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Federal Statutes for Sexual Abuse of Adults and Minors

In the United States, sexual abuse is not simply limited to a state’s interpretation of liability by statute. There is an overarching set of statutes by the federal government. Namely, there are four federal statutes that an organization or individual may be held liable for, especially if the sexual abuse that occurred happened to a minor under the age of 18.

First, under 18 U.S.C § 2241, aggravated sexual abuse occurs when the sexual abuse happens by either “force or threat” against the other person; or by “threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping . . .” Aggravated sexual abuse occurs against children when someone “crosses a State line with intent to engage in a sexual act with a person who has not attained the age of 12 years” (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2241).

 

Next, under 18 U.S.C. § 2242, sexual abuse is the intentional causing “another person to engage in a sexual act by threatening or placing that other person in fear; or engages in a sexual act with another person if that other person is (A) incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct; or (B) physically incapable of declining participation in, or communicating unwillingness to engage in that sexual act (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2242).

 

Third, under 18 U.S.C. § 2243, sexual abuse of a minor or ward occurs when there is intentional engagement in “a sexual act with another person who has attained the age of 12 years but has not attained the age of 16 years and is at least four years younger than the person so engaging; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both” (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2243).

Finally, under 18 U.S.C. § 2244, abusive sexual conduct occurs when a person “knowingly engages in or causes sexual contact with or by another person,” if so to do would violate the aforementioned statutes 2241 through 2243. Additionally, under subsection (c), If the sexual contact that violates this section is with an individual who has not attained the age of 12 years, the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed for the offense shall be twice that otherwise provided in this section (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2244).

If you were loved one has been injured or suffered any form of sexual abuse, please call 888-585-5970.

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