“Indecent Liberties”: Understanding Kansas Child Molestation Laws
Kansas law, Kansas prosecutors, and society at large treat with particular harshness and scorn those charged with sexual offenses against children. When such acts involve intercourse or “lewd fondling,” they can constitute the Kansas crime of “indecent liberties with a child.” If prosecutors charge you with indecent liberties, you will be facing a lifetime of consequences. Not only could you spend a long time behind bars, but you will also be forever known as a registered sex offender and will have to carry that burden and stigma as you try to move forward with your life.
For these reasons, it is critical that you retain an experienced Kansas sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible if prosecutors have accused you of engaging in sexual acts with a minor. As scary or hopeless as things may seem, you have rights that a skilled attorney can protect and potential defenses that they can raise that could spare you the severe consequences of a conviction.
What are “Indecent Liberties”?
Kansas law establishes multiple offenses involving indecent liberties with a child. Which charges you will face, and the penalties that await you if convicted, depend primarily on the age of the child and the nature of the sex act involved:
- Indecent Liberties With a Child. You can be convicted of this severity level 5, person felony if the child involved was 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age and:
- You and/or the child engaged in lewd fondling or touching of the other, or
- You solicited the child to engage in lewd touching with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the child, yourself, or another person.
- Aggravated Indecent Liberties With a Child (between the ages of 14 and 16). This more serious offense applies if the acts involved:
- Sexual intercourse with the child, or
- Lewd fondling or touching as described above or causing the child to engage in such touching and fondling without their consent.
- Aggravated Indecent Liberties With a Child (under the age of 14). You will face this charge if you engaged in lewd fondling or touching as described above with a child under 14 years old.
Penalties for Kansas Indecent Liberties Offenses
Unsurprisingly, a conviction for any of these offenses will result in a lengthy stint behind bars:
- Aggravated indecent liberties with a child involving either sexual intercourse with a child between 14 and 16 or lewd fondling or touching of a child under 14 is a level 3 person felony, punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment, depending upon criminal history.
- Aggravated indecent liberties with a child involving lewd touching and fondling of a child between 14 and 16 is a level 4 person felony, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, depending upon criminal history.
- If, however, the offender is 18 years of age or older, and the victim was under 14 years of age, the offense will be prosecuted as an off-grid person felony under “Jessica’s Law,” and is punishable by a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
- Anyone convicted of any form of indecent liberties with a child must register as a Kansas sex offender.
Protect Yourself From Indecent Liberties Charges: Call Jerry Merrill Today
If you are facing sex crime charges of any kind, including indecent liberties with a child, having an experienced and aggressive Johnson County sex crimes defense lawyer on your side is critical. Jerry Merrill invests in his clients and works tirelessly to ensure that clients receive the most favorable outcome possible.