If a person is charged with sexual assualt on a child and someone else was also there, can that person be charged with the same crime?

Asked on February 5, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Potentially, yes, the other person can be charged as a party to the offense.  If the other person did something to aid or encourage the offense (like acting as a lookout or getaway person), then they could be charged directly as a party.  When a person is charged as a party to the offense, they can be punished to the same degree as the main defendant.  If the person helped the main actor intimidate the victim into submission or not reporting the offense-- they could be charged potentially as a party or with the offense of witness tampering.  If the person was "just there" but did absolutely nothing else, they could be charged with the offense of failing to report a sexual assault of a child.  Any of these offenses is a serious offense which could result in stiff penalties.  If a person is not sure whether or not they would be liable for the sexual assault, they should visit with a criminal defense attorney and provide additional details which could influence the outcome of the case against them.

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