The crime of sexual battery in Mississippi is a very serious crime with lasting consequences.  In encompasses Mississippi’s version of rape, as well as statutory rape, meaning those particular crimes and penalties fall under the sexual battery law.

A person is guilty of sexual battery if he or she engages in sexual penetration with another person without their consent,

or with a mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless person,

or with a child at least 14 but under 16 if the accused is 36 or more months older than the child,

or with a child under the age of 14, if the accused is 24 or more months older than the child.

So in the sexual battery law you have what would be considered rape involving adults (sexual penetration without consent), rape involving a victim who is mentally disabled or physically unconscious (like someone who’s passed out), then last you have what’s basically statutory rape involving a child under the age of 16.

Between these several different levels of sexual battery in Mississippi you have different punishments.  You could be looking at up to 30 years in some cases, or 40 years for repeat offenders.  It really all depends on the facts, and with child victims the age differences.

Can you defend yourself against a sexual battery allegation and go to trial?  Yes, but this is a decision that must be made only after reviewing the case thoroughly and weighing all the options.  If it’s a charge that involves non-consensual sexual contact between adults, you’re going to have to show that it was either someone else (DNA evidence) or show that it was actually consensual (like proving that the victim was promiscuous or was under the influence of alcohol).

With children (statutory rape cases) it’s much more difficult because the state does not have to prove consent.  They have to prove only that there was a big enough age difference and that the act occurred.  So here you’re going to have to prove that it didn’t happen at all.  That may be possible in some cases, like if the victim was under the influence of alcohol or they have some kind of motive like revenge.   But it’s hard.

Patrick Stegall is a sexual battery lawyer for Mississippi, including Southaven, Olive Branch, Hernando, Tunica, and Holly Springs.  If you have been charged with this serious crime please contact him at (901) 205-9894 or

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