<#include "/design/includes/pageAttributes.ftl"> Definitions of rape and sexual battery in Tennessee | Levitt & Levitt
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Definitions of rape and sexual battery in Tennessee

To many people in Tennessee, rape and sexual battery may be easily confused. However, the reality is that they are two distinctly different crimes. It is important for anyone who has been accused of either rape or sexual battery to know what each one is and how the state classifies each offense.

As explained by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, rape involves actual sexual penetration while sexual battery does not. The basic definition of sexual battery includes unlawful sexual contact. Involved in both rape and sexual battery can be the allegation that a defendant used fraud or force to perform a specific act. A charge of either crime also asserts that the supposed victim did not consent to the act and that the defendant was aware of that lack of consent. Rape is a Class B felony in Tennessee and sexual battery is a Class E Felony.

According to the Tennessee State Government, if a defendant is accused of using any type of weapon, a charge of rape or sexual battery might be upgraded to aggravated rape or aggravated sexual battery. These are Class A and Class B felonies, respectively. A charge of aggravated rape or aggravated sexual battery may be impacted by any injuries that may have resulted, the involvement of more than one defendant, or an alleged victim who is 12 years old or younger.

Aggravated spousal rape can be charged against one spouse if either injury results or if a weapon is used in an act deemed to be cruel and unwanted by one spouse on another.

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