What is the penalty for Sexual Molestation of Child in Maryland?

Full Question:

I have recently been accused of child molestation and I admitted to what was the truth. It's the first time that I have ever been accused of such a thing and the first time that I am having legal problems. I don't know much about what can happen now. I took a polygraph because at first denied it. I failed the polygraph and then admitted to my wrong doing. This is my first time with an offense and I am 19 years old the little girl is 4. I don't know what I do now. They said that they would call me if they needed anything else but didn't tell me anything else. What do I do now? What do you think is my maximum sentencing?
03/12/2009   |   Category: Criminal ยป child molest...   |   State: Maryland   |   #15607

Answer:

The following are Maryland statutes:

§ 3-307 CRIM. LAW Sexual offense in the third degree; penalty.

(a) Prohibited. — A person may not:

(1)
(i) engage in sexual contact with another without the consent of the
other; and


(ii)

1. employ or display a dangerous weapon, or a physical object that
the victim reasonably believes is a dangerous weapon;


2. suffocate, strangle, disfigure, or inflict serious physical injury on
the victim or another in the course of committing the crime;


3. threaten, or place the victim in fear, that the victim, or an
individual known to the victim, imminently will be subject to death,
suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, serious physical injury, or
kidnapping; or


4. commit the crime while aided and abetted by another;

(2) engage in sexual contact with another if the victim is a mentally
defective individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a
physically helpless individual, and the person performing the act knows or
reasonably should know the victim is a mentally defective individual, a
mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual;

(3) engage in sexual contact with another if the victim is under the
age of 14 years, and the person performing the sexual contact is at least
4 years older than the victim;

(4) engage in a sexual act with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years
old, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 21 years old;
or

(5) engage in vaginal intercourse with another if the victim is 14 or 15
years old, and the person performing the act is at least 21 years old.

(b) Penalty. — A person who violates this section is guilty of
the felony of sexual offense in the third degree and on conviction is
subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.

§ 3-319 CRIM. LAW Admissibility of certain evidence in prosecution
for rape, sexual offense.

(a) Reputation and opinion evidence
inadmissible. — Evidence relating to a victim's
reputation for chastity or abstinence and opinion evidence
relating to a victim's chastity or abstinence may not be
admitted in a prosecution for:

(1) a crime specified under this subtitle or a lesser
included crime;


(2) the sexual abuse of a minor under § 3-602 of this
title or a lesser included crime; or


(3) the sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult under § 3-604 of
this title or a lesser included crime.

(b) Specific instance evidence admissibility
requirements. — Evidence of a specific instance of a
victim's prior sexual conduct may be admitted in a
prosecution described in subsection (a) of this
section only if the judge finds that:

(1) the evidence is relevant;


(2) the evidence is material to a fact in issue in the
case;


(3) the inflammatory or prejudicial nature of the evidence
does not outweigh its probative value; and


(4) the evidence:

(i) is of the victim's past sexual conduct with the
defendant;


(ii) is of a specific instance of sexual activity showing
the source or origin of semen, pregnancy, disease, or
trauma;


(iii) supports a claim that the victim has an ulterior
motive to accuse the defendant of the crime; or


(iv) is offered for impeachment after the prosecutor has
put the victim's prior sexual conduct in issue.


(c) Closed hearing. —
(1) Evidence described in
subsection (a) or (b) of this section may not be referred
to in a statement to a jury or introduced in a trial unless
the court has first held a closed hearing and determined
that the evidence is admissible.

(2) The court may reconsider a ruling excluding the
evidence and hold an additional closed hearing if new
information is discovered during the course of the trial
that may make the evidence admissible.

§ 3-601 CRIM. LAW Abuse of minor prohibited; penalty.

(a) Definitions. —
(1) In this section the
following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) "Abuse" means physical injury sustained by a minor as a
result of cruel or inhumane treatment or as a result of a
malicious act under circumstances that indicate that the
minor's health or welfare is harmed or threatened by the
treatment or act.

(3) "Family member" means a relative of a minor by blood,
adoption, or marriage.

(4) "Household member" means a person who lives with or is
a regular presence in a home of a minor at the time of the
alleged abuse.

