Maryland Sex Crimes - Rape Accusations

Maryland Sex Crimes - Rape Accusations

When basketball star Kobe Bryant recently received an Oscar for a short, animated film, the award brought up memories of the 2003 accusations of rape and sexual assault brought against him by a Colorado hotel employee.

Maryland takes sex crimes seriously, one of the worst sex crimes of which to be accused is rape. Rape is characterized as a violent offense in the same category as murder, robbery, carjacking and kidnapping. Rape involves non-consensual vaginal intercourse.

There are two degrees or levels to rape, depending on the sex act.

First degree rape is sexual intercourse with another without their consent. It involves the use of force or weapons, strangling, serious injury, death threats, kidnapping, being committed with another’s help or during a burglary.

Second degree rape is engaging in vaginal intercourse with another without consent by force or threat, with a mentally or physically incapacitated person such as when a person is drunk or high or unconscious when the defendant knows of his or her condition, with a victim under the age 14 years old and the defendant is at least four years older than the victim.

Penalties

Life imprisonment is the maximum sentence for first degree rape. For second degree rape charges in Maryland, the maximum penalty is 20 years in prison.

Conviction of any of these sex crimes will require you to register as a sex offender in Maryland from 15 years to lifetime registration, depending on the crime.

Date Rape

One of the recent trends in rape case accusations stems from “date rape.” Date rape or acquaintance rape occurs when two people are socially involved and there are allegations of rape. Maryland does not have specific date rape charges. It is either a rape case or a sexual offense case, depending on the circumstances. Whether the parties knew each other is a possible mitigating factor at sentencing, but otherwise date rape will be charged and sentenced the same as a standard rape case.

Recent Changes in Maryland Rape and Sexual Assault Laws

There are several changes to Maryland’s rape and sexual assault laws that when into effect on Oct. 1, 2017. Maryland law now explicitly states that a victim of a sex assault does not have to physically resist for the attack to be prosecuted as a crime. Another law that went into effect says that coerced oral or anal sex is as much a rape as forced intercourse. A third recently enacted law sets a statewide standard for law enforcement to preserve “rape kits,” ending a policy under which some jurisdictions discarded them after a few months. And evidence of sexual assault will have to be kept for 20 years.

If you are charged with a sex crime in Maryland, you should talk to a Maryland criminal defense attorney. A Baltimore sex crimes lawyer can get the charges reduced or work out a plea bargain, among other defense options. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick have experience handling these cases. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.934.3007 or via our website for a free consultation.