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What are Sex Crimes in Corpus Christi, Texas?

A sex crime is a type of offense that occurs when violence takes place during a sexual act, when there is an absence of consent by one party during the sexual act, or when somebody participates in a sexual act with a person that is legally unable to provide consent, such as a minor. Lots of sex crimes arise from conditions when a sex-related act is conducted in a manner that is offensive to the common person. 

One of the most apparent of these is sexual assault, which takes place when an undesirable sex-related act is executed on a victim without their consent. A sex crime will often include the use of violent force and pressure, but violent force is not necessary for it to be considered a sex crime. Sexual assault may entail threats, battery, or various other violent acts. Sex crimes can also accompany any form of sex-related contact, including groping, kissing, infiltration, or any other type of sexual touching.

Sex crimes have major consequences for those found guilty - in addition to jail time, the perpetrator must also be registered as a sex offender. This crime will impact the perpetrator's life greatly as it will influence their ability to find work, housing, as well as social opportunities for the rest of their life. There are currently 1,077 registered sex offenders in Corpus Christi, Texas. The ratio is about 30 sex offenders per 10,000 residents which is higher than the national average of approximately 15 sex offenders to 10,000 residents. However, it is significantly lower than Aransas Pass, a nearby city, which has a ratio of 72 sex offenders to 10,000. However, sex offender registries are grossly inaccurate as a vast majority of sex offenders are unable to be located.

What are the Types of Sex Crimes in Corpus Christi

Any type of unwanted or coerced sexual conduct in the state of Texas is considered a sex crime, according to the Texas State Penal Code
Sexual offenses against a minor include:

  • Aggravated kidnapping - this charge is considered a sex crime because it is assumed there is intent to sexually assault the minor
  • Indecency with a minor - this charge applies to any sexual contact with a minor
  • Sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault
  • Sex trafficking or compelling prostitution - this charge applies when forcing a minor to engage in prostitution.
  • Sale, distribution, or display of child pornography
  • Sexual performance by a minor under 18 years old - coercing a minor to engage in the production of child pornography
  • Employment harmful to minor under 18 years old - employing a minor to work in a sexual field such as a strip club.

Sexual crimes in Corpus Christi:

  • Possession of child pornography - knowingly possessing pornography of a minor engaging in sexual conduct
  • Public lewdness - engaging in sexual conduct with a person or animal in a public place or an inappropriate location
  • Indecent exposure - when an individual exposes themself with sexual intent or arousal towards another person in an inappropriate setting
  • Improper teacher/student relationship - when a school employee engages in sexual conduct with a student enrolled at the school
  • Voyeurism - observing someone during a sexual act without their consent
  • Invasive video recording - intent to disclose visual material of a person engaging in a sexual act or with intimate parts exposed without consent from the depicted person
  • Unlawful dissemination of intimate visual content - any type of media distribution without consent from the depicted person
  • Sexual assault - commonly known as rape, engaging in sexual conduct with someone without their consent. Rape made up 2% of all crimes committed in Corpus Christi in 2018 
  • Aggravated sexual assault - sexual assault charge plus bodily injury, including intent/attempt to cause death, threats to cause death, serious injury, or kidnapping, as well as the use of a deadly weapon or drug (such as  “date rape” drug)
  • Prohibited sexual conduct - sexual conduct with a relative
  • Prostitution - prostitution, engaging in sexual acts in exchange for a fee, is illegal in the state of Texas
  • Obscenity - promoting or distributing obscene material or engaging in obscene performances. 

Sex crimes charges in Corpus Christi depend on the severity of the crimes. However, all persons convicted of sex crimes must register for the sex offender registry, regardless of their charge. Crimes such as public lewdness, indecent exposure, first-time prostitution, and the like are charged as misdemeanors with the following consequences:

  • Class A misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and fines up to $4,000
  • Class B misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000
  • Class C misdemeanor: Fines up to $500.

More serious sex crimes such as sexual assault (rape), aggravated sexual assault, or anything involving a minor are charged as felonies and include the following consequences:

  • State jail felony: 180 days to two years in state jail
  • Third-degree felony: Two to 10 years in prison
  • Second-degree felony: Two to 20 years in prison
  • First-degree felony: Five to 99 years in prison.

What Crimes Require Sex Offender Registration in Corpus Christi

A sex offender registry is a list of perpetrators that have been found guilty of committing a sex crime. All sex crimes, regardless of whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony, require the perpetrator to register for the sex offender registry. However, the sex offender registry requires constant updates as many sex offenders cannot be located or are transient. As of 2022, there are currently 1,077 people listed on the Corpus Christi sex offender registry.

Residents can find the sex offender registry for their county by simply conducting a search on a search engine. Additionally, the United States Department of Justice allows individuals to search for a sex offender registry by name or by location.

What is a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney?

A sex crimes attorney defends someone who has been accused of illegal or coerced sex crimes. Sex crime lawyers handle cases of all varieties, including those who have been accused of rape, sexual assault, public indecency, internet sex crimes, sex crimes involving a minor, and even human trafficking. A sex crime defense attorney specific to the crime one was accused of is not necessary as sex crime lawyers are skilled at defending all types of sex crimes. 

Sex crime attorneys are specifically trained to attempt to drop or reduce charges against someone who has been involved in a sex crime, whether true or not. Sex crime lawyers are different in expertise from other types of lawyers in that they use specific defenses and methods that support a strong defense strategy for their clients. They are also skilled at gathering specific evidence or noticing lack thereof to help build a defense for their client. Hiring a sex crime attorney could be crucial for defending someone accused of sex crimes as the repercussions for sex crimes are very serious.

How does a Sex Crime Defense Attorney Work?

Sex crime defense attorneys are trained at building a defense to either get a sex crime charge dropped or to reach a plea deal to avoid the perpetrator from being convicted and serving time in prison. Sex crime lawyers use various defense strategies such as challenging the lack of consent, claiming diminished mental capacity, affirmative defense, or claiming that the victim is lying about consent. Usually, other factors such as one or both parties being drunk or under the influence of drugs helps a sex crime defense attorney to make these claims. A lack of evidence or witnesses makes it difficult for the victim to prove things such as lack of consent, which the attorney can use to their advantage.

Another strategy sex crime attorneys use includes attacking the legality of the encounter between the accused person and the police. All evidence seized for a case must have been done so legally. Therefore, if the defense attorney is successful in this strategy, then all evidence seized by police is not legal, and the case is thrown out due to lack of evidence.

Other defense strategies used when accused of a sex crime include challenging the forensic evidence. Sex crime attorneys will usually use the help of experts to try to disprove any forensic evidence that was gathered. Additionally, challenging the source of accusations is a strategy typically used by sex crime defense attorneys to create doubt in trusting the accusations by deeming the accuser or other witnesses untrustworthy. Lastly, a sex crime lawyer will defend their client by way of protecting the defendant’s constitutional rights.