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Legal Information: Texas

Restraining Orders

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November 5, 2020

What is the definition of sexual assault?

Sexual assault is basically defined in two different ways:

1. It can be the penetration of the anus or genitals with any object or with one’s sexual organ, or penetration of the mouth with one’s sexual organ, without the consent of the victim.1 

“Without consent” of the victim means:

  • The victim is compelled (forced) to participate by actual or threatened physical force or violence (the threat of violence can be to the victim or another person);
  • The victim is unconscious or physically unable to resist;
  • The victim is mentally incapable (due to a mental disability) to consent or resist the act;
  • The victim has not consented and the abuser knows that the victim is unaware that the sexual assault is occurring;
  • The victim was given a substance by the abuser without the victim’s consent that makes the victim unable to understand the situation;
  • The perpetrator is a public servant, or a mental health provider (and the victim is his/her patient) or a clergyman (and the victim is a parishioner) who coerced the victim to participate; or
  • The perpetrator is an employee of a facility where the other person is a resident.2

2.  Sexual assault could involve any of these acts between a child and an adult when the perpetrator knowingly or intentionally:

  • caused the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
  • caused the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;
  • caused the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
  • caused the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
  • caused the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.3

However, there could be a valid defense to the crime of sexual assault, as described in #2, above, if the perpetrator can prove that:

  • s/he was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense; or
  • at the time of the offense, the perpetrator was not more than three years older than the victim and all of the following are true:
    • the perpetrator was not a convicted sex offender;
    • the perpetrator did not have a reportable conviction or adjudication for a sexual offense;
    • the victim was at least 14 years old at the time of the offense;
    • the perpetrator was not committing bigamy, as defined by law; and
    • the victim consented to the act (there was no force or threats).4

You can go to our TX Statutes page to read the actual definitions of sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault.  For additional crimes that could qualify a person for this type of protective order, go to Who qualifies for a sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking protective order?

1 Tex. Penal Code § 22.011(a)(1)
2 Tex. Penal Code § 22.011(b)
3 Tex. Penal Code § 22.011(a)(2)
4 Tex. Penal Code § 22.011(e)