Every state penalizes Sexual Assault strictly, while in Maryland, sexual assault is known as sexual Abuse. According to the code of Maryland, sexual abuse is an unwanted sexual activity, which is performed either by force, threat or without the consent of the victim.
While there are plenty of long-term impacts of the sexual abuse on mental and physical health of the victim, the immediate effects includes anxiety, fear, shock, and depression. In order to reduce the negative impacts of sexual abuse from the society, Maryland deals with both, sexual abuse and rape cases, seriously. There are almost 10 different crimes that Maryland links to sexual assault and penalize the assaulter strictly. The punishment depends on the degree of the sexual abuse. The Sexual Abuse in Maryland has been divided into 4 different levels, while rape is divided into two different degrees.
- First Degree Rape:
The first degree of rape is mentioned in the law article section 3 – 303 and 3 – 309. It includes the act of involving someone in sexual intercourse either by force, or threatening them with weapon, which can cause serious injuries or even death.
- Punishment for first degree rape:
The maximum punishment for first degree rape case is life imprisonment, however, if the similar act is performed with a minor who is under the age of 13, the court declares life imprisonment without a chance of parole.
- Second Degree rape:
The Second Degree rape is mentioned in the law article section 3 – 304 and 3 – 310. It includes:
- The act of involving someone in sexual intercourse without their consent, either by force or threat.
- Performing a sexual intercourse with a mentally or physically incapable person who has no control of his own self. This even includes the people who are mentally sick, drunk or unconscious.
-Punishment: The penalty of attempting a second degree rape can lead a person to imprisonment of maximum 20 years, however, if an adult is charged for attempting a second degree rape with a minor who is under 13, the law charges him with a minimum of 15 years to a maximum life time imprisonment.
- Sexual Abuse:
- First Degree sexual abuse:
First degree Sexual abuse is mentioned in the law article section 3 – 305 and 3 – 311. It means that the individual is engaging in a forceful sexual activity (oral or anal sex) by threat of a weapon, by force or without the consent of the other person.
- Punishment: Life time imprisonment.
- Second Degree sexual abuse:
Second degree Sexual abuse is mentioned in the law article section 3 – 306 and 3 – 312. It means that the individual is engaging in forceful sexual activity with a mentally or physically unstable individual, without their consent.
- Punishment: maximum 20 years of imprisonment, however, in case of a minor minimum 15 years of imprisonment to a maximum life time imprisonment.
- Third Degree sexual abuse:
Third degree Sexual abuse is mentioned in the law article section 3 – 307. It includes touching of genitals of the victim, with the intention of sexual contact. In this case, either the victim is mentally unstable, unconscious, a minor under 14.
- Punishment: A felony charges with a maximum 10 years of imprisonment.
- Forth Degree sexual abuse:
Forth degree Sexual abuse is mentioned in the law article section 3 – 308. It includes the following illegal activities:
- Sexual contact without the consent of the individual.
- Vaginal intercourse between a minor under 14 and a 4 years older adult.
- Engaging in sexual contact or sexual activity with a minor by misusing the authority, such as a teacher involving in a sexual contact with his/her student.
Punishment: one year imprisonment along with a maximum fine of $1000.