(5) "Severe physical injury" means:

(i) brain injury or bleeding within the skull;


(ii) starvation; or


(iii) physical injury that:


1. creates a substantial risk of death; or


2. causes permanent or protracted serious:


A. disfigurement;


B. loss of the function of any bodily member or organ; or


C. impairment of the function of any bodily member or
organ.

(b) First-degree child abuse. —
(1) A parent or
other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody
or responsibility for the supervision of a minor may not
cause abuse to the minor that:

(i) results in the death of the minor; or


(ii) causes severe physical injury to the minor.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a
person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection is
guilty of the felony of child abuse in the first degree and
on conviction is subject to:

(i) imprisonment not exceeding 25 years; or


(ii) if the violation results in the death of the victim,
imprisonment not exceeding 30 years.

(c) Repeated offense. — A person who violates this
section after being convicted of a previous violation of
this section is guilty of a felony and on conviction is
subject to:

(1) imprisonment not exceeding 25 years; or


(2) if the violation results in the death of the victim,
imprisonment not exceeding 30 years.


(d) Second-degree child abuse. —
(1)
(i) A parent
or other person who has permanent or temporary care or
custody or responsibility for the supervision of a minor
may not cause abuse to the minor.


(ii) A household member or family member may not cause
abuse to a minor.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a
person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection is
guilty of the felony of child abuse in the second degree
and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding
15 years.

(e) Sentencing. — A sentence imposed under this
section may be separate from and consecutive to or
concurrent with a sentence for any crime based on the act
establishing the violation of this section.

§ 3-602 CRIM. LAW Sexual abuse of minor prohibited; penalty.

(a) Definitions. —
(1) In this section the
following words have the meanings indicated.


(2) "Family member" has the meaning stated in § 3-601 of
this subtitle.


(3) "Household member" has the meaning stated in § 3-601 of
this subtitle.


(4)(i)

"Sexual abuse" means an act that involves sexual
molestation or exploitation of a minor, whether physical
injuries are sustained or not.

(ii) "Sexual abuse" includes
:


1. incest;


2. rape;


3. sexual offense in any degree;


4. sodomy; and


5. unnatural or perverted sexual practices.

(b) Prohibited. —
(1) A parent or other person who
has permanent or temporary care or custody or
responsibility for the supervision of a minor may not cause
sexual abuse to the minor.

(2) A household member or family member may not cause
sexual abuse to a minor.

(c) Penalty. — A person who violates this
section is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject
to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years.

(d) Sentencing. — A sentence imposed under this
section may be separate from and consecutive to or
concurrent with a sentence for:

(1) any crime based on the act establishing the violation
of this section; or

(2) a violation of § 3-601 of this subtitle involving an
act of abuse separate from sexual abuse under this section.

§ 3-503 CRIM. LAW Abduction of children; penalty.

(a) Prohibited. —
(1) A person may not,
without color of right:

(i) forcibly abduct, take, or carry away a child under the
age of 12 years from:

1. the home or usual place of abode of the child; or


2. the custody and control of the child's parent or legal
guardian;

(ii) without the consent of the child's parent or legal
guardian, persuade or entice a child under the age of
12 years from:

1. the child's home or usual place of abode; or


2. the custody and control of the child's parent or legal
guardian; or

(iii) with the intent of depriving the child's parent or
legal guardian, or any person lawfully possessing the
child, of the custody, care, and control of the child,
knowingly secrete or harbor a child under the age of
12 years.

(2) In addition to the prohibitions provided under
paragraph (1) of this subsection, a person may not, by
force or fraud, kidnap, steal, take, or carry away a child
under the age of 16 years.

(b) Penalty. —
(1) A person who violates
subsection (a)(1) of this section is guilty of a felony and
on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding
20 years.

(2)
(i) Except as provided under subparagraph (ii) of this
paragraph, a person, other than a parent of the child, who
violates subsection (a)(2) of this section is guilty of a
felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not
exceeding 30 years.


(ii)

1. If a person convicted under subsection (a)(2) of
this section is convicted in the same proceeding of rape or
a first degree sexual offense under Subtitle 3 of this
title, the person is guilty of a felony and on conviction
is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life without the
possibility of parole.


2. If the State intends to seek a sentence of imprisonment
for life without the possibility of parole under
sub-subparagraph 1 of this subparagraph, the State shall
notify the person in writing of the State's intent at least
30 days before trial

.


