The primary federal statutes concerning sexual abuse are in Chapter
18 U.S.C. §§ 2241 to 2245. The chapter reformed and updated the
law governing rape and other sexual offenses by: (1) defining the offenses
gender neutral terms; (2) defining the offenses so that the focus is on the
conduct of the defendant, instead of upon the conduct or state of mind of
victim; (3) expanding the offenses to reach all forms of sexual abuse of
(4) abandoning the doctrines of resistance and spousal immunity; and (5)
expanding federal jurisdiction to include all federal prisons. H.R.Rep. No.
99-594, 99th Cong.2d Sess. 10-11 (1986). In addition, this Chapter carries
forward the current federal rule that corroboration of a victim's testimony
not required. Id. at 12.|
Criminal violations of Chapter 109A of Title 18 are within the
investigative jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
of criminal prosecutions under this chapter is assigned to the Child
and Obscenity Section.
Chapter 109A of Title 18 applies by its terms in the special maritime
territorial jurisdiction of the United States, see 18 U.S.C. § 7, and
federal prisons. The Act also applies in Indian country to offenses
by non-Indians against Indians, 18 U.S.C. § 1152, and to felonious
committed by Indians, 18 U.S.C. § 1153, as amended. Sexual offenses
committed by Indians in Indian country are prosecutable only under 18 U.S.C.
§ 1153, and only if they are felonies under Chapter 109A.
The redundancy of the phrase "crossing a state line with the intent to
engage in a sexual act with a person who has not attained the age of 12
years," appearing in Section 2241(c) and in the first phrase of Section
2243(a) has been eliminated by striking it in the latter statute.
[updated April 2000] [cited in USAM 9-75.200]