Daniel Lopez, a Lynn priest was arrested for sexually assaulting children under the age of 9 years between 2004 and 2008. The defendant appeared in Lynn District Court and he was charged with Indecent Assault & Battery on a child Under 14 and Rape of a Child.
Massachusetts Sex Crime of Rape Laws are strict for child abusers. The law ensures that adults that engage in sexual intercourse with underage (16 years old) people will be punished under statutory rape laws.
Some states of the USA are lenient about statutory rape case as it is consensual activity between an adult and a teenager. These states file a rape case charge only when the intercourse is not consensual and the teenager is forced to take part. But, Massachusetts State Laws term both of these as child rape and the rapist can be charged with stiff penalties. The State’s law determines the rape case according to the victim’s age. The law convicts the adult participant even if the teenager initiates or consents to the sexual activities.
The punishments become severe if:
There is no exception of the law for people that force the other participant to engage in sexual intercourse.
The State’s laws also accuse a person of being a possible child abuser that touches private parts of a child under 14 years of age. It generally falls under the indecent assault and battery law. The defendant is punished more harshly if the accused was previously held on charges of child abusing.
Massachusetts Laws can be severe for a person that invites an underage person to participate in illicit sexual activity. The person can be punished under the State’s law even if nothing sexual happens between the accused and the victim.
Defenses to Rape Charge in Massachusetts
Many states of the USA support the defendant if the child and the defendant are married. But Massachusetts law doesn’t hold marriage as a defense mechanism.
‘Romeo and Juliet’ Exception
Many USA states don’t convict the lovers under the rape charge if both participants are teenagers or close to their own age. However, Massachusetts Rape Laws aren’t favorable for teenage lovers and underage children can face rape charges for engaging in sexual intercourse with their peers. Adult defendants will be charged with aggravated rape charges for engaging in sexual activities with underage children.
Child’s Age Confusion
Under the Massachusetts Rape Laws, a defendant can’t escape conviction even if the child has a driving license that says the victim is 17 years old but in reality, the child is 15 years old.
In Massachusetts, judges have the freedom of imposing shorter punishment sentence although there’s a maximum punishment period fixed by the state’s laws.
The state’s rape laws are so strict that if a person is convicted in rape case, then the accused has to register as a sex offender. Local police collect their information periodically along with the personal information, such as name, address, photograph.
If a rape case is charged against you for engaging in consensual intercourse with an underage person, you must contact an experienced MA criminal defense lawyer. To avoid the lasting consequences of a rape conviction, you should work with Amit Singh, a Massachusetts criminal defense Attorney of Singh Law 4U. He can help you to defend yourself and protect your rights.