§ 14-101 CRIM. LAW Mandatory sentencing for crime of violence.

(a) "Crime of violence" defined. — In this
section, "crime of violence" means:

(1) abduction;


(2) arson in the first degree;


(3) kidnapping;


(4) manslaughter, except involuntary manslaughter;


(5) mayhem;


(6) maiming, as previously proscribed under former
Article 27, §§ 385 and 386 of the Code;


(7) murder;


(8) rape;


(9) robbery under § 3-402 or § 3-403 of this article;


(10) carjacking;


(11) armed carjacking;


(12) sexual offense in the first degree;


(13) sexual offense in the second degree;


(14) use of a handgun in the commission of a felony or
other crime of violence;


(15) child abuse in the first degree under § 3-601 of this
article;


(16) sexual abuse of a minor under § 3-602 of this
article if:

(i) the victim is under the age of 13 years and the
offender is an adult at the time of the offense; and


(ii) the offense involved:

1. vaginal intercourse, as defined in § 3-301 of this
article;


2. a sexual act, as defined in § 3-301 of this article;


3. an act in which a part of the offender's body
penetrates, however slightly, into the victim's genital
opening or anus; or


4. the intentional touching, not through the clothing, of
the victim's or the offender's genital, anal, or other
intimate area for sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse;


(17) an attempt to commit any of the crimes described in
items (1) through (16) of this subsection;

(18) continuing course of conduct with a child under
§ 3-315 of this article;

(19) assault in the first degree;

(20) assault with intent to murder;

(21) assault with intent to rape;

(22) assault with intent to rob;

(23) assault with intent to commit a sexual offense in the
first degree; and

(24) assault with intent to commit a sexual offense in the
second degree.

(b) Scope of section. — This section does not
apply if a person is sentenced to death.

(c) Fourth conviction of crime of violence. —
(1)
Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, on
conviction for a fourth time of a crime of violence, a
person who has served three separate terms of confinement
in a correctional facility as a result of three separate
convictions of any crime of violence shall be sentenced to
life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

(2) Notwithstanding any other law, the provisions of this
subsection are mandatory.

(d) Third conviction of crime of violence. —
(1)
Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, on
conviction for a third time of a crime of violence, a
person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for the term
allowed by law but not less than 25 years, if the person:

(i) has been convicted of a crime of violence on two prior
separate occasions:

1. in which the second or succeeding crime is committed
after there has been a charging document filed for the
preceding occasion; and

2. for which the convictions do not arise from a single
incident; and

(ii) has served at least one term of confinement in a
correctional facility as a result of a conviction of a
crime of violence.

(2) The court may not suspend all or part of the mandatory
25-year sentence required under this subsection.

(3) A person sentenced under this subsection is not
eligible for parole except in accordance with the
provisions of § 4-305 of the Correctional Services Article.

(e) Second conviction of crime of violence. —
(1)
On conviction for a second time of a crime of violence
committed on or after October 1, 1994, a person shall be
sentenced to imprisonment for the term allowed by law, but
not less than 10 years, if the person:

(i) has been convicted on a prior occasion of a crime of
violence, including a conviction for a crime committed
before October 1, 1994; and


(ii) served a term of confinement in a correctional
facility for that conviction.


(2) The court may not suspend all or part of the mandatory
10-year sentence required under this subsection.

(f) Compliance with Maryland Rules. — If the State
intends to proceed against a person as a subsequent
offender under this section, it shall comply with the
procedures set forth in the Maryland Rules for the
indictment and trial of a subsequent offender.

(g) Eligibility for parole after age 65. —
(1) A
person sentenced under this section may petition for and be
granted parole if the person:

(i) is at least 65 years old; and


(ii) has served at least 15 years of the sentence imposed
under this section.

(2) The Maryland Parole Commission shall adopt regulations
to implement this subsection.

§ 14-102 CRIM. LAW Sentencing when law sets maximum, minimum penalty.

(a) In general. — Subject to subsection (b) of this section, if a law
sets a maximum and a minimum penalty for a crime, the court may impose
instead of the minimum penalty a lesser penalty of the same character.

(b) Exceptions. — This section does not affect:

(1) a maximum penalty fixed by law; or

(2) the punishment for any crime for which the statute provides one and
only one penalty.

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