Sexual Battery: Definition & Law

Sexual Battery: Definition & Law
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  • 0:04 What is Sexual Battery?
  • 0:51 Sexual Battery Versus Assault
  • 1:14 Law
  • 1:45 Consequences of Sexual Battery
  • 2:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Schubert

Jessica is a practicing attorney and has taught law and has a J.D. and LL.M.

Learn what constitutes sexual battery. Distinguish sexual battery from sexual assault. Finally, review the laws and consequences of what happens when one is found guilty of committing sexual battery.

What Is Sexual Battery?

In recent news, there have been many accusations against Bill Cosby by women who claim Cosby drugged them and had sex with them. Frequently, the news reporters discussing this story utilize the term 'sexual battery.' Specifically, the criminal charges against Cosby include sexual battery, among others. But you might be wondering - what even is sexual battery?

Sexual battery occurs when a person unlawfully comes in contact with another, for the purpose of sexual abuse, sexual gratification, or sexual arousal. The contact is non-consensual. While every state has different laws detailing what exactly constitutes sexual battery, typically the form of contact pertains in some way to the genitals.

Sexual Battery Versus Assault

Since the crimes of sexual battery and assault are so closely aligned, it's important to note the distinction between the two. A sexual battery involves the simple action of touching another. However, an assault requires apprehension of what is going to occur. In other words, in the case of a sexual assault, the victim must realize or be aware of the fact that she or he will be sexually assaulted.

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