Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 22(b) articulates the definition of and punishments for rape in our Commonwealth. “Rape” is sexual or unnatural intercourse with a person who was compelled to submit against his/her will and by force, or by threat of bodily harm. Rape is a serious felony punishable by up to 20 years in state prison.
Section 22(a) sets forth the following different forms of aggravated rape: rape committed during the commission or attempted commission of specified non-sexual crimes; rape committed by joint enterprise; and rape committed with acts resulting in serious bodily injury. Aggravated rape is punishable by life or any term of years in the state prison.
Forcible Rape of a Child
Forcible rape of a child is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 22A. Forcible rape of a child is sexual or unnatural intercourse with a person under 16 years of age who was compelled to submit against his/her will and by force, or by threat of bodily harm. So, the age element is what makes this crime distinct from rape under section 22(b). This is also different from statutory rape in that statutory rape does not require that force or lack of consent be proven. Forcible rape of a child is punishable by life or any term of years in state prison. There is a 10-year mandatory minimum if a defendant was armed with a firearm at the time of the crime.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 23 makes statutory rape a criminal offense. Statutory rape is sexual or unnatural intercourse with a person under 16 years of age. This is a strict liability crime. There can be a conviction even if the defendant is mistaken as to the age of the victim or if the victim told the defendant that he/she was 16 or older. Again, a prosecutor will not have to prove force or lack of consent.Boston Rape Defense
Rape accusations, like many other sex crimes, result in hard line prosecutions and harsh judgments from other people generally. As such, you should contact an excellent criminal defense lawyer as soon as you think you may be under investigation for rape. Attorney Robert J. Wheeler has been handling rape cases for more than two decades. He has an expertise in the field that few others can match. Call the Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. at (617) 973 5858 or click here to send an e-mail, so that Attorney Wheeler can start building your case.