Texas passed a new law criminalizing indecent assault. What is an indecent assault? It sounds like what used to be called “groping”, it takes something that would have a Class C Assault for “unwanted contact” and raises it to a Class A Misdemeanor.
Sec. 22.012. INDECENT ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the other person’s consent and with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, the person
(1) touches the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of another person;
(2) touches another person with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of any person;
(3) exposes or attempts to expose another person’s genitals, pubic area,
anus, buttocks, or female areola; or
(4) causes another person to contact the blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, urine, or feces of any person.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
How bad is a Class A Misdemeanor? It’s up to a year in county jail, or a fine of $4,000.
If you are the victim of an indecent assault you can also apply for a protective order and you receive protections normally afforded victims of sexual assault and trafficking.
If you are charged with indecent assault you should hire a lawyer, this is not a class c “ticket”, it’s a real go-to jail crime. Being a brand new law we haven’t seen many prosecutions for this yet, and I’m not sure how aware police and prosecutors are of this new law yet.