One of the most serious crimes that a person can commit or be accused of committing in Massachusetts is rape. As a violent crime, rape convictions can carry lengthy prison sentences as well as lifetime registration on the state’s sex offender registry. If you’ve been accused of rape, it’s important that you fully understand the charges that have been filed against you and to consider hiring legal representation to guide you through the process and represent you in court if your case goes to trial.What must be proven to charge and try someone with rape
In order to convict someone of rape, prosecutors must meet the highest burden of proof in order to show that a defendant committed the crime. In the legal system, this is known as providing enough evidence to prove that the individual committed the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.” To meet this burden of proof for a jury to vote to convict a defendant, the prosecutors must prove both of the following:
- Any object penetrated any of the victim’s orifices
- Force or threat of force was used with the victim
- Victim does not provide consent.*
*Consent can only be given by individuals who are 16 years of age or older. In the event that a minor is involved in a sex related crime, it is considered Statutory Rape.Punishment
Punishments for rape related crimes vary but are serious. First time rape offenses are punishable by up to 20 years in prison as well as lifetime registration as a sex offender. If a weapon was used in the course of a rape, such as a gun, then you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. A second or subsequent offense can mean a life sentence.
For over four decades, the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP has been providing outstanding criminal defense legal representation to clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our attorneys will stand by your side throughout the entire process and will fully explain your legal rights in order to help you navigate your case.
If you have been charged with rape or another sex crime crime in Massachusetts, call the criminal defense attorneys of Altman & Altman at 617.492.3000, toll free at 800.481.6199, or online for a free, confidential consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.