What Are The 5 Types Of Sex Crimes?

A sex crimes lawyer usually defends people accused of at least one of 5 types of offenses. Take a look at what the 5 classes of sex crimes are and how each might apply.

Forcible Assaults

These are the offenses most easily understood as sex crimes, such as rapes, marital rapes, and sexual assaults. In these cases, an alleged perpetrator is accused of forcing a sex act on a victim. Consent is usually the central issue in these cases, especially when a sex crimes attorney has evidence showing both parties consented.


Such cases involve sex between very close relatives. In most states, this applies to genetic parents and siblings. It may also apply to cousins of a close degree, but each state has its own rules. Whether consent was given does not factor in these cases.

Age-Related Offenses

Most of these cases involve children, although some cases may involve abuse of adult dependents or elders. Sex crimes in this category include the exploitation of minors, child pornography, and molestation.

Notably, not knowing the age of the victim is not a defense in these cases. That applies even if the conduct was consensual. Also, many states have rules that expand definitions to include computer-generated depictions of minors. Electronic transmission of such images is widely considered a crime, too.

Some states also have carve-outs for particular crimes in this category that expand what is considered an offense. For example, a school employee might be charged with a crime if they have sex with a student, even if the student is of the age of consent. This sort of offense is seen as a breach of the trust that society vests in school employees.

Crimes Against Nature

The most obvious cases in this category generally involve bestiality, the accusation that some had sex with an animal. Indecent exposure is also included in this category.

Sodomy, a class of crimes that involve consenting sex acts that are considered unacceptable, is in this category. However, multiple Supreme Court judgments have all but eliminated this category of offense.

Sex for Sale

Prostitution is still widely prosecuted throughout the United States. This includes sex crimes involving both sides of a transaction: soliciting sex for money and offering it. Most of these cases require direct proof of a transaction, such as an envelope of cash being handed to the provider of sexual services. Discussions of transactions are usually not considered sufficient grounds for prosecution, but acting to complete a transaction may be.

For more information, contact a sex crimes attorney.