Boston Sex Offense Crimes Lawyer – MA Criminal Defense Attorney
Defending People Accused of Sex Crimes
Very few allegations can damage your reputation and future as much as a charge involving a sexual offense. Charges are very often made by someone without any type of physical evidence to support the charge. These charges are pursued very aggressively by prosecutors for many reasons, including the heightened attention by the news media in recent years. It is imperative that you hire an aggressive, competent attorney who is highly experienced in handling these cases. Your future, your job, your family and your reputation are at stake.
Some of the most common sex crimes include rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, statutory rape, indecent exposure, incest, date rape, lewd and lascivious behavior, open and gross lewdness, sexual harassment, child pornography and pedophilia, and prostitution.
Boston criminal defense attorney Steven J. Topazio is not afraid to aggressively defend against sexual charges. Mr. Topazio knows from experience as a criminal defense lawyer that many times, allegations of sexual abuse are made up. He knows what to look for. He knows the defenses. Contact Mr. Topazio’s office to schedule a free consultation.
Handling Alleged Victims
Attorney Steven J. Topazio knows how to handle the alleged victims. Many sex crime charges are based upon false accusations, stemming from anger, revenge or jealousy. It is the job of an experienced criminal defense to prove these accusations are false and therefore protect his clients’ rights and future.
No means NO in today’s society. Rape is the non-consensual sexual intercourse that is achieved by the use of physical force, threat of injury, or other duress. If the alleged victim of a rape claims that there was a lack of consent due to the effects of drugs and/or alcohol, thereby preventing the alleged victim from saying no, a person can be charged with rape. Any time non-consensual intercourse occurs that is committed by the use of physical force, threat of injury or other duress, it is deemed to be rape. Thus, rape can occur between a boyfriend and a girlfriend who have an existing relationship. This is commonly referred to as “date rape”. A rape can occur even between a husband and wife. This is commonly referred to as “marital rape.”
Another form of rape is “statutory rape”. It is unlawful for an adult to engage in sexual intercourse with a person who is under age or under the age of consent. The age of consent is determined by law. Statutory rape is deemed to be a strict liability crime. Whether there was consent or not, is irrelevant.
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you are here, chances are you need an attorney to defend you or someone you know against a sex offense charge. Being charged with this type of crime has the potential of ruining your or your loved one’s life.
If you are convicted of a sex crime, you may be required to register as a sex offender, which can have a life-long negative effect on your personal and professional reputation. Furthermore, if you are convicted of a sex crime you may face jail time, probation, monetary fines, community service and psychological evaluation, in addition to the already damaging toll being taken on your professional and personal life.
Boston criminal defense attorney Steven J. Topazio is committed to representing each client to the utmost of his vast abilities. If you are concerned that reputation, liberty, or life is at stake, contact Boston criminal defense attorney Steven J. Topazio for a free consultation.
Rape, (G.L. c. 265 § 22)
Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a person, and compels such person to submit by force and against his will, or compels such person to submit by threat of bodily injury and if either such sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse results in or is committed with acts resulting in serious bodily injury, or is committed by a joint enterprise, or is committed during the commission or attempted commission of an offense defined in section fifteen A, fifteen B, seventeen, nineteen or twenty-six of this chapter, section fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen or eighteen of chapter two hundred and sixty-six or section ten of chapter two hundred and sixty-nine shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years.
Rape of child (G.L. c. 265 § 22A)
Whoever has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under 16, and compels such child to submit by force and against his will or compels such child to submit by threat of bodily injury, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years. A prosecution commenced under this section shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file.
Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior (G.L. c. 272 § 16)
A man or woman, married or unmarried, who is guilty of open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in jail for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars.
Indecent Assault and Battery on Child Under Age of 14 (G.L. c. 265 § 13B)
Whoever commits an indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2½ years. A prosecution commenced under this section shall neither be continued without a finding nor placed on file.
