Rape and Statutory Rape Offenses

In Massachusetts, rape offenses are among the most serious felonies. The mandatory minimum sentences may increase depending on the aggravating factors associated with a rape charge (see below).  While the victim of a rape by an unknown assailant may give rise to identification issues ripe for cross-examination (meaning that we may be able to show inconsistencies or doubt that you were properly identified as the attacker), the most common defense to a rape charge is consent. The prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the alleged victim did not consent to having sexual intercourse with you. If your accuser has ulterior motives, we will investigate and expose them at trial. With a potential life sentence hanging over your head, you must absolutely contact a skilled defense attorney before ever speaking about an allegation of rape; even if you are completely innocent.

A conviction for any of the following rape and statutory rape offenses below requires registration with SORB.

Rape, defined as sexual intercourse or unnatural intercourse by a person with another person who is compelled to submit by force and against his will or by threat of bodily injury, is punishable by up to 20 years in state prison. A second or subsequent conviction for this offense carries up to life in prison.

Aggravated Rape, or rape resulting in serious bodily injury, carries up to life in prison.

Rape while Armed with a Firearm carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years in state prison, up to life in prison.

Drugging Persons for Sexual Intercourse carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in state prison, up to life in prison.

Statutory Rape (Rape of a Child), defined as sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16, carries up to life in state prison.*

* Lack of knowledge that the child was under 16 years old is not a defense.

Statutory Rape (Rape of a Child) with Aggravating Factors** carries a mandatory minimum 10 years in state prison, up to life in state prison.

**For purposes of this charge, aggravating factors include any one of the following:
  1. The defendant and victim are more than 5 years apart in age and the victim is under 12 years old; or
  2. The defendant and victim are more than 10 years apart in age and the victim is under 16 years old; or
  3. The defendant is a mandated reporter, as defined by MGL c. 119 s. 21.
Statutory Rape by Force (Rape of a Child by Force) carries up to life in prison.

Statutory Rape by Force with Aggravating Factors *** carries a mandatory minimum 15 years in state prison, up to life in prison.

*** For purposes of this charge, an aggravating factor is present whenever the defendant committed the statutory rape by force while committing any one of the following felonies:
  • Armed Burglary
  • Unarmed Burglary
  • Breaking and Entering
  • Entering without Breaking
  • Breaking and entering a dwelling house
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
  • Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
  • Home invasion
  • Posing or exhibiting a Child in state of nudity or sexual conduct;

or, for purposes of this section, aggravating factors may also include any one of the following:

  • the statutory rape is committed by means of an act or acts resulting in substantial bodily injury
  • the statutory rape is committed while the victim is tied, bound, or gagged
  • the statutory rape is committed after the defendant administered, or cause to be administered, alcohol or a controlled substance without the victim's consent
  • the statutory rape is committed by a joint enterprise
  • the statutory rape is committed in a manner in which the victim could contract a sexually transmitted disease or infection of which the defendant knew or should have known he was a carrier

Statutory Rape by a Previously Convicted Sex Offender carries a mandatory minimum 15 years in state prison, up to life in prison. 

Statutory Rape by Force by a Previously Convicted Sex Offender carries a mandatory minimum 20 years in state prison, up to life in prison. 


If you have been charged with any rape or statutory rape offense, or any other sex crime, contact our office immediately for your free initial consultation:

(617) 830- 2188

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