What is the Difference Between Sexual Assault and Rape


Both sexual assault and rape are serious crimes under Indiana law that come with consequences that are even more severe if an individual is convicted of committing one or the other of these sex crimes. If you are in the need of a sex crimes attorney because you have been accused committing rape or sexual assault, you need to call Indiana sex crimes attorneys at Gemma & Karimi, LLP at (317) 676-4747 today.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is an activity that may include inappropriate touching, child sexual abuse, forced anal or vaginal penetration, sexual torture, forced sexual intercourse, or even forced kissing. Generally speaking, sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact of any kind.

What is Rape?

Rape, on the other hand, is an act of sexual violence in which one person gets their sexual organs to penetrate the unwilling partner sexually and forcefully.  Rape is a form of sexual assault that comprises of vaginal, anal, or oral diffusion or drug-facilitated sexual assault to another person in an erotic manner.

Sexual Assault and Rape by The Numbers.

According to several studies done concerning the two forms of sexual abuse crimes, in sexual assault, 13.0% of cases are female adolescents. In contrast, 3.4% of cases are male adolescents. However with  rape, 14.8% of cases are adult women with reported completed rape cases, while 2.8% are cases of attempted rape. Male rape is often wildly underreported with the numbers between 5-14%. Sexual assault in general is largely underreported because sexual assault is related to unwanted sexual contact.

Sexual Assault and Rape Penalties

Unlike rape, where victims can present physical signs of the assault which show the effects of the violent act. Fortunately, sexual assault often does not involve violence, nor does it cause physical injury or even leave visible marks. Sexual assault can cause severe distress, emotional harm and injuries which can’t be seen  all of which can take a long time to recover from. In Indiana, both sexual assault and rape are felony offenses.

IC 35-42-4-1 Rape (effective July 1, 2014)
Sec. 1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a person who knowingly or intentionally has sexual intercourse with another person or knowingly or intentionally causes another person to perform or submit to other sexual conduct (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-221.5) when:
(1) the other person is compelled by force or imminent threat of force;
(2) the other person is unaware that the sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-221.5) is occurring; or
(3) the other person is so mentally disabled or deficient that consent to sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct (as defined in IC 35-31.5-2-221. 5) cannot be given; commits rape, a Level 3 felony.
(b) An offense described in subsection (a) is a Level 1 felony if:
(1) it is committed by using or threatening the use of deadly force;
(2) it is committed while armed with a deadly weapon;
(3) it results in serious bodily injury to a person other than a defendant; or
(4) the commission of the offense is facilitated by furnishing the victim, without the victim’s knowledge, with a drug (as defined in IC 16-42-19-2(1)) or a controlled substance (as defined in IC 35-48-1-9) or knowing that the victim was furnished with the drug or controlled substance without the victim’s knowledge.

Sexual Assault and Rape

Both sexual assault and rape are offenses where an individual has infringed on another persons intimate space. But with serious consequences that go with a sexual assault conviction, it is important to make certain that you have a sex crime lawyer on your side. Call our office to speak with a criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights at (317) 676-4747.