The crime of indecency with a child is an incredibly embarrassing offense to be accused of. Many alleged offenders do not believe there was criminal intent to their actions but face immediate judgment from friends, family, and co-workers.
You need to remember that you are always presumed innocent when you enter any courtroom and it is the prosecutor who has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. People may be charged with indecency with a child as the result of completely accidental and inadvertent forms of sexual contact.
Were you or your loved one recently arrested for an alleged indecency with a child offense in Plano? Do not try to explain your actions to police without a lawyer like Richard C. McConathy by your side.
You will want to make sure your first phone call is to the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Our firm will discuss your rights with you when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Under Texas Penal Code § 21.11(a), a person commits indecency with a child younger than 17 years of age, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex and regardless of whether the alleged offender knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, if they either:
● with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, expose the alleged offender's anus or any part of their genitals, knowing the child is present, or cause the child to expose their anus or any part of the child's genitals; or
● engage in sexual contact with the child or cause the child to engage in sexual contact.
Texas Penal Code § 21.11(c) defines sexual contact as the following acts, when committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
● any touching of any part of the body of a child, including touching through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person; or
● any touching by a person, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child.
It is a third-degree felony if an alleged offender exposes their anus or genitals or causes the child to expose their anus or genitals. Engaging in sexual contact with the child or causing a child to engage in sexual contact is a second-degree felony.
A third-degree felony offense for exposure of anus or genitals is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000. A second-degree felony involving sexual contact is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
It is also important to understand that indecency with a child by contact is a sexually violent offense in Texas. This means that an indecency with a child conviction could result in a requirement to register as a sex offender for life.
Texas Penal Code § 21.11(b-1) establishes that it is an affirmative defense that the alleged offender was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense.
Under Texas Penal Code § 21.11(b), it is an affirmative defense to prosecution for indecency with a child that the alleged offender:
● did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offense;
● was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex; and
● at the time of the offense, was not required to register for life as a sex offender or was not a person who had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section.
Texas Youth Hotline | Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)— Prevention services for youths, parents, siblings, and other family members in need of a caring voice and sympathetic ear are provided by the Texas Youth Hotline. Referral information, guidance on youth-related concerns, and listening are provided by trained volunteers are on call. Text and chat services were added in 2014, but the telephone hotline has been in operation since 1973. Answers to frequently asked questions are also provided on the website.
Evans v. State, 299 S.W.3d 138 (Tex.Crim.App. 2009) — A jury found Timothy K. Evans guilty of both aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child by contact, both crimes involving the same victim and the same date. The jury sentenced Evans to confinement for 60 years foraggravated sexual assault and 20 years for indecency with a child, with the sentences to run concurrently. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas noted that the State agreed that the Court held in Cunningham v. State, 726 S.W.2d 151 (Tex.Crim.App.1987) that indecency with a child is a lesser-included offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child because all of the elements of indecency with a child are included in aggravated sexual assault of a child. Evans’ claimed that his convictions for aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child violated his federal and State constitutional rights to be free from double jeopardy because both convictions were based on the same incident. The court of appeals reversed and rendered a judgment of acquittal on Count II (indecency with a child), while affirming the judgment on Count I (aggravated sexual assault of a child). The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas unanimously affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, concluding that it reached the correct result by holding that indecency with a child is a lesser-included offense of aggravated sexual assault of a child when both offenses are predicated on the same act.
If you or your loved one were arrested for alleged indecency with a child in Plano or a surrounding area of Collin County,you are going to want to be sure that you have skilled legal representation. Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.