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How are sex crimes defined in Tennessee?

The term "sex crimes" tends to bring to mind the offense of rape. In the state of Tennessee and beyond, however, "sex crimes" is a complex and more complicated area of law. Rape alone has various classifications. 

This is one of various posts that will lay out the labels and definitions of Tennessee's sex crimes. Let's start with the most widely-known: rape. How does Tennessee define the criminal offense of rape?

State statute says, "Rape is unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by a victim." This means that men and women can technically be charged with rape. 

A major component of a rape case is coercion. Coercion doesn't necessarily involve force. Many rape cases might involve physical force allegations, but they can also include accusations of emotional pressure, threats, kidnapping, etc. 

The matter of consent in sex crimes cases can confuse some men and women. This aspect of the law comes into play in cases involving minors, as well as in cases involving impairment. An important basic question to clear up is this: Who can and cannot consent to sex?

Tennessee's statutory rape laws are quite intricate and complicated. The specific ages of the parties involved in each case determines the classification of the alleged offense. Below are just a couple examples of age-related rape laws according to FindLaw:

Statutory Rape 

A 13- or 14- year-old victim and a defendant 4-10 years older or a 15-17 year old victim and defendant 5-10 years older.

Mitigated Statutory Rape

A 15-17 year-old victim and a defendant at least 4-5 years older.

Those facing any charges of rape have an important criminal defense fight ahead of them. That fight will be best executed with the support of an aggressive sex crimes defense lawyer who will give you the attention you need during this serious time.

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