Rape and sexual offenses are criminal offenses in Maryland while in some states it is called as sexual assault. While rape is divided into two degrees, sexual offenses are categorized into four degrees. The punishment for these offenses will be based on the aggravating factors such as use of force, violence, brandishing weapons to the victim, etc.
Let us check what § 3-304, which deals with rape in the second degree, states:
(a) A person may not engage in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another:
(1) by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other;
(2) if the victim is a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual, and the person performing the act knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual; or
(3) if the victim is under the age of 14 years, and the person performing the act is at least 4 years older than the victim.
Prohibited–Children under age 13
(b) A person 18 years of age or older may not violate subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section involving a child under the age of 13 years.
(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.
(2)(i) Subject to subparagraph (iv) of this paragraph, a person 18 years of age or older who violates subsection (b) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not exceeding life.
(ii) A court may not suspend any part of the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.
(iii) The person is not eligible for parole during the mandatory minimum sentence.
(iv) If the State fails to comply with subsection (d) of this section, the mandatory minimum sentence shall not apply.
(d) If the State intends to seek a sentence of imprisonment for not less than 15 years under subsection (c)(2) of this section, the State shall notify the person in writing of the State’s intention at least 30 days before trial.
What the section prohibits?
According to the section dealing with second degree rape, engaging in vaginal intercourse with another 1) without his or her consent by force or threat, 2) with a mentally or physically incapacitated person when the accused knows of their condition, or 3) the victim is under 14 years old and the defendant is at least 4 years older than the victim, is prohibited.
Penalties for second degree rape in Maryland
For a second degree rape, the accused will get a maximum of 20 years imprisonment. If the accused is 18 years and over and sexually assaults a child under 13, the minimum term of imprisonment will be 15 years and maximum is life imprisonment.
What to do when charged with second degree rape in Maryland?
Sex crimes are very serious in nature and attract strict punishments. In some cases, it may be even difficult to prove. Therefore, it is important to know the laws. It is for reason; you will need to get in touch with an experienced sex crimes attorney to know your defenses and the possibility of getting your sentence reduced. C