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Gillette Child Abuse Defense Lawyers

Gillette Child Abuse Defense Attorney

We’re On Your Side When Wyoming Turns Against You

Allegations of child abuse are taken very seriously in Wyoming, regardless of what really happened. There are four degrees of sexual abuse against a minor, all of them felonies. If convicted, a person could spend anywhere from five to fifty years in jail. In addition, that person must register as a sex offender, keeping him from gaining employment, housing, and taking advantage of other federal benefits.

Over half of the child abuse cases in Wyoming end with a conviction, even if the accused is innocent. For this reason, anyone facing these charges needs to speak to a tough criminal defense lawyer who can fight for their rights in court. That’s us. Call Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., for a free case strategy session today at (307) 257-7800.

Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the First Degree

There are three scenarios for which someone could be charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. They are, according to WY Statute § 6-2-314:

  • If the accused is 16 or older, and "inflicts sexual intrusion" on a victim younger than 13;
  • If the accused is 18 or older, and inflicts sexual intrusion on a victim younger than 18 while the accused is the victim’s legal guardian, parent by adoption, blood relation, or stepparent;
  • If the accused is 18 or older, and inflicts sexual intrusion on a victim younger than 16 while in a position of authority over that victim.

This felony charge is the most serious child sexual abuse crime in Wyoming. It is punishable by a maximum of 50 years in prison; and if the accused is over 21 years old, the recommended sentence is no less than 25 years in prison.

Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Second Degree

There are also situations in which one could be charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. They are, according to WY Statute § 6-2-315:

  • If the accused is 17 or older, and inflicts sexual intrusion on a victim age 13-15 who is at least 4 years younger than the accused;
  • If the accused is 16 or older, and "engages in sexual contact" with a victim younger than 13;
  • If the accused is 18 or older, and engages in sexual contact with a victim younger than 18 while the accused is the victim’s legal guardian, parent by adoption, blood relation, or stepparent;
  • If the accused is 18 or older, and engages in sexual contact with a victim younger than 16 while in a position of authority over that victim.

While not as serious as sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, this charge still carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Third Degree

No touching has to occur for someone to be convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree. Just exposing one’s self in the presence of the minor could result in this charge. According to WY Statute § 6-2-316, the instances in which someone could be charged with this crime are:

  • If the accused is 17 or older, and engages in sexual contact with a victim age 13-15 who is at least 4 years younger than the accused;
  • If the accused is 20 or older, and engages in sexual intrusion with a victim age 16-17 who is at least 4 years younger than the accused, while the accused was in a position of authority over the victim;
  • If the accused is younger than 16, and inflicts sexual intrusion on a victim younger than 13 who is at least 3 years younger than the accused;
  • If the accused is 17 or older, and "knowingly takes immodest, immoral or indecent liberties" with a victim younger than 17 who is at least 4 years younger than the accused.

Being found guilty of any of these crimes carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Fourth Degree

While considered the least offensive sexual abuse against a child, sexual abuse of a minor in the fourth degree is still a felony. There are two way in which someone can be charged for this crime (WY Statute § 6-2-317):

  • If the accused is younger than 16, and engages in sexual contact with a victim younger than 13 who is at least 3 years younger than the accused;
  • If the accused is 20 or older, and engages in sexual contact with a victim age 16-17 who is at least 4 years younger than the accused, while the accused was in a position of authority over the victim.

The penalty if convicted of this crime is a maximum of five years in prison. Depending on the age of the accused, the case may be heard in juvenile court.

What About Other Child Abuse Crimes?

The Sexual Exploitation of Children Act was passed by the Wyoming Legislature in 1999, and covers possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography; enticement of children through the internet for sexual purposes; and anything involving child prostitution/sex tourism. The penalties for exploitation include up to 12 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition, if you’re convicted, the government can seize your property.

Incest is a felony crime under WY Statute § 6-4-402, and doesn’t just include sexual contact between blood relatives. Adopted family members and stepparents can also be charged with incest and face imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of $10,000.

Abandoning or endangering children is another charge (WY Statute § 6-4-403). Only a parent, guardian, or custodian can be charged with abandoning a child or violating a duty of care that endangers a child; but any person can be charged and convicted for a range of offenses - such as encouraging a child to enter a gambling establishment, giving a child a drug not prescribed by the child’s physician, hiding a child from a parent or police officer, and much more.

With so many overlapping laws and regulations, it’s relatively easy to "cross the line" and not even know it. But the State of Wyoming doesn’t care about your intentions, and rarely goes to the trouble to investigate if a person truly deserves the charges against him. That’s why you need a tough trial lawyer on your side.

Get a Tenacious Defense Team

Being charged with abuse of a minor can seem like a hopeless situation. But there is help available. If you were accused, speak to a Gillette sex crime defense attorney who can build a strong, rigorous case for you.

At Steve Titus & Associates, P.C., we’re on your side. We know that sexual abuse against a minor is an overcharged crime in Gillette and that many people who are accused are not guilty. If you were charged with child abuse, call us today at (307) 257-7800 so we can review your case and start building the defense you need. Your initial consultation is free.

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Steven Titus

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Your FREE Case Strategy Session
On All Injury and Criminal Cases

Contact our office right now to speak to
someone who wants to help you.

Steven Titus & Associates, P.C.

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