Aggravated Sexual Assault Law & Legal Definition


Aggravated sexual assault is a felony sexual offense governed by state laws, which vary by state. It is typically defined as a sexual assault that maims, wounds, or disfigures the victim, or involves a victim who is physically or mentally incapacitated. It may also be defined to 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.

The following is an example of a state law dealing with aggravated sexual assault:

An actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:

  1. The victim is less than 13 years old.
  2. The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old; and a. The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree;or b. the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim; or c. the actor is a foster parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;
  3. The act is committed during the commission, or attempted commission, whether alone or with one or more other persons, of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson, or criminal escape;
  4. The actor is armed with a weapon or any object fashioned in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon and threatens by word or gesture to use the weapon or object;
  5. The actor is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and the actor uses physical force or coercion;
  6. The actor uses physical force or coercion and severe personal injury is sustained by the victim;
  7. The victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless, mentally defective or mentally incapacitated.