Ryan P. Sullivan
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Rape of a Child

Massachusetts Lawyer for Charges of Raping a Child

It can be emotionally stressful to face charges for a sex crime, particularly when the accusations involve a child. You may not be sure who to trust, and you may already be facing harm to your reputation within the community. Your freedom is very much at stake with these kinds of charges, and you must take them seriously. If you were charged with statutory rape or rape of a child, call experienced Boston sex crimes lawyer Ryan P. Sullivan. He is a former prosecutor who brings years of experience and strong insights into how prosecutors and judges think to build the best available defenses for those accused of sex crimes and other crimes.

Defending Charges of Rape of a Child in Boston

Massachusetts General Laws chapter 265, section 23 provides the elements a prosecutor must establish in order to obtain a conviction for the crime of rape of a child. To secure a conviction against you, the prosecutor will need to show that you: (1) had sex or unnatural sexual intercourse, (2) the sex with a child under age 16. Penetration, like other elements, such as the alleged victim’s age, must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Sex under this law can include any nonconsensual penetration of any orifice of the body. Unnatural sexual intercourse includes anal and oral penetration.

If a prosecutor establishes his or her case, you can be sentenced to a substantial prison term. This type of charge can’t be continued without a finding, and it can’t be put on file as other charges can. Certain factors are aggravating, such as when a defendant is a mandated reporter or where there is a significant, such as a five or 10 year gap between the defendant and the alleged victim. In those cases, you could be imprisoned for life or any term of years, but not less than 10. Moreover, the sentence cannot be reduced to less than 10 years or suspended, and you wouldn’t be eligible for probation or parole or get a deduction from your sentence for good conduct unless you’ve served at least 10 years of the sentence.


Importantly, it’s not a defense to say that you mistakenly or reasonably believed the alleged victim was 16 or over. You could be convicted of rape of a child in Boston even if you were a teenager not much older than the child in question, and a conviction can haunt you far down the road, which makes it crucial to retain a seasoned lawyer to develop your defense.

Additionally, a sex crimes defense attorney won’t be able to defend you by arguing consent. Those under age 16 are not considered capable of providing consent. Therefore, you can be charged and convicted even if the victim seemed willing or says he or she was willing, and the prosecution won’t need to establish force.

Attorney to Fight Penalties for Rape of a Child

Statutory rape or rape of a child can be punished with imprisonment in the state prison for life or any term of years or for any term in jail or the house of correction. Boston judges tend to have discretion in imposing sentences and are able to consider factors like the degree of power you had or did not have over the alleged victim. It can help to have an attorney with a good reputation among judges advocate for a lighter sentence in your case, in the event that you are convicted.

You shouldn’t assume a conviction is assured in your case. Many rape of a child cases involve hazy circumstances, and we can investigate all angles to determine the strongest and best strategy to defend you, whether that involves raising reasonable doubt or obtaining an exclusion of evidence important to the prosecutor’s case or negotiating an appropriate plea deal.

Consult a Seasoned Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you were charged with rape of a child or statutory rape in Massachusetts, you must take the charges seriously. You should call seasoned Boston sex crimes attorney Ryan P. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan has more than a decade of experience representing clients in Lowell, Salem, Boston, and surrounding areas. Call him today at (617) 997-7597 or get in touch through our online form to schedule your free consultation.

Client Reviews
Great lawyer he has helped my family immensely. Very capable and dedicated. A lawyer who actually cares and an all around good person. Jillian
Ryan Sullivan is a very knowledgeable attorney. He is one of my go-to professionals when I am seeking insight on more complicated criminal matters. Without any reservations, he has my vote of confidence. Ilya
Attorney Ryan Sullivan is professional, knowledgeable and compassionate. Millie