The attorneys at Hyatt & Hyatt represent individuals charged with Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children. This particular statute is amongst the harshest in punishment in the Penal Code. Not only is the punishment range 25 years to life in prison, the legislature has effectively eliminated any possibility for individuals to become eligible for parole.
Elements of Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children
Section 21.02 of the Texas Penal Code defines Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child or Children. The elements of the offense are: (1) A person (2) Commits 2 or more acts of sexual abuse (3) During a period of 30 or more days in duration, and (4) at the time of the commission of each act of sexual abuse (5) the actor is 17 years of age or older and (6) the victim is a child younger than 14 years of age. While the offense itself has six elements, each of these elements can be broken down into multiple sub-elements with their own requirements or conditions. For example, the second element references “acts of sexual abuse.” §21.02(c) goes into detail about what “act of sexual abuse” can mean. The eight types of Sexual Abuse that 21.02 states are: (1) aggravated kidnapping under Section 20.04(a)(4), if the actor committed the offense with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually, (2) indecency with a child under Section 21.11(a)(4), if the actor committed the offense in a manner other than by touching, including touching through clothing, the breast of a child; (3) sexual assault under Section 22.011, (4) aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021, (5) burglary under Section 30.02, if the offense is punishable under Subsection (d) of that section and the actor committed the offense with the intent to commit an offense listed in Subdivisions (1)-(4), (6) sexual performance by a child under Section 43.25, (7) trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(7) or (8), and (8) compelling prostitution under Section 43.05(a)(2). Section 21.02 of the Texas Penal Code can be found here.
Each of these separate sections of “acts of sexual abuse” is a different offense from Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child or Children. For example, sexual assault under Section 22.011 is a lesser-included offense of Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children. What each of these elements mean and what implications they can have on sentences is startling.
Punishment for Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children
The Punishment for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child is that of a modified First Degree Felony. Rather than being from 5 to 99 years, Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child has a punishment range of 25 years to 99 years. Because the minimum punishment for this offense is 25 years, an individual found guilty of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child or Children is ineligible for probation. Additionally, pleading to this offense or being found guilty of this offense means that the defendant is ineligible for parole. The specific Government Code Statute can be found here. As such, any time sentenced to on this offense is flat time and must be served day-for-day. If an individual is sentenced to 35 years, they are not getting out of prison until that sentence is satisfied. The legislature has eliminated the possibility of parole on this offense.
Because of the complexities of the charged offense, along with the parole and probation implications such a charge carries, it is important individuals charged with offenses such as these seek counsel that deals with these types of allegations on a regular basis. The attorneys at Hyatt & Hyatt have helped clients navigate the waters of allegations such as these. There are potential solutions that include offenses that have the possibility of parole. Additionally, if an individual stands accused of this sort of offense and needs to fight the allegation, we stand ready with a team of advocates that are seasoned and experienced in this arena.