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Indecent Assault & Battery

Indecent assault and battery is divided into two categories by statute in Massachusetts, depending on the age of the alleged victim: indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years old, and indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 or older.  When the victim is under 14 years old, the crime is considered more serious, and consequently carries greater penalties.

For indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older, the prosecutor must prove 4 elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, the prosecutor must prove the alleged victim’s age, specifically that he or she is 14 years old or older.

Second, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant touched the alleged victim without the victim’s permission, or in a manner that was not justifiable.  

Third, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant’s touching was “indecent,” or fundamentally offensive according to accepted standards of decency.  This generally means that the defendant touched the victim’s “private areas,” which include breasts, buttocks, or genital area.  This applies to men and women alike, and the genders of the defendant and alleged victim are irrelevant.  A touching can be considered indecent regardless of whether the victim was clothed or unclothed.

Fourth, the prosecutor must prove that the alleged victim did not consent to the defendant’s touching.  


If the crime charged is indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years old, the prosecutor must prove the first three elements listed above, however the prosecutor does not need to prove that the allege victim did not consent to the touching.  That element is only applicable when the victim is 14 or older.  If the victim is younger than 14, the law deems him or her too young to consent to any sort of touching. 


If you have been charged with indecent assault and battery, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Indecent assault and battery is a felony and carries harsh penalties.  It is not a charge you should face alone, or with an attorney who lacks experience handling sexual assault crimes.  A conviction for indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 or older carries 2.5 years to 5 years in jail for a first-time offender.  However, the minimum can be increased if the victim is disabled or elderly, or if the defendant has prior convictions on his or her record.  Sentences for a conviction for indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years old ranges from 2.5 years to 10 years in prison.  In addition, a convicted individual must register as a sex offender.  Registration as a sex offender can affect job and housing applications, and a defendant’s immigration status in the U.S.  


Indecent Assault & Battery Lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP

Although these are serious charges, there are many strategies your defense attorney can pursue.  The criminal defense attorneys at the law offices of Altman & Altman have decades of experience defending against indecent assault and battery charges.  Call us today for a free and confidential consultation.  We will discuss the details of your case, and fully explain your legal rights and options.  We will challenge the prosecutor’s evidence on every element, investigate your case with the utmost attention to detail, and will negotiate with the prosecutor to seek a reduction in your charges.  Contact us at any time - we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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