Forsyth County authorities are looking for a man who inappropriately groped a woman while she was jogging near McFarland Parkway.
News outlets are referring to this incident as an incident of sexual assault.
As a Georgia Sex Crimes Lawyer, I see this misnomer quite frequently. Many people, including news outlets, are confused about Georgia's sex crime laws. What has actually been described in this situation is sexual battery. In today's post, I will outline the difference between the two offenses.
Sexual Assault vs. Sexual Battery in Georgia
Sexual assault in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-5-5.1 as:
Sexual assault occurs when a person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another individual engages in sexual contact with them.
Sexual assault is classified as a felony. This is much different than the offense of sexual battery.
The consequences of a sexual assault conviction in Georgia will include a prison term between one and twenty years, a fine up to $100,000, or both.
Sexual battery in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-6-22 as:
A person commits the offense of sexual battery when he or she intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person.
Sexual battery is classified as a high and aggravated misdemeanor. This is one step above a misdemeanor but one step below a felony in Georgia.
The consequences of a sexual battery conviction in Georgia will include a jail term of up to 12 months, a fine up to $5,000, or both.
Sex Crimes in Georgia can be difficult to understand. Most of the time, people think of horrific situations when in reality, a sex crime is similar to any other offense. This also means that people are wrongly accused of sex crimes more than we would like to admit as well.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for sex offense in Georgia, contact a Georgia Sex Crimes Attorney today.