Texas Lawmakers Create the Crime of Indecent Assault


On June 14, 2019, Governor Greg Abbot signed SB 194 to increase criminal penalties for groping an adult (17 years of age or older) by creating a new sex crime called, “indecent assault.”

The new law makes grabbing a person’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts without their consent—and with intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire—a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail term of up to one year and a fine not exceeding $4,000.

Additionally, it is considered indecent assault if a person exposes another individual’s genitals, buttocks, or nipples (if the victim is a female) without their consent or force another person to touch semen, vaginal fluid, feces, urine, human blood, or saliva with intent to arouse.

In the previous law, unwanted groping of a person who is at least 17 years old was a Class C misdemeanor, which is like a traffic ticket. In fact, experts said Texas was one of six states with light penalties for sexual assault crimes.

If you have been charged with a sex crime in Austin, contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm today at (512) 359-3743 and schedule a free consultation.