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Indecent Assault & Battery (Age 14 or over)

The crime of indecent assault and battery on a child fourteen years of age or older is governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13H.  In order for an individual to be convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child fourteen years of age or older, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
  • The individual assaulted the victim
  • The assault was indecent
  • The victim was at least 14 years of age at the time of the incident
The term indecent has not been specifically defined by the legislature, but the courts have come up with a broad definition.  The courts state that indecency is defined by contemporary moral values and common understanding and practices.  Basically, this means than an indecent assault and battery is any type of assault that you would think is offensive or immoral. Although this is broad, indecency usually applies to sex crimes.

Examples of indecent assault and battery include the touching of a victim’s private parts, either clothed or unclothed.  It also applies to other body parts that society would believe are inappropriate to touch without consent. One case even holds that, in certain circumstances, inserting your tongue into another’s mouth is indecent assault and battery.

Punishment

An individual who commits the crime of indecent assault and battery on a child who is 14 years of age or older can be punished by up to 5 years in the state prison or up to 2.5 years in a jail or house of correction.

If the individual knew that the victim was mentally retarded, the punishment is increased to a mandatory minimum of 5 years with the possibility of up to 10 years in the state prison. If the individual committed indecent assault and battery on a mentally retarded victim for a second time, the punishment is increased again to a mandatory minimum of 10 years in state prison.

If the indecent assault and battery is committed against a person with a disability or if the victim is elderly, the individual can be punished by up to 10 years in the state prison or up to 2.5 years in the house of correction.  A second act of indecent assault and battery on a person with a disability or an elderly victim can result in a sentence of up to 20 years in the state prison.

If you or a loved one has been charged with an indecent assault & battery crime on a child aged 14 or older or are being investigated for that crime, call Altman & Altman for a free, confidential consultation at 617.492.3000. Our defense attorneys are ready to provide you immediate counsel.

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