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.