PA Sex Crime FAQ's

In the hierarchy of crimes, those of a sexual nature are among the most serious - and being convicted of one can cause life-changing consequences including fines and lengthy jail sentences.

In the state of Pennsylvania, the following are considered sexual crimes:

Rape - A person is guilty of committing rape in Pennsylvania when he or she engages in sexual intercourse:

  • by forcible compulsion
  • by threat of compulsion
  • with a person who is unconscious or with a person who is unaware that sex is happening
  • when the person has substantially impaired the victim's power to control the situation without their knowledge (through drugs, intoxicants, etc.) for the purpose of preventing resistance
  • with a person who suffers from a mental disability

Being convicted of rape, a first-degree felony, in Pennsylvania is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, as well as a fine.

Rape of a Child - A person is guilty of committing the crime of rape of a child in Pennsylvania if he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a victim younger than 13. Being convicted of rape of a child - a first-degree felony - in Pennsylvania is punishable by as many as 40 years in prison.

Rape of a Child with Serious Bodily Injury - A person is guilty of committing the crime of rape of a child in Pennsylvania when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a victim younger than 13 who suffers serious bodily injury during the course of the offense. Being convicted of rape of a child with serious bodily injury - a first-degree felony - is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison in Pennsylvania.

Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse - A person is guilty of committing involuntary deviate sexual intercourse in Pennsylvania when he or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a victim:

  • by forcible compulsion
  • by threat of forcible compulsion
  • who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that sexual intercourse is happening
  • whose power to control his or her conduct was impaired by the accused
  • who suffers from a mental disability that renders them incapable of consent
  • who is younger than 16 years old, and the accused is four or more years older than the victim (and the pair are not married)

Being convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse - a felony in the first degree - in Pennsylvania is punishable by jail.

Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a Child - A person is guilty of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child in Pennsylvania when he or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant who is younger than 13. Being convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child is a felony in the first degree in Pennsylvania punishable by jail.

Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a Child with Serious Bodily Injury - A person is guilty of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child with serious bodily injury in Pennsylvania when he or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a child who is younger than 13, and who suffers serious bodily injury during the course of the offense. Being convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child with serious bodily injury - a first-degree felony - in Pennsylvania is punishable by jail.

Institutional Sexual Assault - A person is guilty of institutional sexual assault in Pennsylvania when he or she is an employee or agent of the Department of Corrections, or a county correctional authority, youth development center, juvenile detention center, or other licensed residential facility or mental health institution serving children or youth and engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with an inmate detainee, patient or resident. In Pennsylvania, institutional sexual assault is a third-degree felony.

Institutional Sexual Assault of a Minor - A person is guilty of institutional sexual assault in Pennsylvania when he or she is an employee or agent of the Department of Corrections, or a county correctional authority, youth development center, juvenile detention center, or other licensed residential facility or mental health institution serving children or youth and engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with an inmate detainee, patient or resident who is younger than 18. In Pennsylvania, institutional sexual assault is a third-degree felony. In Pennsylvania, institutional sexual assault of a minor is a third-degree felony.

*There are also institutional sexual assault statutes that deal with school and daycare employees.

Aggravated Indecent Assault - A person is guilty of aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania when he or she engages in penetration - however slight - of the genitals or anus of a complainant with a part of the body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law-enforcement procedures if:

  • he or she does so without consent
  • he or she does so by forcible compulsion
  • the complainant is unconscious
  • the complainant suffers from a mental disability that renders them incapable of consent
  • the complainant is younger than 13, or the complainant is younger than 16 and the accused is four or more years older than the complainant (and not married to each other)

Aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania is a second-degree felony.

Aggravated Indecent Assault of a Child - A person is guilty of aggravated indecent assault in Pennsylvania when he or she engages in penetration - however slight - of the genitals or anus of a complainant with a part of the body for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law-enforcement procedures if the complainant is younger than 13. Aggravated indecent assault of a child is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania.

Indecent Assault - A person is guilty of indecent assault in Pennsylvania when he or she has indecent contact with a complainant or makes the complainant come into contact with them, with seminal fluid or with urine or feces for the purpose of sexual arousal and:

  • without consent
  • by forcible compulsion
  • by threat of forcible compulsion
  • the complainant is unconscious
  • the complainant has a mental illness and cannot give consent
  • the complainant is younger than 13, or, if 16, the accused is four years or older than the complainant

Indecent Exposure - A person is guilty of indecent exposure when someone exposes their genitals in any public place or in any place where other people are present, or in a place in which he or she knows (or should have known) that it would likely offend, affront or alarm.

Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Image - A person is guilty of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in Pennsylvania when he or she disseminates an image with intent to harass, annoy or alarm a current or former sexual or intimate partner in a state of nudity or engaged in sexual conduct. Unlawful dissemination of an intimate image is a second-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania (a first-degree misdemeanor when the person depicted is a minor).