Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child

Crimes for Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children are prosecuted under Texas Penal Code Section 21.02. The criminal offense is commonly known as Jessica's Law. The crime of Continuous Sexual Abuse is charged as a First Degree Felony which is punishable by 25 to 99 years or Life in prison. If the defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the crime of Continuous Sexual Abuse, then the defendant is not eligible for release on parole.

Under Government Code Sec. 508.145, the crime of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child under Penal Code Section 21.02 carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. In many of these cases, the indictment also includes counts for lesser included offenses such as aggravated sexual assault.

Attorney for Continuous Sexual Abuse in San Antonio, TX

If you were charged with the offense of continuous sexual abuse of young child or children, then contact a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, TX, at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. Don Flanary represents clients in sexually motivated crimes throughout Bexar County and all of the surrounding counties including Comal County, Wilson County, Medina County, Kendall County, Guadalupe County, Atascosa County, and Bandera County.

Don Flanary represents clients arrested for sexually motivated crimes throughout communities in Bexar County including San Antonio, New Braunfels, Schertz, Seguin, Windcrest, Boerne, Pleasanton, Canyon Lake, Selma, Cibolo, Converse, Leon Valley, Live Oak, Timberwood Park, Universal City, Alamo Heights, Fair Oaks Ranch, Floresville, Helotes, Hondo, Kirby, Lackland AFB, Lakehills, and Terrell Hills.


Elements of Continuance Sexual Abuse under Texas Penal Code Section 21.02

Each element of the crime of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt at trial. The elements of the offense include:

  • the person commits two or more acts of sexual abuse;
  • regardless of whether the acts of sexual abuse are committed against one or more victims;
  • during a period that is 30 days or more in duration;
  • at the time of the commission of each of the acts of sexual abuse;
  • the defendant was 17 years of age or older; and
  • the victim is a child younger than 14 years of age.

Definitions under the Continuous Sexual Abuse in Texas

The term "act of sexual abuse" means any act that is a violation of any of the following offenses:

Continuous sexual abuse is, by its very definition, the commission under certain circumstances of two or more of the offense listed above. For this reason, those offenses are often listed as lesser included offenses at trial.

The term "child" means a person younger than 17 years of age who is not the spouse of the actor. "Actor" means the defendant or a person whose criminal responsibility is in issue in a criminal action.


Defenses to the Crime of Continuous Sexual Abuse

Under Texas Penal Code Section 21.02(g), it is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the defendant:

  • was not more than five years older than the victim of the offense (or the youngest victim of the offense if there is more than one victim);
  • did not use duress, force, or a threat against a victim at the time of the commission of any of the acts of sexual abuse alleged as an element of the offense; and
  • and at the time of the commission of any of the acts of sexual abuse alleged in the indictment the actor was not required to register for life as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure; and
  • was not a person who had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an indecency with a child offense in accordance with Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

For the purpose of this affirmative defense, the term “preponderance of the evidence” is defined to mean the greater weight and degree of credible evidence that has been admitted before you in the trial of this cause.


Finding an Attorney for Continuous Sexual Abuse in Bexar County, TX

If you were charged with continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Bexar County, TX, to discuss your case.

With offices conveniently located in San Antonio, Don Flanary is ready to help you fight the charges against you. Don Flanary also represents clients charged with serious felony offenses in state court in the areas surrounding San Antonio, including Bandera County, Medina County, Atascosa County, Wilson County, Kendall County, Comal County, Guadalupe County. 

Call (210) 738-8383 to discuss your case today.


This article was last updated on Monday, December 19, 2016.

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