Child Molestation

Child Molestation Attorney

Being accused of a sex crime against a child is a terrifying experience.  These types of criminal allegations can destroy your life and the lives of the people you love the most.   In the state of Indiana, a conviction for child molestation, sexual misconduct with a minor, or child solicitation carries serious criminal penalties, including being subject to the terms of the credit restriction felon statute and having to comply with enhanced sex offender registration requirements.

It is important to understand that cases involving sexual crimes against a child are some of the most difficult to resolve.   They are also some of the most heavily reported, which means that even if the allegations prove to be false, the associated publicity can ruin your career and your reputation in the community.  The Stracci Law Group understands just how much is at stake when you are accused of these types of sex crimes.  We will take quick and decisive action to prepare your defense even before formal charges are filed.  Our lawyers will examine the allegations against you from every angle to ferret out false claims, we will protect you from disingenuous police interrogation practices, and when appropriate, we will lead the police to the actual perpetrator.  We will vigorously fight for you at every stage of the process and work side by side with you to develop a customized strategy for your defense as well as to ensure you are released on bond.

Child Molestation

In the state of Indiana, a person who performs or submits to fondling or touching with a child under the age of 14 for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either themselves or the child commits the crime of child molesting. Indiana Code § 35-42-4-3 classifies this offense as a Level 4 felony punishable by a 2-12 year term in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  However, the offense will be elevated to a Level 2 felony, punishable by a term of 10-30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, when it is:

  • Committed by either using or threatening the use of deadly force;
  • Committed while armed with a deadly weapon; or
  • Facilitated by giving the child a drug or controlled substance without the child’s knowledge or knowing that the child was furnished with such a drug or substance.

​A person who engages in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14 also commits the crime of child molestation, but under Indiana Code § 35-42-4-3 this offense is classified as a Level 3 felony punishable by a 3 to 16 year prison term and a fine of up to $10,000.  Moreover, when certain aggravating circumstances are present, the crime will be elevated to a Level 1 felony which carries a 20 to 40 year prison term and a fine of up to $10,000.  Aggravating circumstances include where the offense is:

  • Committed by a person 21 years of age or older;
  • Committed by either using or threatening the use of deadly force or while armed with a deadly weapon;
  • Results in bodily injury;
  • Facilitated by giving the child a drug or controlled substance without the child’s knowledge or knowing that the child was furnished with such a drug or substance; or
  • Committed by a person who knows they are infected with a dangerous sexually transmitted disease and the offense results in the transmission of the disease.

​Beyond the lengthy prison terms and substantial monetary fines, individuals convicted of child molesting in Indiana also face additional consequences, including being:

  • ​Potentially being classified as a “credit restricted felon” under Indiana Code § 35-31.5-2-72 (meaning that the individual will have to serve approximately 85% of his or her prison sentence) depending upon numerous other statutory factors;
  • Required to register with the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry; and
  • Designated as a “sexually violent predator” or “offender against children,” which come with more stringent registry requirements, including having to register for life.

​Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

Under Indiana Code § 35-42-4-9 a person who is at least 18 years of age and performs or submits to any fondling or touching with a child who is at least 14 but under the age of 16 for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either him or herself or the child, commits the crime of sexual misconduct with a minor. This offense is classified as a Level 6 felony, which carries a prison term ranging between 6 months and 2 ½ years along with a maximum fine of up to $10,000.   If the offender is 21 years of age or older, the offense will be elevated to a Level 5 felony which carries a prison term ranging between 1 and 6 years along with a fine of up to $10,000.  Moreover, the offense will be heightened to a Level 2 felony, punishable by a term of 10-30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000, under the following circumstances:

  • The offense was committed by either using or threatening the use of deadly force or while armed with a deadly weapon; or
  • The offense was facilitated by giving the child a drug or controlled substance without the child’s knowledge or knowing that the child was furnished with such a drug or substance without the child’.

Additionally, a person who is at least 18 years of age and engages in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct with a child who is at least 14 but under the age of 16, commits the crime of sexual misconduct with a minor.  Indiana Code § 35-42-4-9 classifies this offense as a Level 5 felony, punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  However, the offense will be elevated to a Level 4 felony, punishable by a 2 to 12 year term in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000, if the person committing the offense is 21 years of age or older.  Moreover, if the offense is committed with the use or threat of the use of deadly force, takes place while armed with a deadly weapon, results in serious bodily injury, or is facilitated by providing the child with a drug or controlled substance without the child’s knowledge or knowing that the child was furnished with such a drug or substance without the child’s knowledge, the offense will be elevated to a Level 1 felony, punishable by a 20 to 40 year prison term and a fine of up to $10,000.

​Similar to a conviction for child molesting, in the state of Indiana, the crime of sexual misconduct with a minor carries additional consequences beyond jail time and monetary penalties, including:

  • The requirement to register with the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry; and
  • Designation as a “sexually violent predator” or “offender against children,” that subjects the individual to enhanced registry requirements, including having to register for life.

​Child Solicitation

In the state of Indiana, when a person who is at least 18 years of age “solicits” a child under 14 years of age (or an individual the person believes to be under 14), to engage in sexual intercourse, other sexual conduct, or fondling or touching for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either him or herself or the child, the person commits the crime of child solicitation.  Indiana Code § 35-42-4-6 defines “solicit” to mean “command, authorize, urge, incite, request or advise” the victim to perform such actions using the following means:

  • In person;
  • Telephone or wireless device;
  • Writing;
  • Computer network
  • Advertisement; or
  • Any other means.

