Sexual assault is a serious allegation and it carries significant penalties. Depending on the state, these penalties will vary in severity. But in general, all of the states subject people convicted of sexual assault to immense legal penalties. There are also federal sexual assault cases which can carry even more substantial consequences.
In the state of Minnesota, the penalties for sexual assault are immense. The state classifies sexual assault into five categories, with the most serious charges being first degree sexual assault and the least serious charges being fifth degree sexual assault. The definition of each degree of sexual assault is different and the specifics are outlined under Minnesota Statute Section 609.
These cases are obviously emotionally charged and they have a lot of complicated factors and elements to them. Any judge will have a lot to consider, and they will have to examine any mitigating factors that are involved in any specific sexual assault case. Aggravating factors also need to be considered. These are things such as the accused individual having a prior criminal history.
Sexual assault cases have a lot of moving parts, and it is impossible to say how any single case will go without meticulously reviewing the evidence. Anyone who is accused of sexual assault though, regardless of the degree in the state of Minnesota, needs to protect his or her rights and consult with a criminal defense attorney to ensure their case is proceeding accordingly.
Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Penalties and Sentencing," Accessed May 12, 2017