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What is Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Michigan

July 13, 2016 Criminal Law and Procedure

Fourth degree criminal sexual conduct is a type of sexual assault crime. A sexual assault crime is defined by the type of act a person has with another person and the relationship between the parties.

Fourth degree criminal sexual conduct includes sexual contact by one person to another. Sexual contact means the person intentionally touched another person’s genital area, groin, inner thigh, butt, breast or clothing covering those areas.

Fourth degree criminal sexual conduct is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 2 years in prison, a $500 fine, as well as sex offender registration.

Below is the definition of fourth degree sexual assault as defined by the law. However, the law is especially complicated in the area of sex crimes, so it is important to speak with an attorney on these matters.

A person is guilty of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct where the person engages in sexual contact with another person and any of the following situations exist;

  • The victim is at least 13 years old but less than 16 years old, and the person is 5 or more years older than the person
  • The person uses force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact. Force or coercion include
    • The use of physical force or violence
    • The person gets the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence on the victim, and the victim believes the person has the present ability to execute that threat
    • Where the person coerces the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim, or any other person and the victim believes the person has the ability to execute that threat. Retaliate includes threats of additional punishment, kidnapping, or extortion
    • Where the person engages in medical treatment or examination of the victim in a manner or for purposes which are medically recognized as unethical or unacceptable
  • The person knows or has reason to know the victim is mentally incapacitated, mentally incapable, or physically helpless.
  • Where the person is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree and the sexual contact occurs under circumstances not otherwise addressed by the other types of sexual assault definitions. However, it is an affirmative defense to a prosecution that the victim was in a position of authority over the defendant and used this authority to coerce the defendant to commit an act. The defendant has the burden of proving this defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • Where the person is a mental health professional and the sexual contact occurs during or within 2 years following the end of the professional-patient relationship, and the victim is not the person’s spouse. The consent of the victim is not a defense.
  • Where the victim is at least 16 years of age but less than 18 and a student at school, and either of the following applies;
    • The person is a teacher, a substitute teacher, or administrator of that school or school district. This does not apply if the victim is emancipated or if both persons are lawfully married at the time.
    • The person is an employee or a contractual service provider of the school or school district in which the victim is enrolled, or is a volunteer who is not a student in any school, or is an employee of this state or any unit of government to provide any service to that school or school district, and the person uses his employment, contractual, or volunteer status to gain access to, or establish a relationship with the victim
  • Where the victim is at least 16 years old but less than 26 years of age and is receiving special education service, and either of the following applies:
    • Where the person is a teacher, substitute teacher, administrator, employee, or contractual service provider of the school or school district from which the victim receives special education services. This does not apply, however, where both persons are married at the time of the alleged contact.
    • The person is a volunteer who is not a student in any school, or is an employee of this state or any unit of government to provide any service to that school or school district, and the person uses his employment, contractual, or volunteer status to gain access to, or establish a relationship with the victim
    • The person is an employee, contractual service provider, or volunteer of a child care organization, or a person licensed to operate a foster family home or a foster family group home, in which the victim is a resident481, that the victim is at least 16 years of age, and the sexual contact occurs during the other person’s residency.

Contact us at 734-883-9584

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at bernstein@arborypsilaw.com.

Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Attorney in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.