Scottsdale police recently arrested a man on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman in her apartment on Saturday. The 21-year-old woman had just returned home and, before she had a chance to lock her door, the suspect allegedly forced his way into her apartment and sexually assaulted her.
The suspect was identified by police after a forensic test of the victim. The man was in Tempe at the time of his arrest on Monday. The woman was injured by the assault, but she did not require hospitalization.
Sexual assault, according to § 13-1406 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, is a class 2 felony offense that could be punished by up to 14 years in prison and a longer term of imprisonment for second or subsequent offenses. This could be the case for the man alleged of sexual assault in this story. Since his DNA must have already been in the police bank to connect him to the crime forensically, he may have been convicted of a felony prior to this event.
The maximum term of imprisonment for sexual assault with one prior felony is 21 years and 28 years for two or more prior felony convictions. The actual criminal offense of sexual assault is intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with someone without their consent.
The Arizona Revised Statutes list three possible defenses against sexual assault charges:
- There was consent
- The act was performed by a licensed physician/nurse as a lawful form of treatment
- The defendant was the spouse of the victim at the time of the act
If convicted for sexual assault, this man will also have to register as a sex offender. There are three different tiers of sex offenses. Tier I sex offenses are the least serious. A person convicted under this category will have to register for 15 years with annual verification.
A person convicted and placed in the Tier II category will have to register for 25 years with semiannual verification. Tier III, the most serious category, requires registration for life with quarterly verification. Sexual assault, because it is carried out by force or under threat, can fall under the category of Tier III.
Failure to register as a sex offender is a criminal offense in and of itself. A convicted sex offender who fails to register, verify their registration or notify local law enforcement when they change addresses may face additional criminal penalties.
If you or someone you care about has recently been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, you need serious, immediate and aggressive legal representation. Contact a Phoenix criminal defense attorney at Knowles Law Firm, PLC today for a free consultation. During this initial meeting, we can discuss your charges with you and provide you with the legal counsel you need.