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What is the Difference Between Gross Sexual Assault and Unlawful Sexual Touching?

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Sometimes the terms “unlawful sexual touching,” “gross sexual assault,” how we define those can be confusing and the law can be confusing. So, what is the difference between a gross sexual and unlawful sexual touching. Well, a gross sexual assault involves a sexual act. Often times, but not always, it involves some type of physical penetration.

Unlawful sexual touching will always be a misdemeanor. It can involve a person over the age of eighteen. It can involve a person under the age of fourteen. It could involve a situation where the “victim” is unconscious or rendered physically incapable of resisting due to drugs or alcohol intoxication, but it’s due to touching, which means there is no sexual act. It may involve the breast, it may involve the sexual organs, but it doesn’t involve some type of sexual act.

So, touching is very different than a sexual act, and that is really the defining difference between that class A felony and that class D misdemeanor.


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