You may not realize it, but your job matters when facing charges for criminal sexual conduct (CSC). Under Michigan law, there are circumstances where you can have relations with someone above the age of consent but still face charges because of your professional relationship to them. To better understand why authority matters in CSC cases, we need to look at some specific examples.
Mental Health Professionals
Under Michigan law, mental health professionals (therapists, psychologists, counselors, etc.) may face CSC charges if they have sexual relations with someone who was their patient within the past two years.
That patient’s age and consent do not matter in this case. The law specifically states that “the consent of the victim is not a defense.” Keep in mind that a relationship may still be possible as CSCs do not encompass all kinds of romantic interactions, only those where sexual touching or intercourse occurs.
Schools and Child Care
No one who works at a school, be they teacher, administrator, facilities team, volunteer, or otherwise, may have relations with students under 18. Again, this applies even if the student is over the age of consent (16 in Michigan).
The same applies to those who work at after-school child care centers and foster homes. Even if a student is above the age of consent, that position of authority could quality any sexual interaction as criminal sexual conduct.
Speaking to a CSC Attorney
CSC cases are incredibly stressful, but none more than those where someone faces charges for having relations with someone over the age of consent. If convicted, they could be required to join the sex offender registry, face a fine, and spend time in confinement.
For that reason, it’s critical that anyone facing CSC charges hire a skillful attorney to help them navigate the situation. An attorney on your side could potentially have the charges dismissed or plead to a lesser charge that does not require SORA registration.
To schedule an appointment with an experienced Kalamazoo criminal attorney from Levine & Levine Attorneys at Law, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (269) 218-8880.