Massachusetts Pastor Charged with Rape of a Child: Massachusetts Rape Laws

Massachusetts Pastor Charged with Rape of a Child: Massachusetts Rape Laws

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.

What’s Considered Punishable Offense under Massachusetts Law?

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:

  • The convicted has committed the crime previously
  • The child’s age is less than 12 and the difference between the defendant and the child is at least 5 years
  • The teenager is between 12 years to 16 years old and the difference between the defendant and the child is at least 10 years or more

There is no exception of the law for people that force the other participant to engage in sexual intercourse.

Other Minor Related Rape Laws in Massachusetts

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.

Child Enticement

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

Marriage

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.

Potential Punishments for Rape Cases

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 convict can be sent behind the bars for any amount of time up to life imprisonment.
  • Indecent assaulter can spend 10 years in the prisons.
  • Assault and battery charges can lead the convict to two and a half years to up to ten years of jail period.

Registration in the List of Sex Offenders

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.

Legal Help

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.