Is Consensual Sex a Defense to Sexual Battery?

March 22, 2022

If you have been charged with sexual battery, then you should speak with an Athens sex crimes attorney about your options.

Defendants in criminal cases are innocent until proven guilty. Sexual battery cases are no different. You are not required to plead guilty to any charges of sexual battery. There are several defenses you can use to counter the charges. 

If you are facing sexual battery charges, you may admit that you committed the sexual act but claim that the victim consented to the actions. If this truly is the case, then you may be able to use this as a possible defense.

Of course, the specific facts of your case will determine the best defense strategy. If you have been charged with sexual battery, then you should speak with an Athens sex crimes attorney about your options.

Consent and Sexual Battery

In a sexual battery case, the prosecution has the responsibility to prove that the sexual act occurred against the victim's will. However, if you can demonstrate that the alleged victim consented to the sexual act, then the charges could be dismissed.

However, proving consent can be challenging and controversial. For instance, you may need to testify as to what occurred, subjecting yourself to cross-examination by the prosecution. 

In some cases, a defense attorney may use the victim's history to demonstrate that they consented to the sexual activity. This defense strategy often backfires and casts a negative light on the defendant. Now, most judges do not allow the defense to use this strategy.

Consent is impossible in certain cases. For instance, if the victim is a minor, mentally challenged, incapacitated, and incapable of comprehending the sexual nature of the act, they cannot consent to the act.

Standards to Establish Consent

Aside from proving that there was consent, defendants must prove that the victim could legally consent to the sexual activity. Merely stating that the victim consented to the sexual act is not enough to establish a solid defense against the charges.

In Georgia, the standard of proof is much higher in sexual battery cases. This means you cannot argue that you did not realize the victim was legally incapable of consent. In these cases, if the victim is incapable of consenting, no amount of good faith belief can work as a defense for sexual battery. You still have a chance to use mistaken consent as a defense, provided you did not recklessly ignore the evidence of the victim's inability to consent. 

Book an Appointment with an Athens Sex Crimes Attorney

Sexual battery cases can have severe consequences. If you face sexual battery charges, you most likely have questions about the facts of your case. At Ryan Swingle Law, we are ready to assist you in creating a strong defense so that your rights are protected in court. Contact us online today to schedule a consultation.

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