Sex Crimes



Washington defines rape as forcible sexual intercourse without the other person’s consent. Sexual intercourse is defined as penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object, however slight. Note that the force used in the “forcible sexual intercourse” can be physical or emotional. Some examples of emotional force include threats, intimidation, and coercion.

There are three different degrees of rape under Washington Law – first, second and third.

Rape in the First Degree is when a person commits a rape, and in doing so, either:

  • Uses a weapon or threatens with a weapon;
  • Kidnaps the victim;
  • Inflicts serious physical injury; or,
  • Enters a building or car where the victim is located

Rape in the First Degree is a Class A felony that is punishable by up to life in prison, and/or a $50,000 fine.

Rape in the Second Degree is when a person commits rape and either:

  • The defendant uses “forcible compulsion;” or,
  • The victim is incapable of consent because he or she is physically helpless, mentally incapacitated or developmentally disabled.

“Forcible compulsion” means physical force which overcomes resistance, or a threat, (express or implied) that places a person in fear: of death or physical injury to herself or himself or another person; or, in fear that she or he or another person will be kidnapped.

Rape in the Second Degree is a Class A felony that is punishable by up to life in prison, and/or a $50,000 fine.

Rape in the Third Degree is when a person commits rape and either:

  • The victim’s lack of consent was expressed by words or conduct; or,
  • The defendant threatened substantial harm to the victim’s property.

Rape in the Third Degree is a Class C felony punishable by five years in prison, and/or a $10,000 fine.



There are two elements to the crime of indecent liberties. These are:

  1. The defendant engaged in forcible sexual contact without the victim’s consent; and,
  2. Either the defendant used “forcible compulsion,” or, the victim was incapable of consent because he or she was physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, or developmentally disabled.

The definition of “sexual contact” is any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party or a third party. The definition of “forcible compulsion” is the same as used for rape.

Indecent liberties is a Class A felony punishable by up to life in prison, and/or a $50,000 fine.


In addition to the above penalties, a defendant guilty of either rape or indecent liberties must register in the Sex Offender Registry. Sex offenders that intentionally do not register, or that provide false information when registering, face even more penalties. These can include additional prison time.

Legal defenses are available to those accused of rape or indecent liberties in Washington. But, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to successfully raise one and fight these severe charges. Our attorneys have the skill and experience that matters.  They’re passionate in their representation and tireless in their efforts. Contact them now and get the criminal legal representation you deserve!


We serve clients throughout Washington including those in the following localities: King County including Bellevue, Kent, and Seattle; Benton County including Kennewick; Chelan County including Wenatchee; Clallam County including Port Angeles; Grays Harbor County including Aberdeen; Kitsap County including Port Orchard; Kittitas County including Ellensburg; Pierce County including Tacoma; Skagit County including Mount Vernon; Snohomish County including Everett; Spokane County including Spokane; Thurston County including Olympia; Whatcom County including Bellingham; and Yakima County including Yakima.