Sex Offenses and Sex Offender Registration

What Constitutes A Sex Offense in Massachusetts

While the term ‘sex offense’ is enough to make most people immediately feel anger and disgust, Massachusetts law has numerous individual laws that define many different types of sex offenses and detail the different punishments that they may receive. There are numerous specific crimes that end up being classified as sex offenses, and determining what may constitute one is important.

There are two main types of sex offenses in Massachusetts law – forcible offenses and non-forcible offenses. Each of these is different in obvious ways, but still lead to serious penalties under state law.

Forcible sex offenses are the most heinous and the most heavily punished. These sex offenses include things like forcible rape, sodomy, sexual assault, and more. Essentially, it is defined as a type of crime that involves forcible sexual intercourse with any person. It doesn’t matter if the victim and the suspect are married, are dating, or are complete strangers. It also doesn’t matter what type of sexual activity is conducted – any type of sexual contact that involves penetration or sexual gratification that is unwanted and forced upon a victim is considered to be forcible sexual assault. Under this definition, numbers specific charges may be filed including sodomy, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and more.

Non-Forcible sex offenses are those that often involve sexual conduct between a suspect and someone who is unable to give consent. This includes sex acts that involve mentally disabled victims, underage victims, and children. Statutory rape falls under this definition, as do most child abuse cases although these may also be considered forcible cases as well. In nearly all cases, even if consent is given by the victim the state of Massachusetts will still consider sexual relations with a person under the age of 18 to be a sexual offense.

In short, any type of crime that involves the exploitation of another person against their will, the assault and forced sexual relations with a person against their will, or any other situations related to sexual activity may be considered to be a crime. It’s important to note that the specifics of each situation will have a large impact on what type of charges will be filed against a person and what type of punishment they may receive. In many instances multiple charges could be filed.

It’s also important to understand that in many situations, particularly those involving children, the internet, or kidnapping, federal charges are likely to be filed as well. In these cases federal prosecutors will work to gain longer sentences and in some cases state as well as federal punishments will be applied.

Any type of sex offense also usually requires the guilty party to register as a sex offender in the sex offender registry. This is a condition of release and the number of years one will be included on this list may vary greatly and could even be for life.

Sex offenses are among the most serious crimes one can be charged with, and there are numerous specific types of charges one may face. Each one is different, but will involve the points listed above.