Texas doesn’t mess around with sex crimes. Legislators have created different levels of offenses to maximize the potential punishment to perpetrators, including super aggravated sexual assault.
This charge recently came to light in a number of recent cases in the state.
In one, a Katy, Texas man was brought up on a variety of child sex charges, including super aggravated sexual assault. In the other case, a man in Young County, Texas was brought up on similar charges related to child sex crimes.
We will discuss what super aggravated sexual assault is and how our state legally defines it. After laying out what the charges are and looking at a few different examples, we will examine the possible penalties.
What Does Texas Mean by Super Aggravated Sexual Assault?
Quite simply, super aggravated sexual assault deals with sexual crimes committed against children. Specifically, the charge is filed against people who are accused of committing sexual offenses against minors under the age of six years or when the victim is under the age of 14 years when certain factors are present.
This charge can also apply in cases of continuous child sexual abuse or when a person has prior convictions for child sexual abuse or aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
The crime is another term for aggravated sexual assault of a minor and is a new law that arose from Jessica’s Law. This was a series of laws passed in Florida and multiple other states in response to the rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford in 2005.
According to the Texas Penal Code, with aggravated sexual assault:
“A person commits the offense if the person intentionally or knowingly:
causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;
(ii) causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent; or
(iii) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor
Or if regardless of whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, intentionally or knowingly:
(i) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
(ii) causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;
(iii) causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
(iv) causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
(v) causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor”
The Young County man was convicted of the charge of super aggravated sexual assault for the rape of a child under the age of six. He was given a sentence of 50 years in prison for the act.
In the case of the Katy man, the charge stems from a May 2020 arrest on charges of possession of child pornography and aggravated sexual assault of a child. The charge of super aggravated sexual assault was handed down because one of his victims was under the age of six.
It that case, it is important to remember that the Katy man has only been charged with these crimes. He is presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.
What Is the Penalty for Super Aggravated Sexual Assault in Texas?
The crime of super aggravated sexual assault is considered a first-degree felony in Texas. This is one of the most serious crimes that can be committed in the state, along with capital murder.
If convicted on the charge of super aggravated sexual assault, an individual could face a life sentence or even the death penalty. A person convicted of a first-degree felony could face a maximum of 99 years in prison and no less than five years in prison. A fine not to exceed $10,000 may also be levied against the perpetrator. In cases of multiple convictions of continuous sexual abuse of a child, Texas allows the death penalty.
As you can see, super aggravated assault is an incredibly serious crime in the Lone Star State. The repercussions of this charge can be long-lasting and severe, so it is vital that you fight back with the strongest defense possible if you find yourself charged.