What Is Second Degree Rape? Meaning and Penalties

Second Degree Rape

A rape allegation can completely upend a person’s life, unlike any other charge. False accusations appear to surface frequently when no one is ready for them. For additional information about second-degree rape and its penalty, keep reading.

What Is Second Degree Rape?

When someone employs forced pressure against a victim who is only unable to give consent due to their physical or mental incapacity, it is considered second-degree rape. It also happens when a victim with a developmental handicap is not the defendant’s spouse. This category deals with abuses of power, like when a victim is a client or patient of the defendant and the sexual activity takes place during a session that includes a consultation, examination, etc. The same holds if the victim is an elderly person in need of care or a vulnerable adult living in a facility for people with mental illnesses.

Which Sentences Apply to Second-Degree Rape?

Second-degree rape in the State of Washington is classified as a class A felony. The maximum sentence is $50,000 in fines or life in jail.

What Happens If You’re Charged with Second-Degree Rape?

It is unquestionably life-altering to deal with rape claims of any kind. An accusation of second-degree rape can jeopardize your job because certain environments include power dynamics. If guilty, the defendant may receive a life sentence in jail, life in community custody, lifetime registration for sexual offenses, etc.

Look for a Lawyer

After receiving accusations, never talk to law enforcement or anybody else without an attorney present. To strengthen your case, instead, get the assistance of a reputable criminal defense attorney for second-degree rape. They can provide you with legal education, assist in creating a schedule, gather witnesses, set up expert or scientific testimony, or assist in creating a chronology to support your defense. Being fully open and honest about the things that happened (or didn’t happen) is essential since the more information your attorney knows, the stronger your case will be.

Budget for Expenses

If you face charges related to domestic violence, rape, or child abuse, you may be liable for the costs of numerous specialist psychological assessments.  The tests and assessments differ based on the charges.  Budget for expenses related to obtaining records or evidence, expert fees, and potential court testimony.  The majority of experts are required to testify in court.  It is advisable to make an effort to budget for these costs.

How Can I Prove Myself Against a Charge of Second Degree Rape?

Seek reputable legal counsel to assist in constructing your defense against second-degree rape. Having stated that the following typical sexual defenses might or might not be applicable in a particular situation:

Innocence: The defendant presents a defense claim of genuine innocence, rejecting the alleged offense or crimes.  At the purported time of the alleged sexual encounter, a defendant may offer an alibi.  The defendant must provide reliable evidence to support their alibi and prove their absence from the crime scene.

Consent: A defendant acknowledges the alleged action, but they contend the charges are moot because the victim gave their agreement at the time. The fact that the offense was committed against the victim’s will is one of the elements of this charge. It is typically challenging to establish the victim’s consent, though.

Others Are:

Insanity or Mental Incapacity: A defendant argues to eliminate or lessen the liability of their actions by claiming they were suffering from a mental illness or defect at the time of the interaction. Those who are evaluated and determined to be incompetent are considered insane. It does not imply that they are no longer liable in any way because they could still be required to undergo restoration, face legal charges, etc. If you’re talking about someone who is so developmentally handicapped that they are unable to take part in their own defense, then mental incapacity may be the same thing. But unlike with an insanity defense, there would not be a restoration option in that case. Reduced capacity indicates that the individual was unable to develop the necessary mental state to carry out the offense.

Duress: If not under duress, a defendant would not have taken part in the crime and was coerced by another. The defendant, to put it simply, had “a gun to their head.”

The Penalty for Second-Degree Rape

If found guilty of second-degree rape, there are very harsh penalties. A judge must sentence someone to seven and a half years to life if found guilty. A criminal may be released from prison after serving seven and a half years if he can demonstrate that he poses no threat to the public. The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) is the recipient of the request. Once released, the individual must register as a sexual offender and serve their entire life on probation or “community custody.”


What does Alabama’s 2nd-degree rape state mean?

If an individual, who is 16 years of age or older, has sex with a member of the opposite sex who is younger than 16 but older than 12, it is considered rape in the second degree, as long as the actor is at least two years older than the victim.

What is New York state third-degree rape?

Engaged in sexual activity with an individual incapable of providing informed consent, had sex with someone who is younger than 17 while the other person is 21 years of age or older, or. had sex with someone who wasn’t willing to provide permission.

In Alabama, can a 20-year-old date a 17-year-old?

In Alabama, 16 is the legal age of consent. This implies that consenting to sexual activity with another person who is 16 years of age or older is legal for anyone who is 16 years of age or older.

How old can a 16-year-old date?

Legal restrictions are not in place for non-sexual relationships between individuals under 18 and those over the age of 18. It’s not against the law for someone to have sex with you once you are 16, regardless of their age.


Charges of rape may not always lead to a conviction, but they can nonetheless be frightening and confusing. It is advisable to speak with an attorney about the events leading up to your arrest if you are facing charges of second-degree rape or any other sex crime.

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