According to the California Attorney General, sex crimes are, “one of the most common violations of people’s rights.”

If you’ve been the victim of an act of sexual violence, it’s important for you to understand what your rights are so you can get legal help and prosecute your assaulter.

Keep reading to learn more about the types of sex crimes that occur as they are defined by California law.

Sex Crimes at a Glance

Put simply, a sex crime is any sexual act performed illegally. In most cases, these actions are illegal because one of the involved parties did not consent to the act.

Recently, the statutes of limitations for sex crimes changed, so when an assault occurred will determine that. For more information about the statute of limitations for sex crimes, you can click here.

Types of Sex Crimes

Let’s dig deeper into the legal definitions of some of the most common types of sex crimes that occur in California.


This is any type of sexual intercourse that occurs when one of the individuals did not consent. Under the law, this involved penetration. A different law addresses forcing or coercing another person into having oral sex with you.

Another similar law is spousal rape. This occurs when a spouse forces his or her partner to have intercourse with them without their consent.

Statutory Rape

When someone over the age of 18 engages in sexual intercourse with an individual under the age of 18 regardless of whether or not the minor consented or even initiated the encounter. The exception is if the two individuals are married.

Depending on the ages of each party, penalties vary in severity. If the offender is less than three years older than the victim, it may only be a misdemeanor. However, if the minor is under 16 and the accused is over 21, there will be more severe penalties.

Other sexual crimes that involve children include a sex act with a child under the age of 10, lewd acts with a child, and the possession, distribution, or production of child pornography.

Sexual Battery

When an offender touches another person’s breasts, buttocks, or genitalia without their consent for the purpose of their own sexual gratification, this is known as sexual battery.

Other sex crimes that don’t involve penetration include indecent exposure and lewd conduct in public. Lewd conduct could mean touching yourself or another person physically in the presence of others.


Engaging in sexual acts when money or anything of value is exchanged is illegal for both parties. Offering sexual acts in exchange for money is also a crime as well as the management of prostitutes.

Get More Lifestyle and Legal Information

Now you know some of the types of sex crimes that can occur and a better understanding of what each one is from a legal perspective. As you can see, each of these crimes carries a different penalty under the law.

To learn more about your legal rights or to find lighter lifestyle posts, keep reading our blog. It’s full of information you can use to understand your rights and live a happier, healthier life.