Texas state law defines sexual assault as non-consensual penetration with any object by one person against another. Consent implies the specific communication of “yes.” Silence does not indicate consent; it must be freely given. Consent obtained by force is invalid. Force includes threats, intimidation, emotional pressure and coercion. There are three categories of people who cannot legally give consent:
- Children. Texas Penal Code defines “child” as a person under 17 years of age who is not married to the person in question
- Persons under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, i.e. one who is impaired, intoxicated, or incapacitated
- Persons who are mentally incapacitated.
Victims are urged, but not required by law, to report the offense immediately to law enforcement representatives in order to begin the collection of evidence and to preserve the option for pursuing future legal action. If a victim wishes to remain anonymous during the process, a pseudonym can be provided.
Reporting a sexual offense:
- Report the crime immediately
- Do not shower, douche or change clothing. If the victim has already changed clothes, put them in a paper bag, as plastic bags may change the chemical composition of the evidence.
- The victim should go to the hospital for a physical examination
- The victim should seek emotional help. Contact the Texas Association Against Sexual Assult for more information.
Any accusation of a sex crime must be taken very seriously, as the consequences can be devastating and may include jail time, fines, probation, or sex offender registration. For information, click the topics below:
- In the Home
- In the Workplace
- In School
(click tabs below for more information)