Young men can be branded as sex offenders based on a single accusation or the doubtful recounting of inebriated witnesses. There are several variables involved in drunk sexual assault. This is true whether you are on the job, a college student, or in the military. An accuser may be absolved of all blame if they are drunk. However, a student who was drunk and who supposedly perpetrated the crime is always responsible for their decisions, showing a clear double-standard.
The Laws in Minnesota Are Severe
An accusation of sexual assault can lead to very severe penalties, including fines, jail, registration as a sex offender, and years of probation. There are several degrees of criminal sexual assault in Minnesota.
- 1st Degree: The most severe charge in Minnesota. Penalties are 144 months to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $40,000.
- 2nd Degree: Penalties include 90 months to 25 years in prison and $35,000 fine.
- 3rd Degree: A conviction will lead to 48 months to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine
- 4th Degree: The penalties include a “stayed” sentence. Instead of prison, probation is ordered with a $20,000 fine.
- 5th Degree: A 5th-degree assault is considered a gross misdemeanor and penalties include up to a year in the local county jail.
Due to the severity of the laws and the seriousness of a sexual accusation, anyone who is accused of sexual assault should consult a criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney can protect the rights of the accused person in a society that automatically assumes the crime was committed.
What About When Alcohol Is Involved?
Minnesota state statute addresses alcohol in several ways. If a person was given alcohol or drugs without their consent, they are considered “mentally incapacitated” and the person cannot legally consent to sexual activity. If a person used drugs or alcohol willingly, they would be considered “physically helpless” if they fall asleep. It is considered unlawful to have sex or engage sexually with a person in this condition.
The Double Standard For Males
There is a double standard, especially against men. A person cannot legally consent to sex while drunk, so one could presume that an intoxicated student accused of a crime would also be unable to give consent. Both parties would in effect have sexually assaulted each other.
Not so in real life. An accused male is often presumed guilty, even if he was also too drunk to consent.