Rape Laws Georgia

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Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.

Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.

Published on March 04, 2024.


The Offense of Rape

Facing charges for rape or any other sex offenses in Georgia can lead to severe penalties, including potential registration as a sexual offender and community stigma. Although being charged with rape does not guarantee a conviction, it is essential that you seek legal counsel and representation as soon as possible after being arrested.

Understanding what constitutes rape according to the rape laws of Georgia will help you in no small measure. Even when you are facing a rape charge, several defenses may be available to you depending on the circumstances of your case.

Sexual offenses are not taken lightly by the criminal justice system. So, it is crucial that you contact criminal defense attorneys when you are facing a rape charge. At Philip Kim Law, P.C., our criminal defense attorneys are willing to help you and give you practical assistance in your rape case. Each sexual offense is unique, and you would need the experience and skill of a skilled attorney.

This article aims to provide an understanding of what constitutes rape under Georgia rape laws, along with insights into other sexual offenses, their corresponding penalties, and potential defenses for rape cases.

Rape Charges

According to OCGA § 16-6-1, rape is a sexual offense that involves having carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and contrary to her will or a female of less than ten years of age. The law also explains carnal knowledge in rape as when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.

Certain elements must be proved for a person to be convicted of rape, including the following:

  • That penetration of the female’s sex organ occurred
  • That the penetration occurred by a male sex organ
  • That the penetration was done forcibly and against the female’s will or the female is under ten years of age.

Note that it is not required that the male’s sex organ enter the female’s vagina. Entrance of the penis into the vulva or labia is sufficient proof to show that there was penetration.

(Aggravated) Sexual Battery & (Aggravated) Sodomy

Besides rape, aggravated sodomy and aggravated sexual battery are also sexual crimes in Georgia. Though the rape laws apply to only male offenders, crimes such as aggravated sexual battery and aggravated sodomy apply to male and female offenders.

Aggravated sexual battery refers to an intentional penetration of a person’s sexual organ or anus using foreign objects, such as a finger, without the consent of the person. Sexual battery involves intentional physical contact with the intimate parts, such as the genitals, buttocks, breasts, and inner thighs of another person. Though sexual battery is a misdemeanor if it is committed against a person who is at least 16 years old, it will be a felony offense if it is committed a second time.

Where the offense is committed against a person below 16 years of age, sexual battery will amount to a felony.

Aggravated sodomy refers to a sexual act involving the sexual organ of a person and the anus or mouth of another person, which is committed by force contrary to the victim’s will. If an act of sodomy is committed by an individual who is less than ten years old, it also amounts to aggravated sodomy.

Statutory Rape

Under OCGA § 16-6-3, statutory rape occurs when individuals have sexual intercourse with someone under 16 who is not their spouse. In Georgia, the age of consent, also known as the under-16 rule, signifies the age at which a person is legally considered to have the mental capacity to consent to sexual activities.

When a person is 16 years old, they are deemed to possess the understanding necessary to comprehend the nature and consequences of engaging in sexual activities.

Legal Implications of Rape Charges in Georgia

Rape charges and other sexual crimes have severe consequences which may have a long-lasting impact on the convicted offenders.

For rape, the penalty includes the death penalty, imprisonment for life without parole, imprisonment for life, or a statutory minimum of 25 years in prison, succeeded by a lifetime probation. In addition to this penalty, you must register as a sex offender for life with the state.

Strategies for Defense Against Rape

The following defenses may be available to you in rape cases, depending on the circumstances:

  • Medical impotence: You can have the defense of medical impotence against the offense of rape if you are medically incapable of having sexual intercourse. However, since slight penetration amounts to rape, the defense is not so often raised.
  • Prior consented sexual activity: Showing that the accused and the supposed victim had consensual intercourse in the past can be used to mitigate the punishment.
  • Consent: Consent is a vital defense to the offense of rape. If both parties involved in sexual intercourse are of age and the victim agrees to the act, such will not amount to rape because the absence of consent is a crucial element of rape.
  • Lack of DNA evidence: Suppose an alleged rape victim seeks medical attention immediately after the act, and there is no DNA evidence of sexual intercourse or penetration occurring; this lack of DNA evidence can be used as a defense.

It is essential that you note that you did not use physical force to get the victim to consent or you got consent because of intimidation are not defenses to the offense of rape. Even if the victim is your wife, her status as your wife will not be a defense where rape occurred.

Philip Kim Law, P.C., Can Help You With Your Rape Cases

Sexual crimes are not taken lightly in Georgia, and you should not take them lightly, too. Immediately you are arrested for violent crimes, including rape, aggravated sexual battery, and statutory rape, hiring a criminal defense attorney will help you in your case.

Our attorneys at Philip Kim Law, P.C., have extensive experience in handling sexual crime cases. We are willing to help you navigate the nuances of the rape laws of Georgia, including the statute of limitations for rape, build a strong defense for you, and represent you effectively in your trial.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Philip Kim Law, P.C.
368 West Pike Street, Suite 203
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(678) 203-6968
Fax: (678) 273-3501
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