Delaware takes sexual offenses very seriously, and those found guilty of specific sexual crimes may receive harsh prison sentences. In Delaware, the following sexual crimes are punishable by lengthy prison terms:
1. Rape in the first degree
Non-consensual sexual contact with another individual while employing or threatening force is illegal. The offender might receive a sentence of 15 years to life in prison if found guilty—Delaware Code Title 11. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 773 provides that rape is when the act is carried out without the victim’s knowledge while the perpetrator is committing the crime, fleeing from it, or attempting to stop it from being reported, and it results in the victim’s substantial physical or emotional harm.
It can also be when the act is carried out against the victim’s will, and it was made possible by or took place during the commission (or attempted commission) of any felony or one of the misdemeanors named in section 773.
2. Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual activity that involves physical force, threats, or compulsion. A prison sentence of 0 to 25 years may be imposed, depending on the seriousness of the offense.
3. Continuous sexual abuse of a child
It is illegal to repeatedly perform sexual actions on a child, which is known as continuous sexual abuse of a child. It may result in a sentence of life imprisonment.
4. Child sexual abuse
Any sexual act or behavior involving a child under 18 is considered child sexual abuse. Depending on the victim’s age and the seriousness of the offense, it may result in a jail sentence of up to 25 years.
5. Unlawful sexual contact
Any non-consensual sexual touching or fondling of another person’s private areas is considered unlawful sexual contact. Depending on the offense’s seriousness, a prison sentence of 0 to 25 years may be imposed.
Finally, it is significant to understand that Delaware treats sexual offenses seriously, and harsh punishments may be imposed. A sexual offender who is found guilty may face lifelong sex offender registration requirements in addition to jail time, which can impact their personal and professional lives. Therefore, if you are accused of any of the sexual offenses in Delaware, you must seek legal counsel and representation.