Being charged with sexual assault at any level can be life changing. In Michigan, sexual assault or rape is charged as criminal sexual conduct, or CSC of varying degrees. An individual may be charged with first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct depending on certain factors such as whether penetration occurred, the age of the alleged victim, and more.
The person charged with CSC may be referred to as the defendant or “actor.” There are certain definitions under Michigan Penal Code Section 750.520a that will help you better understand each degree (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) as we explain them below.
Actor. The actor, or defendant, is the individual accused of committing CSC.
Intimate parts include the breast, groin, buttock, inner thigh, or primary genital area of an individual.
Sexual penetration includes not only sexual intercourse, but any intrusion by an object or other body part into an opening (genital, anal) and also includes anal intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus.
Sexual contact is defined as deliberate touching of someone else’s intimate parts as defined above, regardless of whether those intimate parts are clothed or unclothed.
First- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct (or sexual assault) involves penetration, which second- and fourth-degree CSC (sexual assault) involves only sexual contact.