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The precise definitions of and punishments for aggravated sexual assault vary from nation to nation and state to state:

In the United States of America, it is a felony sexual offense governed by laws that vary from state to state. Typically, it is "a sexual assault that maims, wounds, or disfigures the victim, or involves a victim who is physically or mentally incapacitated." It may also "include a sexual assault that is aided or abetted by another person, occurs during commission of another crime, or involves use of a deadly weapon. Local laws should be consulted for specific requirements and applicable penalties."[1]

Related is aggravated rape which in the USA is "an offense of rape that is committed under circumstances which render the offense more heinous... An aggravated rape is different from a forcible rape." The severity can be affected by the age of the victim, a blood relationship between the accused and the victim, the offender being armed with a weapon, and more than one offender raping the victim. "Rape which occurs during commission of specified crimes, such as assault and battery by means of dangerous weapon, constitutes aggravated rape, punishable by harsher penalties than simple rape. [Commonwealth v. Williams (1987) 23 Mass App 716, 505 NE2d 233, 1987 Mass App LEXIS 1786]."[1] It can also be defined as "oral, vaginal, or anal opening of a person's orifices without consent or will. The offender uses force, fear, or violence. The perpetrator uses a person's physical injuries as a way to rape the individual, uses death or kidnapping, uses a deadly weapon, or is aided by one or more people."[2]



In the United States, a defendant convicted of aggravated sexual assault is generally sentenced to time in jail. How much time the defendant receives is determined by a judge who considers the severity and quantity of the assault or assaults.[3]


Aggravated sexual assault can lead to short- or long-term effects. Many people who have been sexually assaulted have experienced an effect mentally or physically. The effects can include trauma to the body or emotional trauma. Some mental effects include Post-traumatic Stress, Sexual disorder, and depression. Effects to the body include bruising, bleeding from the vaginal area, soreness, and/or a dislocated bone.[4]

Post-traumatic stressEdit

When people are abused they tend to push aside the memories of the event. The victim may begin to relive the event and experience anxiety. After a person experiences aggravated sexual assault they experience a sense of fear and helplessness. It may also lead to the victim being impaired in a social environment.[5]

Sexual disorderEdit

Children who have been subject to aggravated sexual assault tend to develop a sexual disorder. A person who has felt powerless as a child may be confused over the differences between affection, sex and abuse.[5]


An individual who has been subjected to aggravated sexual assaulted as a child may experience depression, typically more often and to a greater degree than any other person.[5] Depression is a sense of sadness, and can cause a person to isolate themselves from society, and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.[4] Symptoms of depression include feeling worthless, hopeless, a change in eating habits, irrational anger or anxiety. Depression can also lead to suicide or thoughts on suicide.[6]

Rape laws on aggravated sexual assaultEdit

Australian lawEdit

"There are a number of circumstances that "aggravate" a charge of sexual assault. This includes, amongst others, where there are any of the following elements to the allegation:

  • Infliction of an injury on the alleged victim
  • Threat of an injury by the accused by use of a weapon or instrument
  • The accused acting along with another person
  • An alleged victim aged under 16
  • Where the alleged victim is "under the authority" of the accused person
  • An alleged victim having a serious physical disability
  • An alleged victim having a cognitive impairment"


British lawEdit

British Law does not specify a crime of "aggravated sexual assault" but the CPS states: "There may be the presence of aggravating features that make the offence significantly more serious, such as, abuse of position, use of drugs or other substances, use of violence/coercion, use of a weapon in the offence, repeated offending etc."[8]

Irish lawEdit

"3.—(1) In this Act "aggravated sexual assault" means a sexual assault that involves serious violence or the threat of serious violence or is such as to cause injury, humiliation or degradation of a grave nature to the person assaulted.

(2) A person guilty of aggravated sexual assault shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

(3) Aggravated sexual assault shall be a felony."


Connecticut rape lawsEdit

A person who commits aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, must contain the following in order to be considered aggravated sexual assault:

  1. He/she is armed or uses and threatens by his/her words or conducts that he/she possesses a deadly weapon.
  2. When a person intends to impair the victim permanently, or to dismember, or disable an organ of the victim's body, and causes injuries to the victim.[2]
  3. The accused engages in conduct that creates risk of death or physical injuries to the victim.
  4. He/she is aided by two or more people.

Aggravated sexual assault in the first degree is classified as a Class B felony.[2]

(Connecticut Penal Code 53a-70)

Georgia rape lawsEdit

A person who commits sexual battery is convicted with a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature.

