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Prison and fines possible for misdemeanor sexual battery

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2022 | Sex Offenses |

The laws in Louisiana take sexual contact without consent quite seriously. A charge of misdemeanor sexual battery places you at risk of incarceration and financial penalties. Although a conviction comes with consequences, you would not be labeled a sex offender or required to register as one.

Legal definition of the offense

The state legislature has established that intentional touching of someone’s breasts or buttocks without consent results in the offense of misdemeanor sexual battery. This contact may occur with your hand, any part of your body or by any other means, such as using an object. Contact may be direct or through clothing.

A conviction could result in a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for a maximum of six months. If charged with this offense, you have a strong interest in understanding your legal position and exploring defense options, if available. As a sex crime, this misdemeanor will not ever qualify for expungement.

Example of the offense

People charged with this offense may not realize that they are crossing boundaries into criminal behavior due to the small amount of contact necessary to trigger the criminal charge. An incident at Tulane University resulted in the arrest of a 24-year-old man. He approached a student on the campus and walked beside the person uninvited. After claiming to see an insect on the student’s buttocks, the man allegedly slapped the insect.

The student reported the unwanted touching to local police. Upon investigation, university authorities confirmed that the contact took place after examining surveillance video recorded in the vicinity of the university’s Berger Family Lawn. When he was arrested, authorities noted that he was already out on bond for a weapons offense. The parish’s Magistrate Commissioner ordered the defendant to stay away from university grounds.