Unlawful Sexual Contact Law & Legal Definition


Unlawful sexual contact is a crime defined by state laws, which vary by state. Typically, it is defined as when a person motivated by sexual gratification intentionally has sexual contact with another person who is less than a certain age or whose ability to consent is impaired, or causes the victim to have sexual contact with the person or a third person.

The following is an example of a state statute dealing with unlawful sexual contact:

Unlawful sexual contact

1. A person is guilty of unlawful sexual contact if the actor intentionally subjects another person to any sexual contact and:

A. The other person has not expressly or impliedly acquiesced in the sexual contact. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

B. The other person has not expressly or impliedly acquiesced in the sexual contact and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

C. The other person is unconscious or otherwise physically incapable of resisting and has not consented to the sexual contact. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

D. The other person is unconscious or otherwise physically incapable of resisting and has not consented to the sexual contact and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

E. The other person, not the actor's spouse, is in fact less than 14 years of age and the actor is at least 3 years older. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

F. The other person, not the actor's spouse, is in fact less than 14 years of age and the actor is at least 3 years older and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

G. The other person suffers from a mental disability that is reasonably apparent or known to the actor that in fact renders the other person substantially incapable of appraising the nature of the contact involved or of understanding that the other person has the right to deny or withdraw consent. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

H. The other person suffers from a mental disability that is reasonably apparent or known to the actor that in fact renders the other person substantially incapable of appraising the nature of the contact involved or of understanding that the other person has the right to deny or withdraw consent and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

I. The other person, not the actor's spouse, is in official custody as a probationer or parolee or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other person. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

J. The other person, not the actor's spouse, is in official custody as a probationer or parolee or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other person and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

K. The other person, not the actor's spouse, is in fact less than 18 years of age and is a student enrolled in a private or public elementary, secondary or special education school, facility or institution and the actor is a teacher, employee or other official having instructional, supervisory or disciplinary authority over the student. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

L. The other person, not the actor's spouse, is in fact less than 18 years of age and is a student enrolled in a private or public elementary, secondary or special education school, facility or institution and the actor is a teacher, employee or other official having instructional, supervisory or disciplinary authority over the student and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

M. The other person is in fact less than 18 years of age and the actor is a parent, stepparent, foster parent, guardian or other similar person responsible for the long-term general care and welfare of that other person. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

N. The other person is in fact less than 18 years of age and the actor is a parent, stepparent, foster parent, guardian or other similar person responsible for the long-term general care and welfare of that other person and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

O. The other person submits as a result of compulsion. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

P. The other person submits as a result of compulsion and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime;  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

Q. The actor owns, operates or is an employee of an organization, program or residence that is operated, administered, licensed or funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and the other person, not the actor's spouse, receives services from the organization, program or residence and the organization, program or residence recognizes that other person as a person with mental retardation. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this paragraph that the actor receives services for mental retardation or is a person with mental retardation as defined in Title 34-B, section 5001, subsection 3. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime;  [RR 2003, c. 2, §26 (cor).]

R. The actor owns, operates or is an employee of an organization, program or residence that is operated, administered, licensed or funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and the other person, not the actor's spouse, receives services from the organization, program or residence and the organization, program or residence recognizes that other person as a person with mental retardation and the sexual contact includes penetration. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this paragraph that the actor receives services for mental retardation or is a person with mental retardation as defined in Title 34-B, section 5001, subsection 3. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime;  [RR 2003, c. 2, §26 (cor).]

S. The other person, not the actor's spouse, is in fact less than 18 years of age and is a student enrolled in a private or public elementary, secondary or special education school, facility or institution and the actor, who is at least 21 years of age, is a teacher, employee or other official in the school district, school union, educational unit, school, facility or institution in which the student is enrolled. Violation of this paragraph is a Class E crime; or  [2001, c. 383, §23 (new); §156 (aff).]

T. The other person, not the actor's spouse, is in fact less than 18 years of age and is a student enrolled in a private or public elementary, secondary or special education school, facility or institution and the actor, who is at least 21 years of age, is a teacher, employee or other official in the school district, school union, educational unit, school, facility or institution in which the student is enrolled and the sexual contact includes penetration. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime.