Bellevue Sex Crimes

Legal Representation for Bellevue Residents Fighting Charges

Bellevue, meaning "beautiful view" in French, is an affluent satellite city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington. Lake Washington lies to the west of the city, and Lake Sammamish lies to its east. The area grew after access to nearby Seattle improved through the construction of Lake Washington Floating Bridge and Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. Bellevue is the sixth-wealthiest of 522 communities in the state. In 2010, CNN Money ranked it as the fourth-best place to live in the nation. Despite its pleasant surroundings, allegations of sex crimes sometimes are leveled against residents of Bellevue. If you are charged with this type of illegal conduct, knowledgeable criminal defense attorney Timothy L. Healy can help you fight the accusations.

Sex Crimes Span a Broad Range of Prohibited Conduct

Washington sex offenses are enumerated in Chapter 9a.44 RCW. Many people think of rape when they think of these crimes, but there is a broad range of prohibited behavior that may not include sexual intercourse, including child molestation and voyeurism.

For example, under RCW 9A.44.083, a prosecutor can obtain a conviction for child molestation in the first degree if it can be shown that the defendant has had sexual contact with someone who is less than 12 years old, to whom he or she is not married, and that he or she is at least three years older than the victim. This is a class A felony, which carries a harsh punishment upon conviction.

You may be wondering how "sexual contact" differs from "sexual intercourse." In Washington, sexual intercourse always involves penetration, even if the penetration is only minor. Sexual contact is defined as a touching of intimate regions of a person that is done in order to gratify the desire of either the victim, the perpetrator, or a third party. This means, for example, that sexual contact for purposes of a child molestation charge could occur during the making of child pornography, even if neither party had sexual desire at the time.

Sex crimes often have some of the harshest legal and social consequences of any offenses. For a class A felony sex crime, life in prison is the statutory maximum sentence. Ten years is the maximum sentence for class B felonies, and five years is the maximum sentence for class C felonies.

The country's first sexually violent predator law was enacted in Washington as the Community Protection Act of 1990. This law allows those who are determined to be sexually violent predators to face more stringent requirements after punishment. They must register with the state and report their address to the police every three months for the rest of their lives. They will also have to participate in counseling indefinitely.

Seek Advice from a Bellevue Attorney When Facing Prosecution

The state of Washington takes sex crimes very seriously. Failing to obtain sound counsel from the start can result in harsh penalties that otherwise might have been avoided or reduced. Timothy L. Healy is a sex crimes lawyer with substantial experience assisting individuals in Bellevue and surrounding communities. For a free and confidential consultation, call (253) 201-0406 or contact us via our online form. Our phone is answered 24/7.