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Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer for Aggravated Sex Assault of a Child

Legal definitions, expert advice and information on the heightened punishments for being convicted of aggravated child sex abuse in Texas


The presumption of innocence is the idea that you are "innocent until proven guilty."


This principle is a pillar of the American criminal justice system, yet the reality is that so many people - judges, prosecutors, jury members, the media, your friends and neighbors, etc. - often fail to remember this important tenet of our law.

When comes to aggravated sexual assault, especially when a child is involved, community emotions often run high and elected court officials are quick to convict, despite the fact that the burden of proof rests on the prosecution to establish guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." Sometimes all it takes is the word of a child to send a person to jail for the rest of their lives.

defense of aggravated sexual assault of a child

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What Does Aggravated Sexual Assault Mean in Texas?

The charge of sexual assault of a child, which applies to any sexual activity (consensual or not) between an adult and someone who is under the legal age of consent, can be elevated to "aggravated" if the victim was younger than 14 years old at the time of the act, if a deadly weapon was used, if the accused used a date rape drug, or if other aggravating factors are true in the case.

If you or a loved one are being investigated or charged with aggravated child sex abuse, it is imperative you contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible - even before speaking to police investigators.


Houston criminal defense lawyer Neal Davis has successfully defended clients in Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend Country and across Texas for nearly 20 years, securing positive outcomes for high profile state and federal cases.


According Texas Penal Code (Section 22.021), a person who intentionally or knowingly commits one of the following actions is guilty of aggravated sexual assault:

Against another adult


  • Causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent

  • Causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person's consent

  • Causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person's consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor

Against a child (below age 14), elderly person or disabled individual


  • Causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means

  • Causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor

  • Causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor

  • Causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor

  • Causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor

Violent offenses


  • Causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode

  • By acts or words places the victim in fear that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person

  • Acts in concert with another who engages in conduct (described by Subdivision 1) directed toward the same victim and occurring during the course of the same criminal episode

  • By acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim threatens to cause the death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person

  • Uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode

  • Administers or provides flunitrazepam (otherwise known as rohypnol, gamma hydroxybutyrate or ketamine) to the victim of the offense with the intent of facilitating the commission of the offense


What are Defenses Against Aggravated Sexual Assault Charges?

Unlike other child sex offenses, Romeo and Juliet Law in Texas cannot be used as an affirmative defense in an aggravated sexual assault case where the victim is younger than 14 years old. One of the most common defense strategies in such cases is to investigate whether the allegation of child sex abuse actually occurred.

False accusations are unfortunately common in child sex assault cases. Children can easily be coached or influenced by adults for the purposes of accomplishing some ulterior agenda. For example, a parent may convince their child to claim they were sexually assaulted in order to receive child support or some other financial benefit. Or, police investigators may ask questions to a child in a certain way in order to get the responses they want.

An experienced sex crime defense lawyer can call upon expert witnesses and access video evidence to expose such false allegations.

What is the Penalty for Aggravated Sexual Assault in Texas?

Aggravated sexual assault of a child is a much more serious crime than other child sex offenses like indecency with a child by exposure (third-degree felony) and indecency with a child by contact (second-degree felony).

In Texas, aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony, meaning it is punishable by up to 99 years in prison (life imprisonment) and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If the victim was under the age of six, then the offense is considered "super aggravated" and results a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.


In addition, a person convicted of sexual assault of a child will be forced to register as a sex offender in Texas, likely for the rest of their lives.


"I've Been Charged With Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Texas.
What Do I Do?"

The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better chance you have at building a strong defense. This problem will not "just go away" - delaying only reduces your likelihood of beating this criminal charge and moving on with your life.

At the Neal Davis Law Firm, we can help protect your constitutional rights and investigate false accusations of sexual assault. We believe you are innocent until proven guilty, as the law of the land states, and we vow to fight for you just as vigorously as we have for thousands of client throughout the last two decades.

Contact us immediately to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer Neal Davis.


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