In a prosecution under this section, a child under the age of 14 years shall be deemed incapable of consenting to any conduct of the defendant for which such defendant is being prosecuted.
Indecent Assault and Battery on Person 14 or Older (G.L. c. 265 § 13H)
Whoever commits an indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained age fourteen shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a jail or house of correction.
Whoever commits an indecent assault and battery on an elder or person with a disability, as defined in section 13K, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years, or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, and whoever commits a second or subsequent such offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years. A prosecution commenced under this paragraph shall not be placed on file nor continued without a finding.
Unnatural and Lascivious Acts (G.L. c. 272 § 35)
Whoever commits any unnatural and lascivious act with another person shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in jail or the house of correction for not more than two and one half years.
Engaging in Sexual Conduct for a Fee; Engaging in Sexual Conduct With Child Under Age 14 for a Fee (G.L. c. 272 § 53A)
(a) Whoever engages, agrees to engage, or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee, or whoever pays, agrees to pay, or offers to pay another person to engage in sexual conduct, or to agree to engage in sexual conduct with another natural person, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 1 year or by a fine of not more than $500 or by both such imprisonment and fine, whether such sexual conduct occurs or not.
(b) Whoever pays, agrees to pay, or offers to pay any person with the intent to engage in sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14, or whoever is paid, agrees to pay, or agrees that a third person be paid in return for aiding a person who intends to engage in sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years or in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, whether such sexual conduct occurs or not.
Contact a Boston Lawyer Experienced in Sex Crimes Defense
For additional information about Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Topazio’s ability to protect your rights and liberties involving sex offenses, contact his Boston office at or email him to schedule a free consultation.
RECENT CASE DECISIONS
Sex Offender Registration Waived
- Steven Topazio wrote this September 25, 2018 at 7:14 pm
The client, an immigrant from Columbia who became a United States citizen, was charged with Indecent Assault and Battery on a person over the age of 14 in violation of MGL c. 265 § 13H. Indecent Assault and Battery is a sex offense crime which carries a potential jail or state prison sentence plus an obligation to be monitored with a GPS monitoring device and requirement to register as a sex offender. The Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) promotes public safety by educating and informing the public to prevent further victimization. SORB registers and classifies convicted sex offenders according to their risk of re-offense and the degree of danger they pose. According to the police report, the facts of this case indicate that the client walked into a movie theater in Boston which holds 322 people, but only had 14 people in it. The client, who had been drinking alcohol, sat next to the alleged victim who was a young woman. It was alleged that the client walked into the theater with alcohol he had in a cup and offered the woman some to drink which she refused. The client then placed himself directly in front of the young woman and reached down and began caressing her upper thigh and buttocks area. According to the police report, the client then put his hands on the woman’s chest and breasts and continued caressing. The client was thereafter arrested and held on bail. During the course of the case, the client decided to resolve his case short of trial but wanted to avoid the requirement of registering as a sex offender if he changed his plea. According to statute, persons not convicted of an excluded offense may be relieved of the obligation to register by the sentencing court upon motion by the Defendant, if (i) the defendant is convicted after December 12, 1999, (ii) is not sentenced to immediate confinement, and (iii) after a hearing conducted within 14 days of sentencing, the court determines that the defendant’s offense and criminal history do not indicate a risk of reoffense or danger to the public. G.L. c. 6, § 178E(f). Attorney Topazio was successful in persuading the court to waive the requirement of having his client register as a sex offender by establishing that his client’s offense, proposed conditions of probation and criminal history did not indicate that his client was a risk of reoffense or danger to the public.