​This offense is classified as a Level 5 felony which carries a prison term between 1 and 6 years along with a fine of up to $10,000.  However, the offense will be elevated to a Level 4 felony, punishable by a 2 to 12 year term in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, where the person solicits the victim to engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct and:

  • Uses a computer network to commit the offense and travels to meet the child or individual believed to be the child; or
  • Has a prior, unrelated conviction for an offense under Indiana Code § 35-42-4-6.

​In cases where a person who is at least 21 years of age solicits a child who is at least 14 years old but less than 16 years old (or an individual the person believes to be at least 14 years old but less than 16 years old), to engage in sexual intercourse, other sexual conduct, or fondling or touching for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either him or herself or the child, commits the crime of child solicitation.  This offense is also classified as a Level 5 felony but will be elevated to a Level 4 felony when the person solicits the victim to engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct and:

  • Uses a computer network to commit the offense and travels to meet the  child or individual believed to be the child; or
  • Has a prior, unrelated conviction for an offense under Indiana Code § 35-42-4-6.

Like child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor, a child solicitation conviction subjects an individual to penalties that go far beyond harsh prison sentences and monetary penalties, including:

  • The requirement to register with the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry; and
  • Designation as an “offender against children,” that will require the offender to meet additional registry requirements such as having to register for life.

Defenses

Being accused of child molestation, sexual misconduct with a child, or child solicitation is a terrifying experience. The attorneys at The Stracci Law Group recognize that a conviction for this type of crime can stay with you forever.  We are devoted to doing everything we can to protect your rights and fight the serious charges you are facing.  We will carefully review your case to identify all defenses that may be available to you.  

For instance, if you have been charged with sexual misconduct with a minor under Indiana Code § 35-42-4-9, but you reasonably believed that the child was 16 years of age or older at the time of the conduct in question, you may have a valid defense to prosecution.  Indiana law also provides for a defense where the child is or was married.  Additionally, the so-called “Romeo and Juliet Defense” may apply if you are under the age of 21 and were involved in a dating or ongoing personal relationship with a partner who is not more than 4 years younger than you.  In order to avail yourself of this defense, you must have no prior sex offenses and meet additional factors set forth in the statute.  When you hire our firm, you can be confident that we know the ins and outs of these laws and will work with you to develop a customized defense strategy that fully develops all possible defenses.  

Discuss Your Situation with The Stracci Law Group

If you have been accused of child molestation, sexual misconduct with a child, or child solicitation in Northwest Indiana, it is important to speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately.  The attorneys at The Stracci Law Group are highly skilled professionals committed to protecting your legal rights and your reputation.  We understand just how difficult your situation is, and we will work relentlessly to build a strong and powerful defense on your behalf.  Our law firm provides free, confidential consultations to individuals in all types of criminal matters, including child molestation, sexual misconduct with a minor, and child solicitation.  Your case may end only after trial, but a quality defense starts before charges are even filed.

Exceeding
Expectations

“Stracci handled my personal injury case and exceeded all expectations. My family and I are thrilled with the recovery. I would never go anywhere else. His staff went above and beyond. Thank you very much for everything.”
Niko P., Injury Case
“Paul Stracci and his entire legal team are not only aggressive and insanely knowledgeable, but they also make you feel at ease during what is already a stressful situation. They know what they are doing, they are honest, and you can trust you’ll get the best possible outcome. They have a phenomenal criminal court and personal injury practice. Only the best works at this firm and I highly recommend them to anyone who needs great representation. You won't be disappointed.”
Jen, Injury Case
“Attorney Stracci and the team treated me and my case like I was their only client. Very professional and stayed in constant communication until receiving the disposition we aimed for!  I would highly recommend Stracci Criminal Defense to all for any legal concerns or issues.”
Paul M., Criminal Case
“With being suspended from my job for allegedly costing them money through a workman compensation injury. Not only was Mr. Stracci very detailed and kept in touch constantly he prove that I was completely innocent and got the bogus case completely dismissed quickly. He personally contacted me throughout the entire case, not like other lawyers that you don't speak to at all besides in the courtroom. I will recommend him to anyone and everyone.”
Amanda, Injury Case
“I hired Paul Stracci to represent me in a felony firearms case. He and his team were able to reach a very favorable outcome within 3 months. They are competent and professional in every way. You will not regret seeking his counsel.”
Aaron, Criminal Case
“Hired Paul the day after I got out of Lake County for a DUI. I explained my situation and told him about priors. He was still confident even after I explained that this was a 3rd. I hired him and about a month later the charge was dropped! Wish I had a Paul Stracci to hire in my younger years.”
Michael, Criminal Case
“Joshua Malher is a fantastic attorney. We reached out to him for a case, and he responded immediately, and we began the process. He explained the situation with clarity, and the results were outstanding. I highly recommend Joshua to anyone who may need a criminal or personal injury attorney.”
Sonia Mendez, Injury Case
“Paul Stracci is the best lawyer I’ve ever had in my life. Throughout the times I’ve been misfortunate enough to have legal troubles or needed legal advice Stracci Law Group has always had my best interest at heart and it has always worked out in my favor. I’d personally recommend Stracci Law Group to anyone who may need legal counsel for whatever reason.”
Anthony Davis, Personal Case
“I couldn't be more satisfied with the services Paul provided and the results he was able to achieve for me in my criminal case.”
Cory, Criminal Case
How can we help?

Committed professionals providing unmatched service for your personal injury and criminal defense needs.

Stracci Law Group is proud of the multifaceted team it has assembled and looks forward to putting its combined talents and resources to work on your case.
How can we help?
FAQ
No items found.

Get in touch with us
Today

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Menu
Close Menu