Sexual Battery

A person commits the offense of sexual battery when he intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person.

How does the law define intimate parts? It is defined as the primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.

The intent to do the act is a question of fact for the jury to decide.

Whether there is a conflict in the evidence of whether the victim voluntarily submitted to the contact, it is for a jury to decide that conflict in testimony.

Sexual battery does not require any sexual contact. It only requires the non-consensual, intentional physical contact with the victims’ intimate body parts.

Prior to 2021, an individual younger than 16 years old was legally incapable of consenting to sexual contact. In the case of Watson v. State, the Supreme Court construed the statute to require actual proof of the victim’s lack of consent, regardless of the victim’s age.

Sexual battery is punished as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. However, if the victim is under 16 years of age, it is punishable as a felony.

The rule of lenity does not apply between sexual battery and child molestation because child molestation requires additional proof of the defendant seeking to arouse his own sexual desires, which is not required for sexual battery. Furthermore, sexual battery requires proof of physical contact and the victims lack of consent, which are not required for the offense of child molestation.