Sex Crimes Lawyer in St. Louis
Last Updated: January 11, 2024
This content has been written and edited by professional legal writers and individually reviewed and verified by Christopher Combs and Steven Waterkotte, attorneys who have over 40 combined years in the criminal defense industry.
We Believe Everyone Is Entitled To The Best St. Louis, MO Legal Defense
Combs Waterkotte is committed to handling all their St. Louis, MO sex crimes cases with care and understanding. We are not here to judge you, or treat you differently than any of our other clients. We believe that everyone in St. Louis, MO, no matter what crime they have been charged with, deserves an aggressive legal defense and to have their rights protected.
The United States legal system operates under the principle that defendants are innocent until proven guilty, after all. It is unfortunate that in our society, if you have been accused of a sex crime many people will instantly rush to judgment and believe you to be one hundred percent guilty. Our firm understands that your reputation can be heavily damaged regardless of whether you actually committed a sex crime in St. Louis, MO, and we work to limit the impact these allegations can have on your career, family, and standing in the community.
Sex Crimes Cases We Handle in St. Louis, MO
Sex crimes in Missouri exist on a wide spectrum, from child-related crimes such as molestation to crimes more common amongst adults like harassment. We understand that all areas of sex crimes defense require a special level of discretion between attorney and client, and we provide this discretion to all our clients. "Sexual offenses" in Missouri are laid out in Chapter 566 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. We have taken cases in the following areas and more:
- Rape or Sexual Battery (§566.030, RSMo, §566.031, RSMo)
Rape is having sexual intercourse with someone without their consent, either through force, threat or when they were incapable of consenting. Depending on the circumstances, in Missouri a rape conviction can lead to a sentence anywhere from 7 years in prison to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
- Child Molestation (§566.067, RSMo, §566.030, RSMo, §566.068, RSMo, §566.069, RSMo, §566.071, RSMo)
Child molestation is sexual contact with a minor, or sexual contact with someone younger than 17 years old if the alleged offender is over 21. Depending on various circumstances including the age of the alleged victim, the age gap and whether you have previous convictions, punishments can range from heavy fines and probation to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
- (§566.100, RSMo, §566.101, RSMo)
Sexual abuse occurs when one person subjects another to sexual contact without their consent or when they are unable to give consent. A second-degree sexual abuse conviction may be a class A misdemeanor, but most instances will result in a felony charge.
- Statutory Rape (§566.032, RSMo, §566.034, RSMo) and Statutory Sodomy (§566.062, RSMo, §566.064, RSMo)
Statutory sex crimes occur when an adult has sexual intercourse with a minor, or when someone over the age of 21 has sexual intercourse with someone under 17, even if the minor agreed to or even initiated it. Punishment can include a prison sentence of anywhere from five years to life if there are aggravating factors.
- Sexual Harassment
Missouri considers sexual harassment a form of sex discrimination, and is often seen as a labor issue. It includes unwanted sexual advances, repeated requests for "favors," promises of promotions in exchange for sex, threatening to fire somebody if they don't agree to sex and creating a toxic work environment through pervasive or severe sexual conduct.
- Sexual Misconduct (§566.093, RSMo, §566.095, RSMo)
Sexual misconduct occurs when someone exposes themselves in a manner and circumstance that would cause shock, offense or alarm, or when people have sexual intercourse in public. Depending on the circumstances it can be either a misdemeanor or felony.
- Sexual Contact With a Student (§566.086, RSMo)
Any time a teacher, coach or other employee of a school district has sexual contact with a student of the school is a class E felony charge. Consent and the age of the student are not valid defenses.
- Enticement of a child (§566.151, RSMo)
Enticement of a child occurs when someone over the age of 21 if they persuade, entice or lure, through words, actions, the Internet or other electronic communication, anyone younger than 15 for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct. The sentence if convicted is five to 30 years imprisonment.
- Child Pornography (§573.037, RSMo, 18 U.S. Code § 2251, 18 U.S. Code § 2252)
The production, distribution, receipt and possession of any visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit or suggestive material will likely amount to a child pornography charge. As this often occurs on the Internet, which constitutes interstate travel, alleged offenders are likely to face both state and federal charges.
- Sexual conduct with a nursing facility resident or a vulnerable person (§566.115, RSMo, §566.116, RSMo)
If a person who is an owner or employee of a nursing home or Alzheimer's care unit, or works with an organization for mental health, has sexual intercourse with a resident or vulnerable person, it is a class A misdemeanor for a first offense, and a class E felony for a subsequent offense. If they have sexual contact it is a class B misdemeanor.
Can Sex Crimes Be Expunged From a Criminal Record?
Unless you are later proved to be innocent, once convicted of a felony sex crime you will not be able to have that record expunged or sealed. That's why it's so crucial to have a strong and dedicated defense team from the moment you are accused or charged.
How Combs Waterkotte’s St. Louis, MO Sex Crimes Lawyers Can Help
Being merely accused of any sex crime in St. Louis, MO can have an immediate effect on your reputation and your relationship with coworkers, friends and even family. Combs Waterkotte’s sex crimes lawyers are not here to judge you or make any assumptions. We know there is more than one side to every story, and we will listen to what you have to say and work with you to determine the best defense strategy that gets the best possible results in your case.
When you hire us, our St. Louis, Missouri sex crimes lawyer will:
- Look for inconsistencies in the accuser’s story
- Negotiate with prosecutors to have your charges reduced or dismissed
- Defend you at trial if we have to, and challenge the jury on whether or not the prosecution has proved the charges beyond a reasonable doubt
- Forcible Rape
Not Guilty Verdict
Not Guilty Verdict
- Sexual Misconduct
Not Guilty Verdict
Not Guilty Verdict
- Statutory Sodomy
Statutory Sodomy 2nd
Statutory Sodomy 2nd
Will I Go to Jail?
That depends on a variety of factors, including the nature of the charges, the strength of the evidence held against you, your age and the age of the alleged victim and the abilities of your St. Louis, MO sex crimes lawyer. While it’s possible you may be incarcerated for a period if convicted, we can also work with the prosecution to lower your sentence to probation and mandatory treatment programs, or to reduce the charges to an offense that doesn’t involve time behind bars. If we are able to get the charges dismissed or achieve a not guilty verdict, you obviously will be free to return to your normal life.
Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender?
Again, that depends. According to Missouri Revised Statute §589.400, convicted of committing or attempting a felony outlined in Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 566:
- Sexual abuse of a child
- Sexual contact or intercourse with a resident of a nursing home or vulnerable person
- Endangering a child when the endangering is sexual in nature
- Promoting prostitution
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Promoting child pornography
- Possession of child pornography
- Furnishing pornographic materials to minors
- Publicly displaying explicit sexual material
- Patronizing prostitution if the alleged prostitute is under 18 years old
If the charges you’re facing require registration as a sex offender, we’ll work hard to dismiss or reduce those charges to ones that do not require it.
How Long Would I Have to Stay on a Sex Offender Registry?
If you are convicted of one of the above charges, how long you remain on the registry will depend on the nature of the crime and your age when you committed it. A Combs Waterkotte sex crimes lawyer may be able to help you petition for removal under Missouri Revised Statute §589.401 if you meet certain qualifications.
Choose Combs Waterkotte For Your St. Louis, Missouri Sex Crimes Defense
Combs Waterkotte works tirelessly to not only fight for your freedom and reputation, but also maintain an exceptional level of client satisfaction. We suggest you take a look at our client feedback to see what people from all around St. Louis, MO have said about working with our firm. If you contact us today, we will set up a discreet, one-on-one consultation to discuss your situation.