Statutory rape is a charge under the Massachusetts statute of limitations that involves an adult engaging in non-consensual sex with a person who is less than 17 years old. The defendant must be charged with this crime before the victim can file a suit against the defendant. The statute of limitations differs for each state, but in Massachusetts, the crime is prosecuted within two years of the commission of the offense.
In 2021, the state of Massachusetts enacted a new law that makes it easier for people accused of statutory rape to defend themselves in court. The victims of this crime are now permitted to sue the defendant under the state’s private civil suit laws.
This means that the victim can seek damages from an individual or entity who has committed the crime even if they are a private party outside of the state. If the plaintiff wins the lawsuit, he or she may be entitled to statutory damages, attorney fees, and other costs related to the case. The new law also makes it far more difficult for the accused to escape liability.
The definition of “sexual act” includes all of the elements necessary to constitute the crime of statutory rape. The term “sexual act” also includes any visual or written representation of a person, including but not limited to: a video or picture; audio or video recording; or another form of interactive computer activity.
The only exception to the general rule is where the element of consent is involved. Under these circumstances, the state would consider whether the act was consensual Massachusetts age of consent. If it was not, the element of consent is waived and the case will not have further significance on the victim.
In determining the number of damages recovered, the state court usually takes into consideration two things. First, the nature of the victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering, and second, the type of behavior that was associated with the underlying sexual act.
Generally, the courts will award compensation for things like pain and suffering which is calculated by looking at what the victim would actually have lost if the act had not taken place, and thus allowing for future loss of potential earnings. In addition, the court may award punitive damages if it finds the defendant guilty of “reckless disregard” for the welfare of the victim. While both of these penalties are in essence “punitive” in nature, they serve a greater purpose than providing monetary compensation.
The Massachusetts statute also includes an allowance for ” punitive damages ” which may be awarded against the defendant for conduct constituting a violation of the law. While it is generally considered a last resort, the court can further attempt to deter future sex offenders from relocating to the state by requiring them to register with the state police. This requirement has often proven to be quite effective in reducing the number of sex offenders within a limited geographical area.
In addition, the victim may recover actual damages or punitive damages even in the case of a guilty verdict. Punitive damages are measured by the degree of emotional distress, physical and mental pain, and damage caused to the victim. In many cases, a settlement may be sufficient to cover the victim’s expenses. This can include medical bills, house cleaning, or any other form of care the victim has needed because of the sexual assault.