June 03, 2013
Franklin Superior Court
Indictment # 12-056
Dissemination of Child Pornography MGL c.272 § 29B
Two Counts of Possession of Child Pornography MGL c.272 § 29C
Cultivation of Class D MGL c.94C § 32C
Possession of Class D with Intent to Distribute MGL c.94C § 32C
Possession of Class C with Intent to Distribute MGL c.94C § 32B
The client, a 34 year old musician, was arrested for dissemination of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography, possession with intent to distribute class D and C substances and cultivation of marijuana, hired Boston Criminal Defense Attorney to defend him. Attorney Topazio learned that his client was the subject of an undercover investigation of peer-to-peer file sharing computer software (such as LimeWire and FrostWire) networks to identify those possessing and/or sharing child pornography. Once the client’s computer was identified by law enforcement as one that possessed and shared child pornography, a search warrant was issued and the client’s house was searched and his computers seized. According to the police report, police found child pornography in the form of DVDs, as well as in the form of files on two computers, 36 marijuana plants, large amounts of marijuana and mushrooms. Attorney Topazio attacked the search warrant of his client’s home by attacking the warrantless entry into his client’s computer by law enforcement. Attorney Topazio based his attack on Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights which protects against warrantless intrusions upon privacy interests. That protection covers the obvious disruption caused by police who enter a defendant’s house in search of criminal actors and evidence of their activities. Article 14’s protections also cover less obvious invasions, like the use of electronic devices or human ears to eavesdrop on private conversations. In evaluating the likelihood of success, and evidence against his client, the client decided to forgo the motion to suppress in favor of a change of plea. Knowing the maximum sentence for dissemination of child pornography was 10-20 years in state prison, the Commonwealth recommended a 4-5 State Prison sentence on a change of plea for the charge of possession of child pornography. In preparation of a change of plea, Attorney Topazio presented the court with a sentencing memorandum outlining mitigating factors. Attorney Topazio pointed out that his client was also a victim, being sexually abused by his father and sister starting at the age of three. Attorney Topazio pointed out to the court that his client’s father was a sex offender and was addicted to child pornography as well as drugs and alcohol, and that his client grew up in that environment, being abused and exposed to child pornography. Attorney Topazio encouraged his client to undergo sex abused therapy, which the court took into consideration. Today, despite the Commonwealth’s recommendation of imprisonment of 4-5 years in state prison, Attorney Topazio argued that his client did not require the strict security of state prison and persuaded the court to commit his client to 2 ½ years to the house of correction, followed by a term of probation.
Result: State prison sentence averted in favor of House of Corrections sentence.
June 16, 2011
South Boston District Court
Lewd, Wanton & Lascivious Conduct, M.G. L. c. 272 § 53
Open & Gross Lewdness M.G.L. c 272 § 16
The defendant, an administrative assistant for a local hospital, was summonsed to court for a Magistrate’s hearing after police, while conducting a property check, observed a motor vehicle with the engine idling, but appearing unoccupied, discovered the defendant, with another individual, both with their pants pulled down below their respective ankles, and elicited testimony that both parties were performing oral sex on each other. The defendant represented himself at the Magistrate’s hearing but was unsuccessful in stopping the charges from issuing. Once charges issued, the defendant hired Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Topazio to defend him. In order to prove the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove five things beyond a reasonable doubt: First: That the defendant exposed his (her) (genitals) (buttocks) (or) (female breasts) to one or more persons; Second: That the defendant did so intentionally; Third: That the defendant did so “openly,” that is, either he (she) intended public exposure, or he (she) recklessly disregarded a substantial risk of public exposure, to others who might be offended by such conduct; Fourth: That the defendant’s act was done in such a way as to produce alarm or shock; and Fifth: That one or more persons were in fact alarmed or shocked by the defendant’s thus exposing himself (herself). Today, Attorney Topazio argued that his client’s acts were not open nor did he expose himself to anyone, and convinced the District Attorney and Court to dismiss the charges against his client despite the Commonwealth’s argument that ineffective attempts at concealment do not prevent act being “open” if committed in a place where there can be no real privacy.
Result: Case dismissed.
