Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children

Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code sets restrictions and guidelines regarding sexually based offenses in the state of Texas.

“Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children”, as per § 21.02 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person:

  • during a period that is 30 or more days in duration, the person commits two or more acts of sexual abuse, regardless of whether the acts of sexual abuse are committed against one or more victims; and
  • at the time of the commission of each of the acts of sexual abuse, the actor is 17 years of age or older and the victim is a child younger than 14 years of age, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense.

For this section, an “act of sexual abuse” means a violation of one or more of the following penal laws: Aggravated Kidnapping (if the actor committed the offense with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually), Indecency with a Child (if the actor committed the offense in a manner other than by touching, including touching through the clothing, the breast of a child), Sexual Assault, Aggravated Sexual Assault, Burglary, Sexual Performance by a Child, Trafficking of Persons, Compelling Prostitution.

An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life, or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 25 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

Punishment Range

First Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for life, or
  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 99 years or less than five years with the exception of aggravated sexual assault, which adds a 25-year minimum punishment if the victim is younger than 6, or younger than 14 and the offense contained threats of serious bodily injury or death, or use of a deadly weapon
  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

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