Can My Husband be Charged with Sexual Battery in Florida?
In Florida, sexual battery is the official name for rape. There is a misconception that sexual battery only occurs between people who do not know each other. A spouse can be charged with sexual battery in some instances.
Sexual battery is explained in Florida Statute 749.011. it is a crime to have non-consensual sexual contact with someone else through the use of his or her sexual organ or another option. Sexual contact can be oral, vaginal, or anal.
Rape is aggressively prosecuted in Florida, and can carry severe penalties, some of which will follow the offender for the rest of his or her life.
What is Aggravated Sexual Battery?
In addition to sexual battery, there is something called aggravated sexual battery that carries more severe penalties. These special circumstances can result in a charge of aggravated sexual battery:
- Offender drugged the victim to keep them physically and/or mentally incapacitated;
- Offender threatened victim with retaliation and the victim believed he or she would act on their threats;
- Victim was left physically helpless and had no way to resist;
- Offender coerced the victim using threats of violence or actual violence and the victim believed the offender would act on the threat;
- Victim was in fear of the offender who held a position of authority, like a law enforcement officer; or
- The victim has a known mental defect and the offender took advantage of that.
Other types of aggravated sexual battery include sexual battery with a child under 12 years old, sexual battery with a deadly weapon, and sexual battery likely to cause serious personal injury.
Spousal Rape in Florida
Marriage does not make either spouse subject to sexual requirements, and like any single individual, you have the right to say no to sex. If your spouse is convicted of spousal rape, he or she can be looking at a lengthy prison sentence, hefty fines, restitution, court-ordered therapy, and they may have to register as a sex offender.
Someone can be convicted of spousal rape on several different grounds. These include cases where the accused and victim are married, and:
- One spouse forced the other to partake in sexual acts against their will;
- One spouse threatened the other spouse if they did not consent;
- The victim was unconscious and could not consent; or
- The victim could not consent because they were incapacitated or are mentally handicapped.
Other Domestic Violence in the Marriage
If a spouse is raped, it’s likely there are other forms of domestic violence happening in the marriage. If your spouse is not convicted of rape, you may need to seek legal protection. If you are in immediate danger, you need to dial 911 and see if you can stay with a relative or friend. If not, seek assistance from a local shelter or another safe location. You will not forfeit your rights to your property or your home by seeking safety elsewhere temporarily.
If you need assistance with child custody, obtaining a restraining order, or any other assistance, you need a skilled, yet compassionate, Florida family law attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White at 561-391-9943 to schedule a consultation.