Child Sexual Abuse

Child sex abuse offenses in Dallas can involve any number of acts that may be considered harmful to the child, such as intercourse, sodomy, fondling, touching, sexual contact, penetration, lewd or lascivious exposure or behavior, child pornography, and child prostitution.

Child Sexual Abuse

According to Chapter 261 of the Texas Family Code, child sexual abuse is commonly defined as:

  • Any sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, physical or emotional welfare;
  • Any failure to reasonable make an effort to prevent sexual conduct with a child; and/or
  • Encouraging or compelling the child to engage in sexual conduct.

If you have been accused of child sexual abuse in the Denton County area, you could face serious penalties and repercussions, such as:

  • A criminal record,
  • An inability to be accepted into certain education programs,
  • Inability to apply for certain jobs, profession or occupations,
  • Ineligibility to own or possess a firearm,
  • Ineligibility to receive certain types of governmental aid or assistance,
  • Jail or prison sentences,
  • Public embarrassment or damage to reputation,
  • Requirements to register as a sex offender, and/or
  • Steep fines.

Denton, TX Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer

If you were arrested for an alleged child sexual abuse offense in Lewisville, Denton, Flower Mound, or a surrounding area of Denton County, you cannot afford to delay in looking for a criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has defended many individuals who were accused of these crimes and has helped them overcome the criminal charges.

Our firm can be dedicated advocates for you in court and we will do whatever we can to make sure that you do not have to suffer any adverse consequences. Call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to let us talk about your case with you during a free consultation.

Child Sexual Abuse Charges in Texas

Under the Texas Penal Code, any of the following offenses can result in charges and/or a conviction for child sex abuse:

According to section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with child sexual assault if they intentionally or knowingly:

  • Cause a child’s anus to contact the anus, sex organ or mouth of another person;
  • Cause a child’s mouth to be penetrated by another person’s sex organ;
  • Cause a child’s mouth to contact the sex organ or anus of another person;
  • Cause a child’s sex organ or anus to be penetrated; and/or
  • Cause a child’s sex organ to contact or penetrate the anus, sex organ or mouth of another person.

According to section 22.021 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child if they commit a sexual offense listed above and:

  • Administers GHB, gamma hydroxybutyrate or ketamine to the child during the commission of the offense;
  • Attempts to cause the death of the child or cause the child serious bodily injury;
  • Causes the child to fear imminent serious bodily injury, death or kidnapping;
  • Is an accomplice to an individual who causes the child serious bodily injury;
  • The child is under the age of 14;
  • Threatens to cause serious bodily injury, death or kidnapping of any person; and/or
  • Uses or shows a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense.

According to section 21.11 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with indecency with a child if they commit any of the following with a child under the age of 17:

  • Cause the child to engage in sexual contact or engages in sexual contact with the child;
  • With the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, expose their anus or genitals knowing a child is present; or
  • With the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of any person, cause the child to expose their anus or genitals.

Section 43.26 of the Texas Penal Code makes it illegal to knowingly possess or intentionally view material that depicts a minor engaging in sexual conduct. This material can include films, photos, negatives, or other photographic reproductions.

Individuals who promote or intend to promote child porn will also be charged under this section of the Penal Code. Knowingly or intentionally promoting material that shows a child participating in sexual activity is considered the promotion of child pornography.

Prosecutors will assume you intended to promote child porn if you are found with six or more identical materials featuring a minor engaging in sexual activity. Possession with intent to promote is more harshly punished than possession. If convicted, you will be facing enhanced penalties.

Child Sexual Abuse Penalties in Denton, TX

An individual convicted of a child sexual abuse offense can face any of the following penalties, as defined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code.

A child sex assault offense is generally punishable as a felony of the second degree, which can result in a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years.

However, a child sex assault offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree if the alleged offender was prohibited from marrying or holding out as married to the alleged victim. This degree of offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.

An aggravated child sex assault offense is generally punishable as a felony of the first degree, which can result in a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment.

An indecency with a child offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree if the alleged offender exposes their genitals when a child is present or causes a child’s genitals to be exposed. This degree of offense is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence ranging from two to 10 years.

An indecency with a child offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree if the alleged offender causes the child to engage in sexual contact or engages in sexual contact with the child. This degree of offense is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years.

The penalties for possession or promotion of child pornography should not be taken lightly. A first offense is a third-degree felony that is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine that can cost up to $10,000.

If you have been previously convicted of possession of child pornography, the court will be less forgiving. It’s a second-degree felony if this is your second conviction. You will be penalized with a prison sentence that can range from two to 20 years and be required to pay a fine that can cost up to $10,000.

It’s a first-degree felony if it’s shown in trial that you have been convicted of the crime two or more times. A first-degree felony is punishable by the following:

  • Five to 99 years or life in prison
  • A fine that can cost up to $10,000

As mentioned in the previous section, promotion or possession with intent to promote is more heavily penalized than possession. The crime is a second-degree felony, but if the court finds you have been previously convicted, your charges will be elevated to a first-degree felony.

Denton County Child Sexual Abuse Resources

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) – When and How to Report Child Abuse — View an entire DFPS website dedicated to understanding and reporting child abuse. The page discusses the law, reporting what you know about the child, and reporting what you know about the event. There is also discussion about the difference between abuse and neglect.

Recognizing and Reporting Child Sexual Abuse: A Training for Caregivers — DFPS offers this website to let people earn credit and receive certificates of completion. You must complete a knowledge check and registration form at the end of this training. To obtain your certification you will need a valid email address, your child placing agency’s or residential operation’s legal name (provided by your operation), and your child placing agency’s or residential operation’s identification number (provided by your operation).

Resources for Crime Victims | Office of the Attorney General — Visit the attorney general’s website to find additional child abuse resources. State resources include 2-1-1Texas, a service of the Health and Human Services Commission’s Texas Information and Referral Network, Texas VINE, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). National resources include the  Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the National Center for Victims of Crime, Stalking Resource Center, and Parents of Murdered Children.

The Laws In Your State: Texas | RAINN — RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Read about laws in Texas, including definitions of rape, sexual assault, and consent. There is also discussion about mandatory reporting.

Find a Child Sexual Abuse Attorney in Denton, TX | Richard C. McConathy

Were you arrested for an alleged child sexual abuse offense anywhere in Denton County? You will want to make sure that you have qualified legal representation as soon as possible.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy regularly defends people throughout Denton County and will be able to work to make sure that you can face the fewest possible penalties despite your arrest. Our firm can review your case and discuss all of your legal options with you when you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.