Portland Rape, Sodomy, and Unlawful Penetration Defense Lawyer

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Whenever an allegation of rape is made, the accused may face lifelong consequences. A rape conviction can come with lengthy incarceration, sex offender registration, and lasting social scorn long after the penalties have been paid and time has been served.

If you have been accused of rape, sodomy, or unlawful penetration, you don’t need anyone to tell you how devastating these charges can be. What you do need to hear is that there is someone who will stand up for you during this difficult time and that a mere accusation does not automatically mean that you will be convicted. Both of these things are true. Portland sex crimes defense attorney Jeff Siefman is ready to stand by you and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact him at (503) 395-2135 to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case right away.

Rape, Sodomy, and Unlawful Penetration Laws in Oregon

The state of Oregon separates sex crimes into different categories based on the nature of the allegations. The three main categories are:

  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Unlawful Sexual Penetration

Within these categories, there are varying degrees (first, second, and third) that further define the seriousness of the charge. Below are the specific charges and degrees that a defendant may face:

Rape

A person may be charged with rape if they have sexual intercourse with another without their consent. This occurs upon penetration but does not require any emission. The different degrees of rape include:

  • Rape in the Third Degree: A person commits rape in the third degree if they have sexual intercourse with an individual who is under 16 years of age. This is a Class C felony which carries possible penalties of up to five years in prison and up to $125,000 in fines.
  • Rape in the Second Degree: This charge can be applied if a person has sexual intercourse with an individual who is under 14 years of age. This is a Class B felony and a Measure 11 crime, which could carry penalties of up to ten years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
  • Rape in the First Degree: If a person has sexual intercourse with another individual through forcible compulsion, if the victim is under 12 years of age, if the victim is under 16 years of age and is a sibling, child, or spouse’s child of the defendant, or if the victim is incapable of consent by mental defect or incapacitation or is physically helpless, a charge of Rape in the First Degree may be levied. This is a Class A felony and a Measure 11 crime, which can come with penalties of up to twenty years in prison and up to $375,000 in fines. 

Sodomy

Sodomy is a serious charge that involves “deviate sexual intercourse.” In Oregon, this is defined as sexual conduct involving the sexual organs of one individual and the mouth or anus of another. The different degrees of sodomy include:

  • Sodomy in the Third Degree: A person commits sodomy in the third degree if they engage in oral or anal sexual intercourse with another individual who is under 16 years of age or causes that person to engage in the acts listed above. This is a Class C felony, and the penalties match those listed above.
  • Sodomy in the Second Degree: This charge can be issued if the victim is under 14 years of age. This is a Class B felony.
  • Sodomy in the First Degree: If the victim is subject to forcible compulsion by the defendant, if the victim is under 12 years of age, if they are a child, child of a spouse, or sibling, or if they are incapable of consent, the charge may be sodomy in the first degree. This is a Class A felony and a Measure 11 crime.

Unlawful Sexual Penetration

The act of penetrating the vagina, anus, or penis of another person with any object other than the mouth or penis is considered unlawful sexual penetration. There are two different degrees of this crime, which include:

  • Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the Second Degree: If the victim is under the age of 14, this charge can be issued, with only a few exceptions (medical procedures and peace officers and corrections personnel acting under official business). This is a Class B felony.
  • Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree: If the victim is subjected to forcible penetration, if the victim is under 12 years of age, or if they are incapable of consent, the defendant may be charged with this crime. It is a Class A felony and a Measure 11 crime.

Defending Against These Allegations

If you have been accused of a sex crime like any of those listed above, it is critical that you hire an experienced sex crimes defense attorney immediately. The police will be conducting a thorough investigation, so you need an attorney who will do the same for you. If the accuser’s story changes, if evidence is lost, or if witnesses are not available, you need to know right away.

During our investigation, we often find that the alleged victim’s story is not credible. They may have offered different versions of the story, may have a history of making false accusations, or they may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. The detectives and prosecution need to be aware of this information, and we may be able to convince them to reduce the charges against you or drop the case altogether. If they insist on proceeding with the case, we will show this evidence to the jury and will question the credibility of your accuser.

It is important to note that in Oregon, claiming ignorance or “making a mistake” is not usually an effective defense strategy. Oregon criminal statutes specifically reference the fact that not being aware of a person’s age or mental capacity to consent is not a credible defense, unless the defendant can prove that they reasonably believed the person was above the specified age at the time of the offense, which can be very difficult to prove.

Contact Us For a Free Consultation

With more than a decade of experience helping individuals accused of crimes in Portland and across Oregon, attorney Jeff Siefman is ready to help you if you’ve been accused of a sex crime. Don’t let these allegations derail your life and ruin your reputation. The sooner you reach out for help, the stronger your defense will be. Contact Jeff at (503) 395-2135 to schedule a consultation right away.

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Practice Areas
Criminal Defense
Personal Injury