Explanation of Rape Laws in Louisiana

In 2015, Louisiana lawmakers changed the name of Aggravated Rape, Forcible Rape and Simple Rape to First Degree Rape, Second Degree Rape and Third Degree Rape, respectively. The terms are interchangeably used herein.

 First Degree Rape — 14:42 La R.S.

First Degree Rape is a rape committed upon a person 65 years old or older or under the age of 13 where sexual intercourse is without lawful consent of the victim because it is committed under any one or more of the following circumstances:

(1)  When the victim resists the act, but whose resistance is overcome by force.

(2)  When the victim is prevented from resisting the act by threats of great and immediate bodily harm.

(3)  When the victim is prevented from resisting the act because the offender is armed with a dangerous weapon.

(4)  When the victim is under the age of thirteen years.  Lack of knowledge of the victim’s age shall not be a defense.

(5)  When two or more offenders participated in the act.

(6)  When the victim is prevented from resisting the act because the victim suffers from a physical or mental infirmity preventing such resistance.

Penalty

Whoever commits the crime of aggravated rape shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

However, if the victim was under the age of thirteen years:   Capital Punishment

The district attorney may seek capital punishment, the offender shall be punished by death or life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence, in accordance with the determination of the jury.

If the district attorney does not seek a capital verdict, the offender shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Second Degree Rape — La R.S. 14:42.1

Second Degree Rape is rape committed when the anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse is deemed to be without the lawful consent of the victim because it is committed under any one or more of the following circumstances:

(1)  When the victim is prevented from resisting the act by force or threats of physical violence under circumstances where the victim reasonably believes that such resistance would not prevent the rape.

(2)  When the victim is incapable of resisting or of understanding the nature of the act by reason of stupor or abnormal condition of the mind produced by a narcotic or anesthetic agent or other controlled dangerous substance administered by the offender and without the knowledge of the victim.

Penalty

Whoever commits the crime of forcible rape shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than 5 to 40 years.  At least 2 years of the sentence imposed shall be without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

Anyone convicted of Forcible Rape must Register as a Sex Offender with the state for Life, to be conducted quarterly.

Third Degree Rape —  La R.S.  14:43

Third Degree rape is a rape committed when the anal, oral, or vaginal sexual intercourse is deemed to be without the lawful consent of a victim  because it is committed under any one or more of the following circumstances:

(1)  When the victim is incapable of resisting or of understanding the nature of the act by reason of a stupor or abnormal condition of mind produced by an intoxicating agent or any cause and the offender knew or should have known of the victim’s incapacity.

(2)  When the victim, through unsoundness of mind, is temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding the nature of the act and the offender knew or should have known of the victim’s incapacity.

(3)  When the female victim submits under the belief that the person committing the act is her husband and such belief is intentionally induced by any artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the offender.

Penalty

Whoever commits the crime of simple rape shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor for not more than 25 yrs, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Sex Offender Registry

All three of these offenses require registration on the sex offender registry after release from incarceration.

Legal Assistance

Attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter has represented hundreds of people who have been charged with sex crimes throughout the state Louisiana. If you think that you are under investigation for rape, contact a New Orleans Rape Defense attorney today.  504-599-5955

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