Many people are familiar with the term sexual assault, but for most, it specifically refers to instances of forced penetration. Some people have difficulties differentiating between rape and sexual assault, with many failing to recognize the wide scope that encompasses what sexual assault truly is. The truth is that sexual assault does occur when one individual engages in unwanted sexual penetration of another individual, but this is far from the only instance.

Sexual assault occurs any time a person engages in unwanted physical sexual advances against another person. This is not limited only to penetration, but can also include behaviors such as groping of sexual areas. It is important to note, however, that sexual assault is not an instance of sexual vulgarity directed toward another individual. If, for example, you expose your genitals to another person against their will, you may be charged with indecent exposure, but you need not worry about sexual assault.

Unfortunately, because sexual assault can entail such a wide variety of different acts, it is not uncommon for certain gestures or accidents to be considered sexual assault by others. Because many sexual assault cases are difficult to provide hard evidence for, it often becomes a case of one person’s word against another’s. This is especially true if nobody was around to witness the alleged assault.

This is why it is recommended that you meet with an attorney, even if you are completely sure that no instance of sexual assault occurred and that your innocence is obvious for all to see. The penalties for a sexual assault conviction in Louisiana are too serious to risk, and in many instances you will be hard pressed to defend yourself with concrete evidence. Consulting with an attorney can help you establish a timeline of events or an alibi to prove your innocence.