Sex crimes cover a lot of ground and include such actions as rape, child molestation, sexual assault and sexual abuse. Convictions can lead to prison time and fines and penalties typically increase for repeat offenders.
In many cases, the role of consent in a relationship of a sexual nature can determine the seriousness of an offense, and therefore the severity of sentencing from the court system.
The Definition of Consent
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network provides information on the role of consent when related to sexual assault. In some instances, a person can not give consent if he or she has a mental disorder or impairment that the offender knows about. These conditions can include more temporary circumstances such as sleep, drug use and alcohol intoxication. Other conditions might involve more lasting circumstances such as a mental defect or disorder.
Offenders can not force a person into consent by a form of threat against a victim or his or her property. Nor can an offender use deceptive measures to trick a victim into a sexual act.
In the area of sexual abuse, victims under the age of 15 do not have the legal power to give consent. Victims between 15 and 17 years of age can not give consent to an offender who occupies a position of trust.
The role of consent for specific occupations
Some jobs have implied power over individuals and face a higher level of scrutiny concerning some sexual matters. Adult probation employees and juvenile court employees cannot use their positions to coerce a person into a sexual act through either favors or punishments. Peace officers in Arizona also cannot receive consent for sexual actions from a person under investigation or in custody.