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1983. Sexual Abuse

Section 2242 sets forth two offenses involving a "sexual act" as defined in section 2246(2). The maximum punishment for each is 20 years imprisonment and a fine under Title 18. Paragraph (1) of the section makes it an offense, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or a Federal prison, for someone to cause another person to engage in a sexual act by means of express or implied threats or placing another in fear (other than by threats of, or placing in fear of, harm described in section 2241(a)(2)). The requirement of force may be satisfied by a showing that the threat or intimidation created in the victim's mind an apprehension or fear of harm to self or others. See H.R.Rep. No. 99-549, 99th Cong.2d Sess. 16 (1986).

Paragraph (2) of section 2242 makes it an offense to engage in a sexual act with another person who is incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct or physically incapable of declining participation, or communicating unwillingness to engage in, the sexual act. There is no spousal immunity, and corroboration of the victim's testimony is not required. Lack of consent by the victim is not an element of the offense, and the prosecution need not introduce evidence of lack of consent or of victim resistance. Id.

[cited in USAM 9-75.200]

Updated June 11, 2015