Rape

Contact a Pittsburgh Rape Defense Attorney Today If You've Been Accused

The crime of rape is among the most egregious in the criminal code, and the penalties imposed by the state of Pennsylvania are commensurate with the seriousness of the offense.  Rape is prosecuted as a first-degree felony offense in Pennsylvania.  Depending on the presence of certain factors, there may also be enhanced penalties.

Given the high stakes nature of a rape offense, it’s important to work with a skilled team of attorneys who understand how to comprehensively represent your interests throughout the litigation process.  We encourage you to get in touch with an experienced Pittsburgh rape defense attorney at McKinney Law for further guidance on how to proceed.

Basics of the Rape Offense in Pennsylvania

Rape is defined in Section 3121 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes as sexual intercourse with a complainant:

  1. By forcible compulsion;
  2. By threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;
  3. Who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring;
  4. Where the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants, or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; or
  5. Who suffers from a mental disability that renders the complainant incapable of consent.

Rape of a child (with or without serious bodily injury) is a related offense that requires the complainant to be less than 13 years of age.  No forcible compulsion or threat of compulsion is necessary to satisfy the offense when a child is the victim.

Penalties

Rape is a first-degree felony offense with punishment that includes up to 20 years imprisonment, $25,000 in fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.  In certain circumstances, however, there may be additional penalties imposed upon the convicted defendant.

Consider this:

  • If the defendant administered or otherwise used a substance (i.e., the date rape drug) that caused the victim to become impaired in their ability to appraise or control their conduct, there may be an additional penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and up to $100,000 in fines.
  • If the victim was less than 13 years of age at the time of the rape, the term of imprisonment will be increased to 40 years.
  • If the victim was less than 13 years of age at the time of the rape and suffered serious bodily injury during the rape, the term of imprisonment will be increased to a lifetime sentence.

Understanding Sexual Intercourse and Forcible Compulsion

Understanding the rape charge that has been brought against you requires an understanding of its component elements – specifically, what constitutes sexual intercourse and forcible compulsion under Pennsylvania law.

Sexual intercourse requires penetration, though the penetration may be slight in nature and may involve either the vagina, anus or mouth.  For example, if a man inserts his penis into a woman’s mouth – even if the insertion is only for a few seconds – then he could be held liable for rape under Pennsylvania law.  It should be noted that ejaculation is unnecessary for a rape conviction.

Forcible compulsion (actual compulsion or threat of forcible compulsion) is any conduct that involves sexual intercourse without the consent – implicit or explicit – of the victim.  For example, suppose that the victim clearly says “no” to sexual intercourse and attempts to escape from the situation.  If the offender holds the individual down and begins penetration, then that will qualify as forcible compulsion.

Speak to an Experienced Pittsburgh Rape Defense Attorney at McKinney Law

Our attorneys have extensive experience handling a range of Pennsylvania criminal disputes, including those surrounding sex crime offenses such as rape.

We are fully aware of the enormous impact that a rape accusation – let alone a charge or conviction – can have on the defendant-client and their family.  As such, we strive to develop a highly-communicative partnership with our clients so that we can help strategically guide them through every step of prosecution.

Ready to discuss your case?

Call (412) 520-3301 or submit a case evaluation form through our website to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh rape defense attorney at McKinney Law.