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Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child

Texas law prohibits the continuous sexual abuse of a child. Under Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 21.02(b), the offense is defined as the commission of two or more acts of sexual abuse against a child younger than 14 years of age during a period of 30 days or longer, regardless of whether the acts of sexual abuse are committed against one or more victims.

Although the exact dates of the abuse need not be proven, the offense requires proof that two or more acts of sexual abuse occurred during a period of thirty days or more. Subsection (c) of Section 21.02 lists the predicate offenses that constitute an “act of sexual abuse” under the statute. Those eight offenses include the crime of indecency with a child.

Under Texas law, the testimony of the child victim alone is sufficient to support a conviction for continuous sexual abuse of a child or indecency with a child. The child does not even have to specify the date that the abuse occurred because the law presumes that it is not often that a child knows, even within a few days, the date the child was sexually assaulted.

In many of these cases, the double jeopardy provision does not apply because the statute at Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 21.02(e)(2) expressly provide thing that, in a single criminal prosecution, a defendant may not be convicted of both continuous sexual abuse and any predicate offense listed in subsection (c) when both involve the same victim, unless the predicate offense occurred outside the period in which the continuous sexual abuse was committed.

Attorneys for Sexual Abuse of a Child Crimes in San Antonio, TX

If you were charged with any criminal offenses for committing sexual abuse against a child, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, TX, at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. Our attorneys are experienced in fighting these types of sexually motivated crimes throughout the State of Texas.

We can begin your defense today. Call 210-226-1463 today.


Elements of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child

The elements of the crime of continuous sexual abuse of a child include a showing beyond a reasonable doubt of the following:

  • the victim or victims were a child or children younger than 14 years old at the time the acts of sexual abuse occurred;
  • during that time, the defendant was 17 years of age or older;
  • did during a period of 30 or more days;
  • intentionally and knowingly commit two or more of the following acts of sexual abuse against the victim or victims;
    • aggravated kidnapping, to-wit: the defendant intentionally and knowingly abduct the victim with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually; and/or
    • indecency with a child, to-wit: the defendant intentionally and knowingly engage in sexual contact with the victim, a child younger than 14 years of age and not the spouse of the defendant, by then and there touching the anus or part of the genitals of the victim or causing the victim to touch the anus or part of the genitals of the defendant;
      and/or
    • sexual assault; and/or
    • aggravated sexual assault;
    • burglary, to-wit: the defendant intentionally enter a habitation without the effective consent of the owner, and with the intent to commit an aggravated kidnapping under Section 20.04(a)(4), if it was with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually or indecency with a child in a manner other than touching, including touching through clothing, the breast of a child or sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault) committed and attempted to commit a felony other than felony theft; and/or
    • sexual performance by a child;
    • trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(7) or (8); or
    • compelling prostitution under Section 43.05(a)(2).

This article was last updated on Friday, November 22, 2017.

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