A person who commits Aggravated sexual assault of a child receives a punishment of imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than thirty years.[2]

(Georgia criminal code 2024)

Illinois rape lawsEdit

Aggravated sexual assault in Illinois includes the following:

  1. Accused or displays, threatened to use, or actually used a deadly weapon in a manner as to cause the victim to cause the victim to believe it to be a dangerous weapon.
  2. The suspect caused bodily harm to the victim.
  3. The suspect threatened or endangered the life of the victim.
  4. The victim was sixty years or older when sexual assault was committed.
  5. The victim was handicapped.
  6. The suspect was seventeen years old or over and the victim was nine years old or younger when the sexual assault was committed.

-The suspect committed aggravated sexual assault if he/she commits an act of sexual penetration with a victim who is mentally ill.

("aggravated sexual assault is classified as a Class X felony")-Illinois code 5/15-14.[2]

Kansas rape lawsEdit

Aggravated sexual assault in Kansas includes the following:

  1. Sexual intercourse orally and anally with a child under fourteen years old.
  2. Coercing a child under fourteen to perform sexual activities with any other person.
  3. Forcing or making a person feel fearful, so they engage in sexual intercourse orally and anally.
  4. Performing sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious or injured physically.
  5. Performing sexual intercourse with a person who is mentally ill, has a disease, is drunk, and intoxicated with drug.

In Kansas aggravated sexual assault is a level 2 felony.[2]

Louisiana rape lawsEdit

If a person commits aggravated sexual assault in Louisiana they shall serve a lifetime sentence in prison. Aggravated sexual assault in Louisiana includes the following:

  1. The accused coerces the victim into sex even if they resist.
  2. The accused is much more powerful physically or may threaten the victim verbally and the victim feels like they are unable to resist.
  3. The accused is armed with a deadly weapon causing the victim to feel helpless.
  4. The accused is aided by two or more people.[2]

New Jersey rape lawsEdit

In New Jersey the performance of aggravated sexual assault is a first degree offense. The offense includes the following;

  1. The victim is younger than thirteen but not older than sixteen.
  2. The accused is a kin to the victim.
  3. The sexual intercourse is committed with one or more people during a robbery, kidnapping, homicide.
  4. The accused is armed with a deadly weapon and the victim is threatened.
  5. The accused forces the victim to engage in sexual intercourse.
  6. The accused uses physical force or the victim is mentally or physically ill.[2]

New York rape lawsEdit

Aggravated sexual assault in New York is considered a first degree felony and is classified as a Class B felony.

The act must include the following to be considered aggravated sexual assault.

  1. The victim is physically forced to engage in sexual intercourse.
  2. The victim is physically ill and is unable to give consent.
  3. The victim is under thirteen years old.[2]

Court casesEdit

(R v Cuerrier), was a Supreme Court of Canada in 1998, ruled that intentionally exposing a sexual partner to HIV , without letting them know is considered aggravated sexual assault. Currier was aware of being HIV positive and how the diseases can be transmitted, but did not want to reveal that he is HIV positive because he lived in a small community. He began to have a relationship with a woman in which they frequently engaged in sexual activities. Weeks within their relationship, the woman began to question about sexual transmitted diseases, Curreier told her that he took a test a few months ago and was tested HIV negative and did not mentions his current HIV status. During the same time, Currier begin to have another sexual relationship with a woman and when she asked about Sexual Transmitted Diseases he did not mention that he was infected. She then discovered that Currier had HIV and ended the relationship. He then was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault. That is then when the Supreme Court determined that if a person with HIV does not disclose that they are infected it is considered aggravated sexual assault.[10]

(Trevis Smith court case) An ex CFL player name Trevis Smith was convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault. On November 2003. Smith was tested HIV positive, Trevis Smith was accused of having unprotected sex with two women, their identities were not revealed. The womans claim that in the beginning of the relationship Smith did use condoms but then stopped. Smith did not disclose the information with any of the woman. Therefore, he was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Inc., US Legal,. "Aggravated Sexual Assault Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc". Retrieved 2016-12-12.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Harrison and Gilbert, Maureen and Steve (1996). The Rape Reference: A Resource For People At Risk. Excellent Books.
  3. ^ "720 ILCS 5/ Criminal Code of 2012". Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved 2016-04-18. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Effects of Sexual Assault and Rape". Joyful Heart Foundation.
  5. ^ a b c Kinnear, Karen L (2007). Childhood sexual abuse: a reference handbook.
  6. ^ "Depression". After Silence.
  7. ^ "Aggravated Sexual Assault - Armstrong Legal". Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  8. ^ "Sexual Offence Legislation: Rape and Sexual Offences: Legal Guidance: Crown Prosecution Service". Archived from the original on 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2016-12-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. ^ "Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act, 1990, Section 3". Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  10. ^ "Summary: R. v. Cuerrier" (PDF). Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Former CFLer guilty of aggravated sexual assault". 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2016-12-16.