Indecent Liberties with a minor means exposing one’s genitalia or private parts that include breasts or buttocks in front of a child under the legal age. It is a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of three years of jail time in the state prison and/or a fine of up to $1000. It also requires you get register as a sex offender which results in collateral consequences. A permanent criminal record can negatively impact your education and job opportunities. Indecent liberties with minor comes under the indecent exposure law.
When we talk about indecent liberties, it is essential that the wrong act is done in the physical presence of a child. However, it does not matter whether the offender has been involved in any physical contact with the minor or not. If the offender has exposed the private parts to a child with a sexual intent, it is considered as a sexual crime.
Under the Maryland Code, Criminal Law Title 11, Subtitle 1, Section 11-107 and Correctional Services, Title 8, Subsection 8, Section 8-803, the main elements of indecent exposure are:
- The willful and intentional exposure of one’s private parts (genitals, buttocks, or female breasts)
- In a public place and
- In the presence of others.
- With willful intent (the indecent exposure must have occurred with intention of exposing private parts)
In a case from 1957, indecent exposure was defined as exposing oneself “in a public place in such a manner that the act is seen or is likely to be seen by casual observers.”
What does the law states?
- Any lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the child or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the offender, or both; or
- Soliciting the child to engage in any lewd fondling or touching of the person of another with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the child, the offender or another.
If these elements are a part of your case, an experience Maryland defense attorney can help you strategies a solid defense against the allegations and prevent the harsh penalties.
What are the penalties?
While the elements of the rime aren’t define by the statute, the penalties for indecent liberties and exposure are defined and thus the charges should be taken extremely seriously. Since this is a serious misdemeanor, a conviction for taking indecent liberties with a minor can lead to up to three years of jail time and/or a fine of up to $1000. A lot of states require the offenders of indecent exposure to get registered in the sex offender registry but Maryland does not. However, if it happened in front of a minor, the requirement for that can get triggered and this permanent criminal record can lead to additional consequences. For this reason, a strong representation is necessary and that is why you should contact an experienced lawyer in Maryland as soon as you get charged with this crime.