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What constitutes rape in Oregon?

Felony charges are very serious. They include a variety of different criminal charges including many sex crimes. As most people know, sex crimes are aggressively prosecuted. People who are convicted of sex crime charges -- including rape -- can face serious penalties including long prison sentences.

In order to avoid these penalties, people may want to understand what constitutes rape in Oregon. If the elements of the crime have not been met in a particular situation, then the person cannot be convicted on those charges.

According to O.R.S. section 163.375, first degree rape occurs if a person has sexual intercourse with another person in one of four situations. First, if the person uses forcible compulsion with the other person then rape has occurred. Second, if the other person is under 12-year-old, then rape has occurred. Third, if the alleged victim is the person's sibling, child or step-child and is under 16-years-old, then a rape has occurred. Finally, if the other person is unable to consent to the sexual contact because of mental or physical incapacitation, then a rape has occurred. In these circumstances, the person can be charged with rape in the first degree -- a Class A felony.

However, this is not the only category of rape in Oregon. There is also rape in the second and third degrees. Rape in the second degree occurs when the alleged victim is under 14-years-old. Third-degree rape occurs when the alleged victim is under 16-years-old. Respectively, these are a Class B and a Class C felony.

It is important for people to understand what they have been charged with because the penalties and criminal defense strategy for each crime can change. While this post can only provide general information, an attorney can give more specific insight into a particular case and specific criminal charges.

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