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Legal Information: Georgia

Statutes: Georgia

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Updated: 
August 28, 2019

16-6-5.1. Improper sexual contact

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) “Agent” means an individual authorized to act on behalf of another, with or without compensation.

(2) “Child welfare and youth services” shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 49-5-3.

(3) “Disability” shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 37-1-1.

(4) “Employee” means an individual who works for salary, wages, or other remuneration for an employer.

(5) “Intimate parts” means the genital area, groin, inner thighs, buttocks, or breasts of a person.

(6) “Psychotherapy” means the professional treatment or counseling of a mental or emotional illness, symptom, or condition.

(7) “School” means any educational institution, public or private, providing elementary or secondary education to children at any level, kindergarten through twelfth grade, or the equivalent thereof if grade divisions are not used, including extracurricular programs of such institution.

(8) “Sensitive care facility” means any facility licensed or required to be licensed under Code Section 31-7-3, 31-7-12, or 31-7-12.2 or who is required to be licensed pursuant to Code Section 31-7-151 or 31-7-173.

(9) “Sexual contact” means any contact involving the intimate parts of either person for the purpose of sexual gratification of either person.

(10) “Sexually explicit conduct” shall have the same meaning as set forth in Code Section 16-12-100.

(b) An employee or agent commits the offense of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the first degree when such employee or agent knowingly engages in sexually explicit conduct with another person whom such employee or agent knows or reasonably should have known is contemporaneously:

(1) Enrolled as a student at a school of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(2) Under probation, parole, accountability court, or pretrial diversion supervision of the office or court of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(3) Being detained by or is in the custody of any law enforcement agency of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(4) A patient in or at a hospital of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(5) In the custody of a correctional facility, juvenile detention facility, facility providing services to a person with a disability, or a facility providing child welfare and youth services of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(6) The subject of such employee or agent’s actual or purported psychotherapy treatment or counseling; or

(7) Admitted for care at a sensitive care facility of which he or she is an employee or agent.

(c) A person commits the offense of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the second degree when such employee or agent knowingly engages in sexual contact, excluding sexually explicit conduct, with another person whom such employee or agent knows or reasonably should have known is contemporaneously:

(1) Enrolled as a student at a school of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(2) Under probation, parole, accountability court, or pretrial diversion supervision of the office or court of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(3) Being detained by or is in the custody of a law enforcement agency of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(4) A patient in or at a hospital of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(5) In the custody of a correctional facility, juvenile detention facility, facility providing services to a person with a disability, or facility providing child welfare and youth services of which he or she is an employee or agent;

(6) The subject of such employee or agent’s actual or purported psychotherapy treatment or counseling; or

(7) Admitted for care at a sensitive care facility of which he or she is an employee or agent.

(d) Consent of the victim shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this Code section.

(e)(1) This Code section shall not apply to sexually explicit conduct or sexual contact between individuals lawfully married to each other.

(2) This Code section shall not apply to a student who is enrolled at the same school as the victim.

(f) A person convicted of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 25 years or by a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both; provided, however, that:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, any person convicted of the offense of improper sexual contact by employee or agent with a child under the age of 16 years shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 25 nor more than 50 years or a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both, and shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2; and

(2) If at the time of the offense the victim of the offense is at least 14 years of age but less than 21 years of age and the person is 21 years of age or younger and is no more than 48 months older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall not be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2.

(g) A person convicted of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the second degree shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall not be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2; provided, however, that:

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, any person convicted of the offense of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the second degree with a child under the age of 16 years shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 25 years or by a fine not to exceed $25,000.00, or both, and shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2;

(2) If at the time of the offense the victim of the offense is at least 14 years of age but less than 21 years of age and the person is 21 years of age or younger and is no more than 48 months older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall not be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2; and(3) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, upon a second or subsequent conviction of the offense of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the second degree, the person shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years and shall be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2.