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CHILD MOLESTATION

CHILD MOLESTATION UNDER WASHINGTON LAW

Some people assume that child molestation is the same as charges involving the rape of a child. This is not true. The two offenses are very distinct.

Child molestation is clearly identified in Washington law. The law says that child molestation occurs when a person has, or knowingly causes, another person under the age of 18 to have “sexual contact.” “Sexual contact” is defined as “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.”

There are three degrees of child molestation in Washington. The differences between them pertain to the age of the alleged victim and the age of the defendant. For example:

  • Child Molestation in the First Degree is where there is sexual contact and: (1) the alleged victim is less than 12 years old; and, (2) the defendant is at least 36 months older than the victim. This is a class A felony.
  • Child Molestation in the Second Degree is where there is sexual contact and: (1) the alleged victim is at least 12 years old but less than fourteen years old; and, (2) the defendant is at least 36 months older than the victim. This is a class B felony.
  • Child Molestation in the Third Degree is where there is sexual contact and: (1) the alleged victim is at least 14 years old but less than sixteen years old; and, (2) the defendant is at least 48 months older than the victim. This is a class C felony.

PENALTIES FOR CHILD MOLESTATION

Given the nature of the offense, prosecutors seek to punish those guilty of child molestation to the fullest extent of the law. Punishment can include years (even a life) in prison and excessively high fines. Further, those guilty of this offense require sexual offender registration. For example:

  • Child Molestation in the First Degree carries with it a lifetime sexual offender registration requirement.
  • Child Molestation in the Second Degree carries with it a 15-year sexual offender registration requirement.
  • Child Molestation in the Third Degree carries with it a lifetime sexual offender registration requirement.

COMPLEX CASES 

 Many people know that child molestation cases are highly sensitive. But, they’re also very complex. Many of these cases require such professionals as: investigators, child specialists, physicians, child psychologists, and experts in child interview techniques. Given the complexity of child molestation charges, combined with their severity, it’s necessary for people facing such charges to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney.

The lawyers at Black Law have over twenty years of combined experience helping people fight these charges. Our child molestation attorneys are proven and tested. They have the skill that matters and the passion that makes a difference. Simply contact them today and let them help. Your rights and liberties demand it.

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.

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