Any person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, a person younger than 16 years old, is committing lewd or lascivious molestation.
What constitutes lewd or lascivious behavior?
Lewd or lascivious behavior is sexual behavior or conduct that is considered crude and offensive, or contrary to local moral or other standards of appropriate behavior.
The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The victim was younger than 16 years of age
- The defendant either:
- In a lewd or lascivious manner, intentionally touched the breasts, crotch, butt, or clothing covering those areas of the victim
- In a lewd or lascivious manner, intentionally forced or enticed the victim to touch the breasts, genitals, crotch, butt, or clothing covering those areas of the defendant
The penalties for lewd or lascivious molestation vary based on the age of the victim and the offender, as well any prior violations the offender has been charged with.
- Life Felony: an offender 18 years or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim under the age of 12 years. Life felonies can result in a lifetime imprisonment.
- First Degree Felony: an offender 18 years or older who commits lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim 12 years or older but less than 16 years old and the offender has previously been convicted of a violation. First degree felonies can result in up to 30 years imprisonment.
- Second Degree Felony: A second degree felony can result in up to 15 years imprisonment. In these cases, the defendant is:
- Less than 18 years of age and the victim is less than 12 years of age.
- 18 years or older and the victim is older than 12 years of age but less than 16.