhat you need to know

Texas Penal Code 21.02 lays out the elements for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child. The elements are that:

  1. The accused acted intentionally or knowingly;
  2. During a period of time that is 30 days or more in duration;
  3. The accused committed two or more of the following acts of sexual abuse  (does not have to be the same victim):
    • Indecency with a child by contact with genitals or anus (not breast)
    • Sexual assault
    • Aggravated sex assault
    • Aggravated kidnapping with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually
    • Burglary of habitation with intent to commit a sexual offense
    • Sexual performance of a child;
  4. And at the time of each of these acts alleged victim was younger than 14 years of age.

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.

Punishment Range for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child

This offense is considered to be a super aggravated offense. The punishment range is 25 to 99 years or life in prison. Unlike even regular aggravated offenses, there is no early release for a person who is found guilty to Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child. (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 is punished by life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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.

OffensePunishment RangeStatute of LimitationsSex Offender RegistrationDeferredProbation
Continuous Sexual Assault PC 21.0225-99/LifeNoneLifetimeNo.No.

Collateral Consequences of a Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child Conviction

Although compared to a minimum of 25 years in prison, the collateral consequences of a continuous sexual assault sentence may seem ancillary, understand that this charge carries with it a lifetime registration as a sex offender requirement.

Defenses to Continous Sexual Abuse Allegations

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. We will investigate biases and any reasons to lie, including coaching, recent discipline, transference, and recent 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.

Limitations of Prosecutions for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child

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).

Statute of Limitations for Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child

Pursuant to Penal Code 12.01 is no limitation in Texas on when a continuous sexual assault of a child allegation can be raised.

Contact us

Call us at (817) 203-2220 for a complimentary strategy session. Our team of former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Lawyers are here to help. During this call we will:

  • Discuss the facts of your case;
  • Discuss the legal issues involved, including the direct and collateral consequences of the allegation; and
  • Discuss the defenses that apply to your plan and in general terms discuss our approach to your case.

You can also contact us online:

Why Varghese Summersett

Why do individuals from across the state hire Varghese Summersett PLLC for defense against sexual assault charges?

  • 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 by the problem. 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 intoxication-related 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. You probably got a couple dozen letters in the mail soliciting your business. You’ll never get one from us. Instead, we hope 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. Additionally, DWIs have strict deadlines that could affect your ability to drive. Call us today at (817) 203-2220 or contact us online to find out how you can get started with our firm.

[/mk_custom_list]

Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child or Children

(a)  In this section, “child” has the meaning assigned by Section 22.011(c).

(b)  A person commits an offense if:

(1)  during a period that is 30 or more days in duration, the person commits two or more acts of sexual abuse, regardless of whether the acts of sexual abuse are committed against one or more victims; and

(2)  at the time of the commission of each of the acts of sexual abuse, the actor is 17 years of age or older and the victim is a child younger than 14 years of age.

(c)  For purposes of this section, “act of sexual abuse” means any act that is a violation of one or more of the following penal laws:

(1)  aggravated kidnapping under Section 20.04(a)(4), if the actor committed the offense with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually;

(2)  indecency with a child under Section 21.11(a)(1), if the actor committed the offense in a manner other than by touching, including touching through clothing, the breast of a child;

(3)  sexual assault under Section 22.011;

(4)  aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021;

(5)  burglary under Section 30.02, if the offense is punishable under Subsection (d) of that section and the actor committed the offense with the intent to commit an offense listed in Subdivisions (1)-(4);

(6)  sexual performance by a child under Section 43.25;

(7)  trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(7) or (8); and

(8)  compelling prostitution under Section 43.05(a)(2).

(d)  If a jury is the trier of fact, members of the jury are not required to agree unanimously on which specific acts of sexual abuse were committed by the defendant or the exact date when those acts were committed.  The jury must agree unanimously that the defendant, during a period that is 30 or more days in duration, committed two or more acts of sexual abuse.

(e)  A defendant may not be convicted in the same criminal action of an offense listed under Subsection (c) the victim of which is the same victim as a victim of the offense alleged under Subsection (b) unless the offense listed in Subsection (c):

(1)  is charged in the alternative;

(2)  occurred outside the period in which the offense alleged under Subsection (b) was committed; or

(3)  is considered by the trier of fact to be a lesser included offense of the offense alleged under Subsection (b).

(f)  A defendant may not be charged with more than one count under Subsection (b) if all of the specific acts of sexual abuse that are alleged to have been committed are alleged to have been committed against a single victim.

(g)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor:

(1)  was not more than five years older than:

(A)  the victim of the offense, if the offense is alleged to have been committed against only one victim; or

(B)  the youngest victim of the offense, if the offense is alleged to have been committed against more than one victim;

(2)  did not use duress, force, or a threat against a victim at the time of the commission of any of the acts of sexual abuse alleged as an element of the offense; and

(3)  at the time of the commission of any of the acts of sexual abuse alleged as an element of the offense:

(A)  was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or

(B)  was not a person who under Chapter 62 had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section or an act of sexual abuse as described by Subsection (c).

(h)  An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life, or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 25 years.

Affirmative Defense

There is an affirmative defense to the charge of continuous sexual assault of a child under 17 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.

Penal Code 21.02 (g) provides:

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor:

(1)  was not more than five years older than:

(A)  the victim of the offense, if the offense is alleged to have been committed against only one victim; or

(B)  the youngest victim of the offense, if the offense is alleged to have been committed against more than one victim;

(2)  did not use duress, force, or a threat against a victim at the time of the commission of any of the acts of sexual abuse alleged as an element of the offense; and

(3)  at the time of the commission of any of the acts of sexual abuse alleged as an element of the offense:

(A)  was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or

(B)  was not a person who under Chapter 62 had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section or an act of sexual abuse as described by Subsection (c).

Start typing and press Enter to search

1 Shares
Tweet
Share1
Share
Email
Reddit
Stumble