Criminal Sexual Assault Definitions You Need to Know

Criminal Sexual Assault Definitions

Are you or someone you know facing a criminal sexual assault charge?

Are you looking to be more informed about criminal sexual conduct?

Most Americans would say that we should be innocent until proven guilty. However, when it comes to an accusation of criminal sexual conduct, most of the time the media convicts the person before the trial.

In the case of the Grand Rapids firefighter, who was accused of rape and later proved innocent, his lawyer said as by reported by WZZM13, “his client is relieved about the dropping of the charges, but that the accusations had left an indelible mark on his reputation.”

Due to cases like the one above and many others, it is important to be informed.

Today, I am sharing terms and their definitions that are often used around during a criminal sexual assault case. Using this cheat sheet will help you to know more about what is being said. These definitions are based off of Michigan Penal Code, unless otherwise noted.

Please remember, in no way is this information legal advice. This is free information provided to you to help. If you are in need of legal counseling, please contact my office.

CSA Definitions:

Criminal Sexual Assault
The University of Michigan provides a good definition:

“Sexual assault as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.”

There are four different degrees of criminal sexual conduct. For details on each degree, please see, The Truth About 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Criminal Sexual Assault.

Sexual Contact
In this article, I provide the following definition, “deliberate touching of other person’s intimate parts. It can also be defined as deliberate touching of another person clothing covering intimate parts for sexual arousal or gratification, done for a sexual purpose, or in a sexual manner for: revenge, to inflict humiliation, out of anger.”

Sexual Penetration
Is any intrusion into a genital or anal opening by any other object or body part, sexual intercourse, fellatio, anal intercourse, or cunnilingus.

Intimate Parts
Breasts, inner thigh, buttocks, and primary genital area of a person.

This is the person accused of criminal sexual conduct.

This is the person who has allegedly been subjected to sexual assault.

Personal Injury
When discussing personal injury in a criminal sexual conduct case, it could mean one of the following, chronic pain, pregnancy, disease, impairment of loss of a sexual or reproductive organ, bodily injury, disfigurement, or mental anguish.

Physically Helpless
This is when a person is unconscious, asleep, or any reason that would cause someone to be “physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.”

Force or Coercion
According to this part of the Michigan Penal Code, included the following situations, however, it is not limited to these situations.

  • The actor overcomes the victim with physical force or physical violence.
  • When the actor threatens to use force or violence and the victim submits believe the actor will execute these threats.

Take Away

Knowing the definitions of the terms that are used during a criminal sexual conduct case will help you understand more during court proceedings.

If you or someone you know has been accused of criminal sexual assault, it is imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Please contact my office.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000


Please note that the information provided on this website is not legal advice. This information is a general overview for informational purposes only. For more information, please see, disclaimer. If you have specific questions about your unique case, please contact my office.