Sexual Conduct with a Minor – A.R.S. § 13-1405

Sex offenses in Arizona are treated more harshly than any other offense, except for capital murder.  Just being charged or accused of committing Sexual Conduct with a Minor, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 13-1405 can destroy your life, and a conviction can lead to spending the rest of your life in prison.

What the State Must Prove

If you are charged with Sexual Conduct with a Minor for a violation of A.R.S. § 13-1405, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally or knowingly engaged in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person under the age of eighteen.

“Sexual intercourse” is defined by A.R.S. § 13-1401 as penetration into the penis, vulva, or anus by any part of the body or by any object, or masturbatory contact with the penis or vulva; “oral sexual contact” is defined as any oral contact with the penis, vulva, or anus.

What Is the Punishment

Sexual Conduct with a Minor is a Class 2 Felony if the victim is under 15 years of age.

The punishment for Sexual Conduct with a Minor for a violation of A.R.S. § 13-1405 varies based on the age of the victim.  If the victim is younger than 15, then the offense is considered a “Dangerous Crime Against Children,” and sentencing is controlled by A.R.S. § 13-705.  Dangerous Crimes Against Children carry incredibly stringent sentences and they are as follows for Sexual Conduct with a Minor:

  • If the victim is 12 years old or younger, then a conviction results in life imprisonment without possibility of release until 35 years have been served.
  • If the victim is 12 years old and younger but the contact was masturbatory only, then a conviction can result in either life imprisonment without possibility of release until 35 years have passed, or 13 to 27 flat calendar years in prison.  A calendar year means that a person serves every single day of the sentence.
  • If the victim is older than 12 but younger than 15, then a conviction requires a mandatory prison sentence of 13 to 27 flat calendar years.

If the victim is 15 years or older, then Sexual Conduct with a Minor becomes a Class 6 Felony and carries a potential punishment of 4 months in prison to 2 years in prison, or probation with a potential length of up to lifetime.

Regardless of the age of the victim, registration as a sex offender for life is always required for a conviction of Sexual Conduct with a Minor for violating A.R.S. § 13-1405.

Defenses for Sexual Conduct with a Minor

If you are facing a potential life imprisonment, lifetime probation, and lifetime registration as a sex offender, you should be represented by an attorney with the experience to effectively defend you.  Each case is different, but these are some ways that you can attack the State’s ability to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • An independent investigation to counter the State’s version of events and identify bias in the victim and other witnesses.
  • Identify reasons for false reporting of sexual conduct by the victim, as understood by known experts in the field
  • Ensuring that the arresting agency appropriately handled evidence and your constitutional rights, including your Miranda rights and your right to counsel

In addition, we often use techniques to counter the damaging nature of these allegations like

  • Psychosexual risk assessments and polygraphs
  • Mitigation specialists
  • Use of experts to counter the government’s own child sexual abuse expert

Don’t face allegations of Sexual Conduct with a Minor alone.  Gurion Legal can help with a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, certified by the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization, who will actually work on your case.  Gurion Legal has the experience, knowledge, and aggressive tactics to help you face down Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charges.  Contact us today for your consultation.

“The goal of our Phoenix-based law firm is to defend the best interests of our clients and protect their constitutional right to justice.”