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Are you facing charges for a sexual crime in Oregon?

If you are facing accusations or charges for committing a sexual offense in Portland or anywhere in Oregon, you should consult a proactive criminal attorney right away. Sexual offenses, and the criminal charges that accompany them, can take many complicated forms. It is in your best interest to have an experienced professional working with you to combat those charges and the social stigma that goes hand in hand with sex crimes. Sex crimes can be particularly damaging to your reputation and are in many cases based on false accusations, misunderstandings and mistakes. There are several reasons for this:

  • The police take accusations of sexual assault and other crimes very seriously because all too often, rapes and sexual assaults are not reported because of fear on the part of the victims.
  • Sex crimes are viewed by society as particularly heinous, especially if a child is involved.
  • In order to prevent further harm or future abuse, the police often make arrests based purely on one person’s allegations. Even if you did nothing wrong, you may be taken into custody out of an abundance of caution. Consequently, you are made to look like a bad person and a criminal even if you’re totally innocent.
  • Many people who want to “get even” or seek revenge on a former spouse, lover or acquaintance take advantage of the system and make false accusations or otherwise lie about how you treated them.

There are many scenarios that could lead to you being charged with a sexual offense and the consequences can be severe. From jail time, to registration as a sex offender and damage to your reputation in the community, sex crimes charges are particularly damaging. Even if you are totally innocent, the stigma from having been arrested or accused of sexual assault can follow you for years. Only an experienced criminal defense lawyer can evaluate your particular circumstances and fight the charges you’re facing.

What does the state of Oregon classify as “sex crimes”?

  • Rape: Like many crimes, the severity of a rape crime is broken into various “degrees”. You may be guilty of rape in the first degree if you have sex with someone by forcing them to do so, or if the person is physically helpless and incapable of consent, or if the person is under 12. A defendant may also be charged with this crime if the victim is less than 16 years old. Second- and third-degree rapes do not require any force. These crimes are usually known as “statutory rape” (see below), but are entirely based on the age of the victim. Rape is always a felony, and punishments include a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for first-degree rape, and a mandatory minimum sentence of more than six  years for second-degree rape .
  • Sodomy: This crime is identical to rape, except that it refers to oral and anal sex, rather than vaginal sex. Sodomy is always a felony.
  • Unlawful Sexual Penetration: This crime is identical to rape and sodomy, only it relates to penetrating the victim’s vagina, anus, or penis with something other than the actor’s penis or mouth. This crime is always a felony.
  • Sexual Abuse: This crime covers sexual contact other than what is covered by rape, sodomy and unlawful sexual penetration,  when performed with people under certain ages, or by forcible compulsion. Similar to rape, there are varying degrees of sexual abuse. The punishment can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony. The factors in these types of cases include: the age of the victim, any difference in age between you and the alleged victim, and whether or not the victim had the ability to consent at the time of the incident. If the victim was a minor, mentally incapacitated or otherwise physically vulnerable, consent will most likely not serve as a valid defense.
  • Statutory rape: In some situations, Oregon considers sex to be rape even if all parties were apparently willing participants. Almost everyone agrees that nobody should have sex with children, and this is reflected in Oregon’s law by the legal idea that people under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to sex. If you are charged with a crime that depends on someone being under 16, it won’t matter if you reasonably believed that the child was actually 16 or older. But if your case depends on someone being under an age other than 16, it would be a valid defense if you reasonably believed the child to be above the specified age.  Additionally, Oregon has a “Romeo & Juliet law” that provides an escape for young couples who just happen to be a bit apart in age. You will have a defense to most sex crimes if you were within three years of age of the alleged victim.
  • Date rape / acquaintance rape: Date rape is not a separate crime from regular rape – it is a non-legal term to describe rapes where the victim and the rapist were familiar or had a dating relationship, rather than rapes that happen between complete strangers. Statistics show that the vast majority of rapes in the U.S. Involve people who are family members, lovers, friends or acquaintances. In any of these scenarios you could face serious consequences for a seemingly innocent act.
  • Sexual corruption of a minor / encouraging child sexual abuse: child pornography and the related crime of online exploitation of a minor can subject you to serious criminal liability. In the vast majority of these cases, the internet or other electronic means are used to transmit or create obscene material portraying children or to set up sexual liaisons with minors. While the crime of exploiting a minor does not necessarily require what we generally think of as pornography, there is overlap between exploitation and pornography and crimes often go hand in hand. Prosecutors will seek harsh punishments for any person who engages in the production or possession of any media that shows children engaging in sexual activity or for those individuals who lure or coerce children into sexual activities using the internet. It is not a valid defense if the person you thought you were chatting with online turns out to be a police officer. If you are accused of a crime relating to child pornography and you did not have reason to know that a person under 18 was involved, you may have a solid defense.
  • Public indecency: this crime is fairly self-explanatory and probably brings to mind stories of “flashers” or others engaged in gratuitous public nudity. For legal purposes, it means having oral, anal or vaginal sex, or exposing your genitals in a sexual way, in a public place. Typically, this crime is treated as a Class A misdemeanor but repeated offenses can result in felony charges.

As my attorney, what will you do for me if I’ve been charged with a sex crime?

At Portland Defender we will provide you with a free case evaluation. We’ll sit down together and discuss exactly what happened, when it happened and any other circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. Does the other side have a motive to lie about what happened? Was there valid consent to the sexual activity? Troy Pickard understands that things of a sexual nature can be sensitive subjects and embarrassing to discuss – but in order to successfully defend you, every fact is important. 

An experienced criminal defense attorney can develop a plan to combat the prosecutor’s allegations and fight the charges against you. Troy Pickard is a defense attorney who has a proven track record of defending individuals charged with crimes and he will proactively pursue your case. 

Mr. Pickard has been practicing in the Portland area for years and he knows how the local prosecutors build their cases. He stays up to date on developments in criminal law and jurisprudence and he knows how to vigorously defend your case.  Crimes involving sexual activity can be embarrassing, stressful and protracted; you owe it to yourself to discuss your case with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. Call today for a free case evaluation! (503) 592-0606

Portland Defender PC

2117 NE Oregon St. Suite 503
Portland, Oregon 97232

Phone: (503) 592-0606

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