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Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

Touching a minor inappropriately comes with a great cost in the state of Iowa. Legislators have implemented serious penalties that can be life altering to crimes that involve sexual misconduct with children. These offenses such as lascivious acts against a child, indecent contact with a child and sexual abuse are all higher-level crimes that could lead to time in prison. 

If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual misconduct, it’s imperative you seek an experienced criminal defense who has a strong background in sex crimes. Any sexual offense involving a minor is severely prosecuted and jurors tend to side with the victim due to their age. That is why it’s not just important, but necessary you have legal counsel as soon as possible.

Defense Lawyer for Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in West Des Moines, IA

Sex crimes involving children almost always result in prison time if convicted. It’s extremely important you have representation secured before going forward. Our suggestion is you hire one of the skilled and practiced sex crime attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. 

We have been representing clients accused of sex crimes including lascivious behavior, indecent contact for years. We can utilize our skills to fight for your rights. Call us now at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation free and we can discuss your legal options. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Dallas County and Polk County area Altoona, Ankeny, Waukee, Polk City, Adel and West Des Moines. 

Overview of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in IA


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Laws on Indecent Contact with a Minor in Iowa

One of the lightest sexual misconduct with a minor charges is indecent contact. Touching a child in an inappropriate and sexual manner even with the child’s consent is known as indecent contact. The crime is defined under the Iowa Code Section 709.12 which states you’re guilty of indecent contact if for the purpose of arousal or a sexual desire you: 

  • Fondle or touch the inner thigh, groin, breast or anus of a child;
  • Touch clothing covering the area near the inner thigh, groin, buttocks, anus or breast;
  • Solicit, permit or promote a child to fondle your inner thigh, groin, buttocks or breast; or
  • Solicit a child to do any of the following:
    • Touch or fondle another child’s genitals;
    • Cause a child to fondle or touch a person’s genitals; or
    • Cause the touching of a person’s genitals on a child

The crime is charged as an aggravated misdemeanor if convicted and can lead to up to one year in jail with a fine between $625 and $6,250. The charges also apply you if you’re a minor who is sixteen or seventeen. If you commit indecent contact with a child least five years younger than you, then you can also be charged in juvenile court.


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Iowa’s Laws for Lascivious Acts with a Child

Sexual conduct that is more forward towards children are classified as lascivious acts. These crimes have much more severe penalties than indecent contact that can land you in prison. The Iowa Code states you’re guilty of committing a lascivious act against a child if you do the following actions with the purpose to arouse or to satisfy a sexual desire.

  • Fondle or touch a child’s genitals or pubes;
  • Permit or cause a child to touch another child’s genitals;
  • Initiate the touch between an adult’s genitals to any part of a child;
  • Solicit a child to engage in a sex act or solicit a person to arrange a sexual encounter with the child; or
  • Inflict discomfort or pain on the child or have them inflict pain or discomfort onto you

Committing a lascivious act against a child involving any of the first three points above is a class C felony, meaning you could pay a fine between $1,000 and $10,000 as well as spend upwards to 10 years in prison. If you solicited the child for a sexual act or inflict discomfort for a sexual reason, then you’ll face a class D felony. The penalties can include a fine of between $750 and $7,500 and a prison sentence of up to five years. 


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Sexual Abuse Involving a Child in Iowa

Sexual assault or abuse is one of the most severe sex crimes you can be charged. If it involves a minor, you should expect the penalties to go up radically. In Iowa, sexual assault is referred to as “sexual abuse” and is defined as:

  • Penetration incorporating the anus or the genitals;
  • Contact between the genitalia, mouth or anus
  • Contact between fingers of a person and the anus or genitalia of another;
  • Ejaculation of fluids on another person; or
  • Using artificial sexual organs, toys or substitutes in contact with the anus or genitalia 

If the act was against someone’s will or because the victim was unable to give consent, then it’s considered to be sexual abuse. It’s also important to remember that any sex act between an adult and a child under the age of 16 is sexual abuse no matter the circumstances.

The lightest sentence for sexual assault involving a child is third-degree sexual abuse. You can be charged with a third-degree sexual abuse involving a minor if any of the following factors occurred during the commission of the crime. 

  • The victim was 12 or 13 years old;
  • The victim was 14 or 15 years old and you’re a household member;
  • The victim is 14 or 15 and you’re a blood relative;
  • The victim is 14 or 15 and you’re in a position of authority which you used to coerce the victim into sexual acts; or
  • The victim is 14 or 15 and you’re 4 or more years older than the victim

Third-degree sexual assault is a class C felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That doesn’t include possible restitution costs, rehabilitative classes and being added as a sexual offender to Iowa’s registry. 

If the victim was under the age of 12, then the crime is immediately ramped up to a second-degree felony. The charges can also be elevated to the second degree if a dangerous weapon was presented during the act, threats or use of force that could create a substantial risk of death or you aided and abetted in the sexual abuse of a child.

Second-degree sexual abuse is a class B forcible felony, which has a mandatory prison sentence of upwards to 25 years. If the victim sustained serious injury because of the act, then it’s considered to be in the first-degree. First-degree sexual abuse involving a child is a class A felony. That means possible lifetime imprisonment without possibility for parole.


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Additional Resources

RAINN – Visit the official website for the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) to learn more about their resources for sexual abuse survivors. Access the site to learn the number to their national hotline, tips to escape your abuser and other resources. 

Iowa’s Sex Crimes Laws – Visit the official website for the Iowa Code to learn more about various sex offenses and their penalties. Access the site to find more information about sex crimes involving children, misconduct involving juveniles and other related offenses.


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Lawyer for Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in Dallas County, IA

If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual misconduct involving a minor, then we highly suggest you gain legal representation. The attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. are equipped with the right tools to fight your charges. With our experience, skills and resources our defense lawyers will do whatever it takes to battle for your rights. 

Call us now at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation free. During your appointment, we will sit with you and discuss all your legal options in further detail. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Polk City, West Des Moines, Altoona, Ankeny and Miniburn.