One of the most notorious and discussed news stories about sexual violence on a college campus in recent years is that of Brock Turner, a Stanford University student who was charged with sexual assault in 2016. Though Turner was convicted, he only ended up receiving a sentence of six months in jail, and he only actually served three of those months. This case sparked a great deal of conversation about how sexual assault charges are handled and the potential punishments that college students and others may face in these situations.
Connecticut Laws on Sexual Assault
There are several different degrees of sexual assault that a person can be charged with in Connecticut, and they all carry different consequences. Sexual assault charges in Connecticut are as follows:
- First-Degree Sexual Assault: This occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse with another person by using force or the threat of force. This is a Class B felony, meaning there is a possible sentence of at least 10 years in prison. A prison sentence can be suspended, but the perpetrator must serve at least two years.
- Aggravated First-Degree Sexual Assault: This occurs when a person commits first-degree sexual assault and uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, intends to hurt the victim, displays indifference to human life, or is aided by two or more people. This is a Class B felony, which means the person will be sentenced to at least 10 years in prison. A prison sentence can be suspended or reduced, but the perpetrator must serve at least five years.
- Second-Degree Sexual Assault: This encompasses a range of different offenses, but one of the most common ways a college student may commit second-degree sexual assault is by engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is helpless or cannot consent to the intercourse. This is a Class C felony and can result in a sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison. At least nine months of the sentence cannot be suspended or reduced.
- Third-Degree Sexual Assault: This occurs when a person engages in sexual contact (rather than sexual intercourse) with another person through the use of force. This is a Class D felony and can result in one to five years in prison.
- Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault: This occurs when a person commits sexual contact with a person who is helpless or cannot consent to the contact. This can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge, which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.
Jail time is not the only consequence that comes with a sexual assault conviction or accusation. A person convicted of these charges will also face hefty fines that can range up to $20,000. College students also have other things they should be worried about if they are accused of sexual assault. Many college campuses have adopted zero tolerance policies for sexual violence. A conviction or accusation can result in suspension or expulsion from one’s school, a loss of a scholarship, or other consequences. A sexual assault conviction will also jeopardize a person’s ability to receive student loans and other financial aid, and it can hurt one’s chances of finding a job after college.
Get in Touch With a Connecticut Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with sexual assault while at college, you need a skilled and aggressive Hartford, CT criminal defense attorney to represent you. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can help you make sure these charges will not affect you for the rest of your life. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.