Molestation Law and Legal Definition

Molestation is the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, and various sexual acts with the molester or with other children. Incest by a relative with a minor family member and any unwanted sexual acts with adults short of rape may also constirute molestation.

State laws vary, but generally child molestation, like other capital offenses such as murder, carries a maximum sentence of life behind bars. Some state law requires all records involving cases of child molestation to be sealed. Other states have laws requiring child molesters to be registered as sex offenders.