Sexual Assault: Texas Penal Code

By: Hugo Sanchez *

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and in recognition of it, SLMS will blog on this topic.

Sexual assault is, according to some reports underreported. If sexual assault happens to you, call the police immediately so they can investigate and collect evidence.

Texas-Bankruptcy-LawsIn Texas, sexual assault is defined in Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code when a person intentionally or knowingly:

  • Causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;
  • Causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent;
  • Causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
  • Causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
  • Causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;
  • Causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
  • Causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
  • Causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;

Sexual assault is a second degree felony with the punishment ranging 2-20 years in prison and the possibility of a fine not exceeding $10,000. It is a first degree felony, with punishment ranging from 5-99 years in prison and the possibility of a fine not exceeding $10,000, if the victim was a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.

Texas also defines Aggravated Sexual Assault as sexual assault with the following conditions:

  • Causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode;
  • By acts or words places the victim in fear that any person will become the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02 (trafficking of persons) or that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person;
  • By acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim threatens to cause any person to become the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02 (trafficking of persons) or to cause the death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person;
  • Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode;
  • Acts in concert with another who engages in conduct described by Subdivision (1) (the act of sexual assault) directed toward the same victim and occurring during the course of the same criminal episode;
  • Administers or provides flunitrazepam (roofies), otherwise known as rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate, or ketamine to the victim of the offense with the intent of facilitating the commission of the offense;
  • The victim is younger than 14 years of age; or
  • The victim is an elderly individual or a disabled individual;

Aggravated Sexual Assault is a first degree felony  with punishment ranging from 5-99 years in prison and the possibility of a fine not exceeding $10,000.

If you or anyone you know can has been the survivor of such an attack, call the police immediately. If you have any questions about sexual assault, contact Student Legal & Mediation Services at (936) 294-1717 or e-mail at slms@shsu.edu to schedule an appointment with our attorney.

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