States typically accomplished this in one of three ways: by removing the specific exemption for spousal assaults that existed in many sexual assault laws, by removing marriage as a defense to the sexual assault charge, or by creating a separate law prohibiting sexual assault on a spouse.The federal statute outlawing sexual assault tracks the general principles of sexual assault discussed above and prohibits any sexual act that occurs as a result of the actor threatening or placing the victim in fear.
Most states have made sexual assault the umbrella term for other crimes, such as rape and unwanted sexual contact.
Some states distinguish between crimes involving penetration and crimes involving coerced or involuntary touching, making the former an aggravated or first-degree sexual assault and the latter a lower-level sexual assault.
Spousal Sexual Assault and Federal Law Most states have also extended sexual assault laws to cover spousal sexual assault.
Sexual Assault: Definition Specific laws vary by state, but sexual assault generally refers to any crime in which the offender subjects the victim to sexual touching that is unwanted and offensive.
These crimes can range from sexual groping or assault/battery, to attempted rape.
All states prohibit sexual assault, but the exact definitions of the crimes that fall within the category of sexual assault differ from state to state.
The laws share some basic elements, but the structures, wording and scope of sexual assault offenses vary considerably, so always check your local statutes for specific questions.
Proving Sexual Assault Charges In general, sexual assault is involuntary sexual contact that occurs through the actor's use of force, coercion or the victim's incapacitation.
The law will consider the victim incapacitated if he or she did not have the mental ability to understand the nature of the sexual acts, or if the victim was physically incapable of indicating their unwillingness to participate in the sexual conduct.