December 20, 2010
Boston Municipal Court
Indecent Assault and Battery on Person 14 or over M.G.L. c. 265 § 13H
The defendant, who was in the emergency room of Massachusetts General Hospital, engaged in conversation with a female also in the emergency room, and was arrested after allegedly brushing crumbs from a cracker the female was eating off of her shirt, after it was alleged that the defendant brushed her breast in an inappropriate manner. The defendant was represented by Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio. Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio retained the services of a private investigator to locate potential witnesses and video surveillance. During the discovery stage of the case, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio filed a motion for authorization to subpoena complete hospital records of the alleged victim pursuant to Mass. Rules of Criminal Procedure 17(a)(2). Massachusetts allows discovery in criminal cases at the discretion of the trial court. Commonwealth v. Galvin, 323 Mass. 205, 80 N.E. 2d 825 (1948). Under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 233, § 1 (2008), a notary public or justice of the peace may issue a summons requested by a defendant without prior judicial approval to summons into court documents that may be needed at a hearing or trial. Prior judicial approval is only needed when documents are summonsed prior to trial. Commonwealth v. Mitchell, 444 Mass. 786, 791 n. 12 (2005).
Under Mass R. Crim. P. 17(a), only a judge has authority to issue a summons prior to trial, Commonwealth v. Lampron, 441 Mass. 265, 270 (2004), and a party moving to subpoena documents prior to trial must make a showing of good cause before a judge. Id. at 269. The “requirement that a judge must be satisfied that the Lampron standards are met before a summons issues is applicable only when the documents being sought must be produced prior to trial.” Mitchell, 444 Mass. at 792 n. 12.
Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio is aware that in Massachusetts sexual assault cases, trial and pretrial motions are often critical to a successful defense at trial. Despite opposition from the Assistant District Attorney, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio persuaded the court to grant his motion to produce the hospital records of the alleged victim, who was also at the hospital at the time of the allegation seeking treatment. Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Steven J. Topazio discovered inconsistent statements in the hospital records which indicated that his client only spoke to the complainant but never touched her, and shared this information with the assistant district attorney. Today at trial, as a result of intense pretrial preparation and discovery of exculpatory evidence, the complainant failed to appear to testify and the case was dismissed.
Result: Case dismissed on day of trial.
November 09, 2010
Newton District Court
Indecent Assault and Battery on person 14 or over M.G.L. c. 265 § 13H
Assault and Battery M.G.L. c. 265 § 13A
The defendant, who had been represented by a court attorney in 1998, admitted to sufficient facts to each of the above referenced matters and received a CWOF for one year back in 1998, hired Attorney Topazio to seal his record. Attorney Topazio prepared the requisite documents to seal his client’s record and filed same with the court. During that process he learned that although his client admitted to the offenses, the circumstances of this case involved roommates fighting, with questionable facts supporting the indecent aspect of the case. On the initial hearing with the court, Attorney Topazio met with the Assistant District Attorney who indicated that he would oppose his client’s request to seal his record. Undeterred, Attorney Topazio thereafter changed his focus and began an investigation into this 12 year old case. Attorney Topazio uncovered witness statements in the middle of the sealing process that had not been considered when his client originally tendered a plea on his case, which only supported the crime of assault and battery, and thereafter advised his client to file a motion for new trial as it pertained to the charge of indecent Assault and Battery which he previously pled too. Attorney Topazio, argued that this statement from the victim did not support an admission to facts sufficient for a finding of guilty finding that the unconsented touching was indecent. Attorney Topazio filed a motion for new trial and after hearing convinced the court to grant his client a new trial on the indecent assault and battery count only. After the new trial was granted, it was discovered that the alleged victim was no longer available to testify and as a result, the Commonwealth could not prosecute the indecent assault and battery count, and the case was dismissed outright. Instead of sealing his CORI, the client now wanted his CORI to remain unsealed as that the charge of indecent assault and battery which haunted the defendant for years now resulted in a straight dismissal
Result: In process of sealing client’s CORI, facts are discovered which result in Motion for New Trial being filed and allowed by court. Case which originally was continued without a finding on client’s CORI was dismissed after witness unavailable to testify.