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Rape is the most common and well-known type of sexual assault. There are, however, many other acts that may result in sexual assault charges. For example, some types of intimate touching may lead to sexual assault charges if one of the parties does not consent to the touching. Additionally, various types of sexual abuse of children may also result in sexual assault charges. People of both genders may commit or become victims of sexual assault.
Rape is a common type of sexual assault charge. Rape occurs when one party has intercourse with another without consent. For example, a person may be raped by a stranger, victimized by someone she knows well, raped by an acquaintance, or forced into intercourse while on a date. Often, people think of rape as an act that occurs with the use of deadly weapons or physical violence that leaves the victim badly beaten. Some sexual assault charges are applied following quiet, non-consensual sex acts, however, that do not involve weapons or leave physical bruises or scars.
An individual may also become a rape victim without being aware of what is happening at the time. For example, a person may black out because of drug or alcohol consumption and wake to find evidence of sexual activity. This usually constitutes rape if her partner had sex with her while she was unaware and could not give consent. In fact, some rapists purposefully drug their victims so they can take advantage of them in this manner.
Sadly some types of sexual charges involve children. Sexual abuse of a minor occurs when an adult uses threats or coercion to engage in sexual activity with a minor. Sexual assault on a minor does sometimes involve the use of physical force, but more often, perpetrators use manipulation and abuse their own authority to force sexual activity on a child. These types of sexual assault charges can be applied for cases in which the perpetrator has intercourse with a child, fondles the child inappropriately, or has the child fondle him. Additionally, in many jurisdictions, it is also a crime to expose a minor to pornography.
Non-intercourse crimes are also among the common sexual assault charges. For example, if a party touches his victim's body in an intimate manner without her consent, this may count as sexual assault. The same goes for other types of sexual acts that do not involve intercourse. The important factor with these types of charges is that the victim does not consent to them.