In July of 2021, 61-year-old man residing in Citris County, Florida was charged with multiple counts of child sexual assault charges that took place in Lincoln County, North Carolina. The Lincoln County and Citrus County Law Enforcement agencies worked together to arrest the man at his home. He was placed in a Florida detention center as a fugitive from North Carolina. The man refused extradition to North Carolina from Florida. However, an extradition hearing was held, and he was ordered to return to North Carolina, where he was jailed in a North Carolina detention center.
This is to say that if charged with sex crimes in North Carolina, fleeing the state will not exempt you from legal action. In this post, we will discuss how North Carolina classifies sex crimes and the statute of limitations that you should know in order to take legal action.
Classification of Sex Crimes in North Carolina
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations maintains the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry. This site keeps a supervised record of registered sex offenders and the statistics of their offenses. The site also informs sex offenders of how to register.
Below are the classifications of sex offenses that can be present on the record.
First Degree Forcible Rape. Intercourse with another person by force and against the will of the other person. Plus, the perpetrator:
- Uses or threatens to use a dangerous or deadly weapon, or
- Inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim, or
- Commits the offense aided by one or more persons
Second Degree Forcible Rape. Intercourse with another person by force and against the will of the other person or knowledgeably with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of consent.
Statutory Rape of a Child by an Adult. Intercourse between an adult 18 years or older and a child 13 years or younger.
First Degree Statutory Rape. Intercourse between a child under the age of 13 and the defendant at least 12 years old and four years older than the victim.
Statutory Rape of Person 15 years or Younger. Intercourse between a child under the age of 15 and the defendant who is at least 12 years old and six years older than the victim.
First Degree Forcible Sexual Offense. Engaging in a sexual act under the same conditions as first degree forcible rape.
Second Degree Forcible Sexual Offense. Engaging in a sexual act under the same conditions as second degree forcible rape.
Statutory Sexual Offense with a Child by an Adult. An adult of 18 years or more engages in a sexual act with a victim under the age of 13.
First Degree Statutory Sexual Offense. Sexual act between a child under the age of 13 and a defendant at least 12 years old and four years older than the victim.
Statutory Sexual Offense with a Person 15 Years or Younger. Sexual act between a child under the age of 15 and a defendant who is at least 12 years old and six years older than the victim.
Sexual Activity by a Substitute Parent or Custodian. A person who has assumed the position of a parent in the home of a minor victim engages in a sexual act with the minor residing in the home.
Sexual Activity with Student. When a school personnel at least four years older than the victim engages in a sexual act with a victim who is a student.
Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes in North Carolina
A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time that parties involved in a dispute have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense.
There is no statute of limitations for any felony sex crime, meaning that, for felony charges, there is no maximum amount of time a victim has to initiate legal proceedings. These felony charges include:
- First degree forcible rape
- Second degree forcible rape
- Statutory rape of a child by an adult
- First degree statutory rape
- Statutory rape of person 15 years or younger
- First degree forcible sexual offense
- Second degree forcible sexual offense
- Statutory sexual offense with a child by an adult
- First degree statutory sexual offense
- Statutory sexual offense with a person 15 years or younger
- Sexual activity by a substitute parent or custodian
- Sexual activity with student
- First degree sexual exploitation of a minor
- Second degree sexual exploitation of a minor
- Third degree sexual exploitation of a minor
- Taking indecent liberties with children
- Taking indecent liberties with student
- Solicitation of child via electronic device to commit an unlawful sex act
Non-felony charges and their penalties include:
- Sexual battery: evokes a sentence of up to two years in prison
- Indecent exposure: may be felony, if not two years of jail time
- Indecent liberties between children: two years behind bars