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What is rape?

Rape is considered a form of sexual assault. Unwanted sexual penetration and sexual intercourse are common kinds of rape. The victim of such actions did not consent to the sexual activities that were forced upon them by another person.

What is first-degree rape?

Two conditions must exist before a case of rape in the first degree can be proven in the state of Maryland. They are as follows:

  1. The suspect must have used force to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim, and
  2. One or more of these actions must also have occurred:
    • The victim was raped as part of a burglary in the first, second or third degree.
    • An object that the victim could reasonably believe was a dangerous weapon was shown, brandished or used by the perpetrator.
    • Another individual assisted the person who committed the act of rape.
    • The victim was placed in a state of fear or threatened by the accused person. The victim could have believed that either they or someone else could have been subject to kidnapping, strangulation, disfigurement, significant physical injury or being killed by the accused.
    • The plaintiff was disfigured, strangled, suffocated or suffered other physical injuries as a direct result of the defendant’s actions.

What is second-degree rape?

Two elements must exist before a person can be convicted of rape in the second degree in Maryland. They include:

  1. The accused engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim and
  2. One or more of these circumstances must have existed when the act of rape was committed:
    • The perpetrator was 4 years older or more than the victim at the time, and the victim was under 14 years of age.
    • Threat of force or actual force was used by the perpetrator. The victim did not consent to the sexual act.
    • The victim was physically helpless, or mentally incapable of understanding the act when it happened. This status is something that should have been obvious or something that could have reasonably been understood when the sexual act took place.

What is statutory rape?

Statutory rape is an unwanted sexual act that occurs with a person who is under the age of 18. In Maryland, a person who engages in sexual intercourse or other sexual activity with a person under 16 years old may be found guilty of statutory rape. Depending on the exact age of the victim and nature of the act, it could also be classified as rape in the second degree or a third-degree sexual offense. The penalties for this action will be based on the category and the incident itself.

What should I do if I’ve been accused of rape?

If you’ve been accused of rape, you may want to seek legal counsel. You may be questioned by a member of local law enforcement after the act has been reported. Be sure to answer any questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge.

You may need to go to court if you’ve been charged with rape. The plaintiff may have experts, witnesses and testimony to prove their case. You can supply any evidence, testimony or witnesses that can support your claims if you deny that the incident took place.

What can I do if I’m a rape victim?

You should seek medical attention if you’re a victim of actual or attempted rape. It may be embarrassing, but it’s perfectly okay to ask for help. Rape is never the victim’s fault, nor should they be made to feel like they encouraged the particular offense.

Rape victims may reach out to a friend or relative for support. They can also report the act to police. A report should be filed as soon as possible. As of this writing, there is no statute of limitations for reporting sexual assault or rape.

What are the penalties for rape?

Attempted first degree rape is considered a felony in the state of Maryland. It can result in a prison sentence for anywhere from a few years to the rest of the defendant’s natural life. The exact nature of the crime and the judge presiding over the case will determine the exact sentence.

An individual who has been found guilty of first-degree rape and already has another conviction of first-degree sexual offense and first-degree rape on their record, can face a life sentence without parole. A person can be found guilty of a first-degree rape felony if the act of rape happened as part of the kidnapping of a child who is under 16 years old. It may also result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole. A lesser sentence may be handed down if the victim was under 13 years of age and the accused was at least 18 years old. In that case, the judge could still sentence the defendant to a life sentence without parole. The minimum prison term for such an incident is 25 years.

Attempted rape in the second degree is also a felony in Maryland. The maximum prison term for attempted second-degree rape is currently 20 years in jail. The exact amount of prison time that is required will vary from one case to the next.

Second-degree rape convictions in the state of Maryland can result in a jail term of no more than 20 years. This conviction is also a felony. If the victim was under 13 years of age and the accused was at least 18 years old, the defendant may be sentenced to anywhere from 15 years to life in jail. Parole may or may not be an option for people who have been found guilty of this felony.

Rape is a difficult subject. It’s something that can take a long time for victims and people who have been accused of such an act to recover. People may suffer mentally, emotionally and even financially if they are unable to find or sustain employment.

If you have questions, we’ve got plenty of answers. Contact us today to set up a no-obligation consultation. Our trained professionals will listen to your concerns and provide advice as to possible next steps. They can even represent you in court.

We want to help you get your life back on track. You may be going through a wide range of thoughts and feelings right now, and that’s perfectly normal. It will take a while for things to get better, which will probably happen much sooner than later.