Sexual Abuse of a Minor Charges in Maryland

Under Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 3-602, a person is expressly prohibited from committing sexual abuse against a minor when that person is a family member or household member. The key difference between this offense and other Maryland sex crimes centers on the relationship that the person has with the alleged victim.

§ 3-602. Sexual abuse of a minor

(Current through all legislation from the 2018 Regular Session of the General Assembly)

(1) “A parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for the supervision of a minor may not cause sexual abuse to the minor.”
(2) “A household member or family member may not cause sexual abuse to a minor.”

Sexual Abuse,” as defined by § 3-602(4)(i and ii) “means an act that involves sexual molestation or exploitation of a minor, whether physical injuries are sustained or not,” and includes:

1. incest;
2. rape;
3. sexual offense in any degree;
4. sodomy; and
5. unnatural or perverted sexual practices.

Family member,” as defined by § 3-601(a)(3) “means a relative of a minor by blood, adoption, or marriage.”

Household member,” as defined by § 3-601(a)(4) “means a person who lives with or is a regular presence in a home of a minor at the time of the alleged abuse.”

PENALTIES

If found guilty of this felony offense, a person is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years. Unlike the offense of § 3-315. Continuing course of conduct with child, the sentence imposed under this section may be separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any crime based on the act establishing the violation of this section. For example, if one were convicted under this section of having raped his or her daughter, the person would face charges for both Rape and Sexual abuse of a minor, and the sentences could be applied consecutively. Additionally, lifetime sex offender registration would apply.

SOURCES:

See links in content to reveal the sources from which this information was based upon. Laws used in the writing of this page are current through all legislation from the 2018 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

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