The term "rape" conjures images of violent sexual assault. In the case of first degree rape, which is forcible rape or sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 14, violence, threats, coercion, and manipulation are certainly key factors. However, there are many people living as registered Oklahoma sex offenders who do not fit the stereotypical image of a rapist. Though they are, in fact, convicted rapists, their crimes are often much less severe than forcible rape. Often, they are criminally charged with a serious sex crime even though they may have been involved in a sexual relationship they thought was consensual.
Second degree rape, often described as statutory rape, is a felony offense, and while associated prison sentences are lighter than those levied for first degree rape, there is no distinction between the two on the state sex offender registry risk level assessment. Both first degree rape and second degree rape are considered Level 3 sex offenses, requiring anyone convicted to register as a sex offender every 90 days for the rest of their lives.
Being found guilty of statutory rape means that you will be branded as a sex offender for life, and will face all associated penalties and restrictions. You will not be able to take your children to school or attend school functions. You cannot go to the park. You may lose professional licensure, and you will not be able to find employment in certain careers. You even have to get written permission to attend church services.
Clearly, the implications are severe, and anyone accused of second degree rape needs immediate legal representation. Do not try to talk to your accuser or alleged victim. Do not talk to police to try to "clear things up." Invoke your 5th amendment right to remain silent, and insist on having your attorney present during questioning. Then call an experienced defense lawyer with an established successful record of sex crime defense.
Oklahoma law defines specific actions that constitute rape in 21 O.S. § 1111. These acts include sexual intercourse involving vaginal or anal penetration which:
First degree rape includes forcible rape, rape where the victim is under the age of 14, where the victim is unconscious or drugged, where the victim is unable to provide legal consent due to mental illness or incapacity, and rape by instrumentation resulting in great bodily harm. All other types of rape as defined in 21 O.S. § 1111 are considered second degree rape, or statutory rape. Typically, second degree rape involves seemingly consensual sex with someone who is legally unable to consent to the act due to age, custodial status, or student status.
While people often think of statutory rape as sex with an underage teen, even adults can be considered victims of statutory rape. For example, an 19-year-old student—three years above the legal age of consent—may not consent to sex with an employee of the same school district or system, even if that employee is not in a position of authority over the student, and even if the employee works at a different school than the "victim" attends. Likewise, adult jail or prison inmates cannot legally consent to sex with an employee of the Department of Corrections or other supervisory or custodial agency.
Penalties for second degree rape are severe. It is a felony sex offense punishable by 1 to 15 years in state prison, and upon release, anyone convicted of second degree rape must register as a Level 3 sex offender for life. Even if your "victim" is an adult, you will face the same restrictions as a child rapist or a violent rapist. It is imperative that you retain legal counsel immediately to preserve your rights and maximize your defense.
When you need a criminal defense lawyer, rely on an attorney who has the skill, expertise, and tenacity to fight for you in court and the record of success to back up his reputation. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer who can zealously fight your legal battle, call (405) 418-8888 or submit our confidential online case review form to get started.