There are many different charges that fall within the definition of Assault and Battery.
These charges include Domestic Assault and Battery, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, and Indecent Assault and Battery.
According to Massachusetts Law, an Indecent Assault and Battery involves an indecent act that is offensive to society’s standards of decency. An Assault and Battery may be “indecent” if it involves touching portions of the anatomy commonly thought private, such as a person’s genital area or buttocks, or the breasts of a female.
Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person 14 or Older
In order to prove that a person is guilty of an Indecent Assault and Battery on a person 14 years of age or more, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the victim was at least 14 years old
- That the Defendant committed an Assault and Battery (the intentional touching of another person without legal justification or excuse) on the victim,
- That the Assault and Battery was “indecent” as that word is understood by common standards, and
- That the alleged victim did not consent.
With regard to consent, if the state proves that the victim was incapable of giving consent because of alcohol or drugs or mental retardation or did not have the capacity to understand or appreciate what was happening, etc., then it follows that the victim did not consent.
Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person under 14
If the victim is under the age of 14, it is irrelevant whether or not there was consent because a victim under 14 is deemed incapable of consenting. Therefore, the Commonwealth must only prove 3 things beyond a reasonable doubt to prove a person guilty of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Under 14:
- That the victim was under 14,
- That the Defendant committed an Assault and Battery on the victim, and
- That the Assault and Battery was “indecent.
Effects of Indecent Assault and Battery That Echo Throughout Your Life
Unlike a charge of Assault and Battery, in addition to possible prison time, a conviction for Indecent Assault and Battery in Massachusetts also comes with the requirement that you register as a sex offender. Beyond damaging your reputation, this requirement can have catastrophic effects that may change your entire life. Registered sex offenders often have difficulty finding housing, jobs, and even future partners. After all, few people want to be associated with or employ someone with such a reputation. Also, depending on the level of sex offender, the public may have a right to know what you have done or even to have your conviction posted in your neighborhood.
Just because you are charged with an Indecent Assault and Battery does not mean you are guilty.
Perhaps there was a misunderstanding or a witness was confused or maybe you just made a mistake. No matter what the reason, you need the services of a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, who has the experience, know-how and track record to develop a winning strategy, file the necessary motions and represent you at trial if necessary. And, you need those services as soon as possible. You need a Boston criminal lawyer, who will accompany you to the police, keep you informed about the criminal justice system and stand by your side at arraignment and throughout the legal process.