Allegations Of Having Sex With A Child

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report  Child Maltreatment 2010 found that over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized. In addition to the crimes set forth between and amongst adults, Tennessee has stringent laws concerning sex crimes involving minors. Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1001 and § 39-17-1002 relate to the Tennessee Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation Act of 1990.

The term "minor" is defined as any person who has not reached eighteen (18) years of age.

The term "patently offensive" is defined as that which goes substantially beyond customary limits of candor in describing or representing such matters. The term "obscene" means the average person applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest. Prurient being a shameful or morbid interest in sex.

Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1003, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess material that includes a minor engaged in either sexual activity, or simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive. A person possessing material that violates this Act, may be charged for each individual image, picture, photograph, motion picture film, videocassette tape, or other pictorial representation. In a prosecution under this section, the state is not required to prove the actual identity or age of the minor.

Violations of this act are considered a Class D felony and punishable by anywhere from two to twelve years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000.

If the number of individual images that are possessed is more than fifty (50), then the offense shall be a Class C felony, punishable by anywhere from three to fifteen years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

If the number of individual images that are possessed is more than one hundred (100), then the offense shall be a Class B felony, punishable by anywhere from eight to thirty years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000.

Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1004, it is unlawful for a person to knowingly promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange material, or possess with the intent to promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange material, which includes a minor engaged in either sexual activity or simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive.

Violations of this subsection are a Class C felony, punishable by anywhere from three to fifteen years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

It is unlawful for a person to knowingly promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange material which is obscene, as defined in § 39-17-901(10), or possess with the intent to promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange such material, which includes a minor engaged in sexual activity or simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive.

Violations of this subsection are a Class B felony, punishable by anywhere from eight to thirty years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000.

Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1005, it is unlawful for a person to knowingly promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange material, or possess with the intent to promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange material, which includes a minor engaged in either sexual activity or simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive. A person who violates this subsection may be charged in court for each individual image, picture, drawing, photograph, motion picture film, videocassette tape, or other pictorial representation.

A violation of this section is a Class C felony, punishable by anywhere from three to fifteen years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

However, if the number of individual images, materials, or combination of images and materials that are promoted, sold, distributed, transported, purchased, exchanged or possessed, with intent to promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange, is more than twenty-five, then the offense shall be a Class B felony, punishable by anywhere from eight to thirty years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000.

Sexual Battery

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-503, Sexual battery is unlawful sexual contact with a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following circumstances: (1)  Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act, (2)  The sexual contact is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the contact that the victim did not consent, (3)  The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, or (4)  The sexual contact is accomplished by fraud.

Sexual battery is a Class E felony, punishable by one to six years in prison and a fine not to exceed $3,000

Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure

Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-527 states that Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure is unlawful sexual contact with a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim if the victim was, at the time of the offense, thirteen years of age or older but less then eighteen years of age, or if the victim was, at the time of the offense, mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, regardless of age, and the defendant was at the time of the offense in a position of trust, or had supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the defendant’s legal, professional or occupational status and used the position of trust or power to accomplish the sexual contact, or the defendant had, at the time of the offense, parental or custodial authority over the victim and used the authority to accomplish the sexual contact.

Sexual battery by an authority figure is a Class C felony punishable by three to fifteen years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000

Aggravated Sexual Battery

According to Tennessee Code § 39-13-504, Aggravated sexual battery is unlawful sexual contact with a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following circumstances: (1) Force or coercion using a weapon, or something that appears to be a weapon, (2) the defendant causes bodily harm to the victim, (3) the defendant is aided or abetted by one or more persons, (4) and the victim is less than thirteen years of age

Violations of this subsection are considered a Class B felony, punishable by anywhere from eight to thirty years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000.

Rape

In Tennessee, rape is defined as the "unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant accompanied by any of the following circumstances: (1) Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act, (2) The sexual penetration is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the penetration that the victim did not consent, (3) The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, or (4) The sexual penetration is accomplished by fraud." T.C.A. § 39-13-503.

Rape of a Child

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-522, Rape of a child is the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim, if the victim is more than three years of age but less than thirteen years of age.

Rape of a child is a Class A Felony, punishable by anywhere from fifteen to sixty years in prison and a $50,000 fine.   Notwithstanding title 40, chapter 35, a person convicted of a first or subsequent violation of this section shall be punished by a minimum period of imprisonment of twenty-five (25) years.

Aggravated Rape of a Child

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-531, Aggravated Rape of a child is the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim, if the victim is three years of age or less.

Aggravated rape of a child is a Class A felony and shall be sentenced within Range III, as set forth in title 40, chapter 35, or between twenty and forty years in prison

Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-532, Statutory rape by an authority figure is the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by the victim when: (1)  The victim is at least thirteen but less than eighteen years of age, (2)  The defendant is at least four years older than the victim, and (3) The defendant was, at the time of the offense, in a position of trust, or had supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the defendant’s legal, professional, or occupational status and used the position of trust or power to accomplish the sexual penetration, or (4)  The defendant had, at the time of the offense, parental or custodial authority over the victim and used the authority to accomplish the sexual penetration.

Statutory rape by an authority figure is a Class C felony, punishable by anywhere from three to fifteen years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. In addition, no person who is found guilty of or pleads guilty to the offense shall be eligible for probation

Solicitation of a minor

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-528, it is an offense for a person eighteen years of age or older, by means of oral, written or electronic communication, electronic mail or Internet services, directly or through another, to intentionally command, request, hire, persuade, invite or attempt to induce a person whom the person making the solicitation knows, or should know, is less than eighteen years of age, or solicits a law enforcement officer posing as a minor, and whom the person making the solicitation reasonably believes to be less than eighteen years of age, to engage in conduct that, if completed, would constitute a violation by the soliciting adult of one or more of the following offenses: rape of a child, aggravated rape, rape, aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery by an authority figure, sexual battery, statutory rape, especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual activity involving a minor.

A violation of this section shall constitute an offense one classification lower than the most serious crime solicited, unless the offense solicited was a Class E felony, in which case the offense shall be a Class A misdemeanor.

Contact Our Firm

If you've been accused of having sex with a minor, the backlash from the community may be harsh. It could cause you to lose your job and cause friction with family members. If the allegations are unfounded, you shouldn't have to live with the stigma. You have the right to defend yourself and we can help.

To schedule a free case evaluation at McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law, call 865-566-0125 or send us an email. We can help you build a strong defense and protect your constitutional rights. Appointments are available at any of our three offices: Knoxville, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia. We accept credit cards.