Child Sexual Abuse Law Firm in Texas
Serving Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Surrounding Areas
Because any situation involving children comes with emotionally-charged elements and preconceived notions, charges of alleged child sexual abuse must be pursued proactively and aggressively. A strong and carefully prepared defense can make all the difference in the world. That’s where our law firm can assist.
The dedicated criminal defense lawyers at Stuckle & Associates PLLC fight hard for positive outcomes such as case dismissal, acquittals, and “not guilty” verdicts at trial. Call (972) 423-4405 or send us an online message to discuss your unique situation during a free consultation, during which time we will help you understand the charges you face and begin building the foundation for a solid defense.
How We Help Persons Falsely Accused of Child Abuse
At Stuckle & Associates PLLC, our team of defense attorneys, private investigators, and specialists has over 25 years of criminal law experience. We have dedicated ourselves to handling complex cases involving child sex offenses in Texas and are committed to helping you surpass a false accusation.
Our practice areas include:
- Child Sexual Assault
- Child Molestation
- Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
- Indecency with a Child
- Child Pornography
- Online Solicitation of a Minor
- Statutory Rape
- Child Sex Trafficking
How Texas Law Defines Child Sexual Abuse
Texas law defines child sexual abuse under Chapter 261 of the Texas Family Code as any harmful sexual conduct to a child’s mental, physical, or emotional welfare, in addition to failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct with a child, and encouraging or compelling the child to engage in sexual conduct.
This can include instances of fondling, lewd or lascivious exposure or behavior, intercourse, sodomy, penetration, child pornography, child prostitution, and anything else that could be considered harmful to the child.
Types of Child Sexual Abuse Offenses
Although child sex abuse is not specifically penalized in Texas Statutes, an individual that has been accused of committing child sexual abuse may be charged under any of the following offenses:
Indecency with a Child – Tex. Penal Code § 21.11 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they engage in any of the following acts with a child under 17 years old:
- Sexual contact with a child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact;
- Expose the anus or any part of their genitals knowing a child is present with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or
- Cause the child to expose the child’s anus or any part of the child’s genitals with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of any person.
This offense is punishable as either a felony of the second or third degree.
Sexual Assault – Tex. Penal Code § 22.011 – An individual can be charged with child sexual assault if they intentionally or knowingly:
- Cause the penetration of a child’s anus or sex organ;
- Cause the penetration of a child’s mouth by the alleged offender’s sex organ;
- Cause a child’s sex organ to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sex organ of another person, including the alleged offender;
- Cause a child’s anus to contact the mouth, anus or sex organ of another person, including the alleged offender; or
- Cause a child’s mouth to contact the anus or sex organ of another person, including the alleged offender.
This offense is punishable as a felony of the first or second degree.
Aggravated Sexual Assault – Tex. Penal Code § 22.021 – An individual can be charged with aggravated child sexual assault if they commit a child sexual assault offense and:
- Cause serious bodily injury or attempt to cause the death of the victim;
- Place the victim in fear of death or serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will likely occur;
- Threaten to cause death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping of any person;
- Use or show a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense;
- Acts as an accomplice to an individual who causes the victim serious bodily injury;
- Administers GHB, roofies, Rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate or ketamine to the victim during the commission of the offense; or
- The child is younger than 14 years old.
This offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree.
Sexual Contact Charges
Texas law defines sexual contact under Tex. Penal Code § 21.11(c) as any of the following acts, which are committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
- Any touching, including through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child; or
- Any touching of any part of a child’s body, including through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of the alleged offender.
Sexual Performance by a Child
In Texas, this crime can involve any performance by a child younger than the age of 18 that involves sexual conduct. Sexual conduct can involve any of the following:
- Actual or simulated sexual intercourse,
- Deviate sexual intercourse,
- Sexual contact,
- Lewd exhibition of the genitals, anus or female breast below the areola,
- Sexual bestiality, and
- Sado-masochistic abuse.
If you have been charged with committing sexual performance by a child, it is important to know that you will not necessarily be convicted of the offense. The state prosecutor has the burden of proving you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be a very difficult burden to meet. If the judge or jury has any doubt you committed even the smallest of the offense, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Our child sexual abuse lawyers work diligently to establish a strategic and aggressive legal defense on your behalf to procure the best possible outcome for your case.
Child Sex Performance Definitions under State Laws
As defined in section 43.01 of the Texas Penal Code, sexual performance of a child can involve a number of acts that involve sexual conduct, including:
- Deviate sexual intercourse – Texas law defines this as any contact between a person’s genitals and the mouth or anus of another person;
- Sexual contact – Texas law defines this as the touching of a person’s breast, anus or genitals with the intent to arouse any person or gratify their sexual desires.
- Sexual intercourse – Texas law defines this as the penetration of a female sex organ by the sex organ of a male.
Texas law defines a performance as any play, photograph, dance, motion picture, movie, video, photo, picture, digital picture or video, or any other visual representation that can be performed in front of one or more person, including pornography.
Common Defenses to Texas Child Sex Abuse Allegations
In certain cases, defenses may be available for these allegations. It is important to first consult with your sex crime defense lawyer to help you identify whether any of the following defenses may be applicable to your particular case.
- Mistaken Identity
Additionally, the following affirmative defenses may be available to accusations of child sex abuse:
- If the alleged offender was the spouse of the alleged victim at the time of the offense; or
- The alleged offender was not more than three years older than the alleged victim at the time of the offense, and the alleged victim was 14 years old or older, but younger than 17, and was not prohibited from marrying;
It’s critical, however, to understand that the information presented on this website is not intended as legal advice. You should consult with a law firm to better understand the best legal path to pursue depending on the specific details surrounding your case.
Penalties for Child Sex Abuse Convictions
The penalties for child sex abuse offenses are defined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. Many of these penalties can vary depending on the type of offense, the age of the victim, and whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history. The suggested statutory punishments for child sex abuse offenses in Texas are as follows:
- An individual that has been charged with a child sex abuse offense that is punishable as a felony of the first degree can face a prison sentence from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- An individual that has been charged with a child sex abuse offense that is punishable as a felony of the second degree can receive two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000,
- An individual that has been charged with a child sex abuse offense that is punishable as a felony of the third degree can face a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Additional consequences to a child sex abuse conviction can include:
- Requirements to register as a sex offender,
- Reputation damage and public embarrassment,
- Ineligibility to receive certain forms of governmental aid or assistance,
- Ineligibility to be admitted into certain college or graduate school programs,
- Inability to vote or own or possess a firearm,
- Inability to pursue certain occupations or professions, and/or
- A criminal record.
Contact Our Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If you have been accused of a sexual crime against a minor in Texas, contact Stuckle & Associates PLLC today. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, Paul Stuckle will use his knowledge and understanding of the law to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation.