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Child molestation

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Child molestation takes place when an adult engages in any type of sex act with a person under the age of 18. It is illegal for an adult to touch any portion of a minor's body with a "lewd and lascivious" intent.

Defense to child molestation

Usually, the defense of consent is not available to a child molest charge. In other words, even if the under age victim was a willing participant, a sex act or improper touching is still a crime. Usually, mistake of age is not a defense. A common exception is in the crime of sexual intercourse with a minor (commonly called "statutory rape"). In some jurisdictions, if the minor is 16 or 17 but presented herself as being over 18, that is a defense. But if the minor was under 16, mistake of age is not a defense.

For more information on sexual offenses, including child molestation, consult a criminal defense lawyer.

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