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What Is Child Sex Abuse?


There are a lot of terms that describe crimes against children. For example, there is child abuse, child pornography, sexual assault, and rape. There’s also a term called child sex abuse. What exactly does that entail?

It can actually include any of the above. Child sex abuse can occur between an adult and a child or between two children. In these cases, the child is used as sexual stimulation for the perpetrator or an observer. It can include actions that do or do not involve touching. Non-touching behaviors may include exhibitionism, voyeurism, or forcing a child to view pornography.

Child sex abuse can encompass various criminal charges, including rape, sodomy, attempted sexual abuse, child pornography, human trafficking, solicitation of a minor, abduction, or child kidnapping. Boys and girls can be victims; child sex abuse does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, or economic status. 

What Are the Penalties?

In Maryland, child sex abuse charges are very serious and come with severe penalties. On top of prison time and fines, any conviction requires registration as a sex offender for 15 years to life.

The laws are very strict and penalties are primarily based on the ages of the victim and the offender. The younger the victim, the more serious the crime. When the victim is 14 or 15 years old, for example, and the offender is four or more years older, it is considered a fourth-degree misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison.

Any type of unwanted sexual contact, along with threats or weapons, is considered a third-degree felony. The punishment is 10 years in prison. When the victim is under the age of 13 and the offender is at least 18 years old, child sex abuse becomes a life felony. This means the offender may face life in prison. When a child is kidnapped or raped, it is also a life felony. However, the main difference is that there is no possibility of parole.

No matter what type of child sex abuse you are charged with, you can expect a lot of public outcry. When children are at risk, it becomes a major issue in the community. Therefore, you can expect damage to your reputation. Your job, relationships, and legal rights are at stake. Make sure you seek aggressive legal representation so you can properly protect yourself.

Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Children should not be abused in any way. Not only is it immoral, but the law prohibits it. Those who break the law can potentially face life in prison.

Child sex abuse charges can ruin your reputation. Don’t handle these charges on your own. Seek legal help from the Columbia child sex abuse lawyer at The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. Schedule a free consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.


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