Under MCA § 45-5-502(1), a person who knowingly subjects another person to any sexual contact without consent commits the offense of sexual assault. The offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense.
According to The Friendship Center (TFC) in Helena, a local shelter for operates Sexual Assault Outreach services proves recent statistics on its website showing that 1 out of 6 women will be the victim of rape or attempted rape during her lifetime. TFC estimates that only 40% of sexual assaults are reported, often because of the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim.
When an allegation of sexual assault is reported in Montana, law enforcement officers aggressively investigate the case. These cases are funneled into special divisions where prosecutors are assigned to prosecute sexually motivated crimes.
Attorney for Sexual Assault in Helena, Montana
If you were charged with sexual assault under MCA § 45-5-502, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Greg Beebe is experienced in representing clients charged with serious sexually motivated crimes such as sexual assault, sexual intercourse without consent, and sexual abuse of a child, throughout Lewis and Clark County and the surrounding areas in Montana.
He also fights serious felony cases in the City of Boulder in Jefferson County, as well as the courthouses in the surrounding counties including Teton County, Cascade County, Meagher County, Broadwater County, Powell County and Flathead County. Call (406) 442-3300 to speak directly with Greg Beebe during a free and confidential consultation. Let him put his experience to work for you.
Montana Statute MCA § 45-5-502(5)
The provisions of Montana law related to consent for sexual assault are contained in MCA § 45-5-502(5), and differ from the definition of “without consent” for purposes of sexual intercourse without consent, as defined in MCA § 45-5-501 and MCJI 5-123.
The lack of consent for purposes of sexual assault is based on MCA § 45-5-502(5) and the definition of sexual contact in MCJI 2-107.
Before a person can be convicted of sexual assault, the following elements must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt at trial:
The Defendant subjected the alleged victim to sexual contact; and
The act of sexual contact was without the consent of the alleged victim; and
The Defendant acted knowingly.
The standard jury instruction for sexual assault in Montana can be found at MCJI 5-124.
Sexual assault, a misdemeanor under MCA §45-5-502(1), is elevated to a felony upon proof of either of the following aggravating circumstances:
that the victim was less than 16 years old at the time of the offense and the offender was 3 or more years older than the victim at the time of the offense, or
that the Defendant inflicted bodily injury upon anyone in the course of committing sexual assault.
Penalties for Sexual Assault in Montana
The penalties for sexual assault crimes in Montana depend on the number of prior convictions.
On the first conviction for sexual assault, the offender shall be fined a maximum of $500, be imprisoned for a maximum of 6 months, or both; and
On the second conviction for sexual assault, the offender shall be fined a maximum of $1,000, be imprisoned for a maximum of 1 year, or both.
On a third and subsequent conviction for sexual assault, the offender shall be fined a maximum of $10,000, be imprisoned for a maximum of 5 years, or both.
If the victim is less than 16 years old, and the offender is 3 or more years older than the victim, or if the offender inflicts bodily injury upon anyone in the course of committing sexual assault, the offender shall be punished by life imprisonment or by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum of 4 years, unless the judge makes written findings that there is good cause to impose a term less than 4 years.
In some cases, the court can impose a minimum sentence of 4 years or a maximum sentence of 100 years. Additionally, the offender can be fined a maximum of $50,000.
Criminal Investigations of Sexual Assault in Helena, MT – Visit the website of the City of Helena to learn more about criminal investigations into violence against women including sexual assault. Through a federal grant, the Helena Police Department and the Montana Board of Crime Control hired a detective to work on family violence, sexual assault and crimes against children that occurred in their homes. The Current VAWA Detective assigned to the Helena Police Department is Detective Kent Anderson. Detective Anderson is a member of the Lewis and Clark Child Protective Team and Child Advocacy Center Multi-Disciplinary Team, also makes sure residences in Helena stay in compliance with the sexual offender registration requirements. The detective also works closely with the Lewis and Clark County Attorney’s Office.
Sexual Assault Outreach for Victims in Helena – The Friendship Center (TFC) in Helena is a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Helena. The center operates a 15,000 square foot shelter that can accommodate twelve (12) families and includes staff offices. TFC services include a 24 hour a day crisis line, support groups, case management, legal advocacy. TFC also helps women prepare petitions for protection orders against domestic and sexual violence.
Finding a Sexual Assault Lawyer in Helena, Montana
If you are under investigation for any sexually motivated crime in Montana, then immediately seek out the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney in Helena, Montana. Greg Beebe is experienced in fighting a variety of serious sexually motivated crimes including sexual assault, sexual intercourse without consent, and sexual abuse of a child.
Greg Beebe fights sexual assault allegations throughout the State of Montana from his offices in Helena in Lewis and Clark County. He also represents clients in the City of Boulder for Jefferson County. and the surrounding counties including Teton County, Cascade County, Meagher County, Broadwater County, Powell County and Flathead County.
Greg Beebe’s office is conveniently located at 1085 Helena Avenue in Helena, Montana, between Idaho Avenue and North Dakota Avenue. Give him a call today at (406) 442-3300.