What is the Difference Between Sexual Assault vs Rape

With the #Metoo and Times Up movements in full swing, it’s time to educate ourselves. We as a society need to make some big changes in how we regard and treat one another.

Especially when it comes to rape, molestation, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. But while rape and sexual assault may seem like comparing apples to apples, there are some big differences in the eyes of the law.

If you’re facing charges, you need to fully understand exactly what possible outcomes you may face. Even if you’re not facing charges, educate yourself so you can prevent problems in the future.

To avoid becoming the next Harvey Weinstein, here are the differences between sexual assault vs rape.

sexual assault vs rape

Sexual Assault Vs Rape


There is a difference between sexual assault and rape. However, because the two definitions often overlap, it gets confusing. Especially since recent news articles have been using sexual assault and rape interchangeably.

Let’s see how the United States Department of Justice defines the two.

Sexual Assault Definition

According to the US Department of Justice, sexual assault is defined as, “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.”

However, each state also has their own additional specific guidelines as to what defines sexual assault. It’s important to know these guidelines, especially if you’ve been falsely accused.

Definition Of Rape

The newest definition of rape from the US Dept of Justice now includes all genders and gender identities.

It states that rape is, “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

According to National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in 71 men and one in five women will be raped within their lifetime. 81% of women report experiencing significant short and long-term negative impacts like PTSD after being raped. 35% of men report the same experience.

Only 28% of rapes are committed by a stranger. Most victims know their rapist. 45% of rapes are committed by an acquaintance while 25% of all rapes are carried out by a current or former lover.

Sexual Harassment Vs Sexual Assault

Sexual assault always includes a sexual element to it. Sexual harassment doesn’t always have to include touching or even a sexual element to it. Let’s learn what sexual harassment includes.

There are three types of sexual harassment. The first is sexual coercion. Put simply, it means if you threaten to fire someone if they don’t sleep with you, it’s considered quid pro quo harassment. It’s the least common form of the three types of sexual harassment.

Most Common Forms Of Sexual Harassment

A more common type is unwanted sexual attention. It includes any type of unwanted touching, stroking, kissing, hugging, relentless pressure on dates or sexual behavior. They must be unwanted and unwelcome to the person receiving this type of behavior.

When it creates an abusive working environment, it’s considered against the law. And unwanted sexual attention also includes sexual assault and rape. Meaning, if you forcibly grope and kiss your assistant, you’re committing to a civil offense and a crime.

The third type of sexual harassment is the most common. It’s when you discriminate and disparage others based on their gender, even if no sexual interest is implied.

In other words, it’s against the law to refer to women as, “bitches” or men as, “pussies”. Nor can you make degrading comments about bodies or other sexual activities at work.

The Difference Between Molestation And Rape

There is a difference between rape and molestation. With rape, while it’s more common that the victim knows their perpetrator, it’s also possible to be raped by a stranger.

With rape, the perpetrator might ignore verbal requests to stop and may even overpower the victim so they can’t move. It’s also considered rape if someone penetrates a victim who is incapable of giving their consent.

Lack of consent applies in rape cases when the victim is drunk, unconscious, asleep, physically or mentally incapacitated, and when threatened with physical force or a weapon.

And it doesn’t matter if the perpetrator claims he or she was drunk or even married to the victim. If you don’t have full consent, it’s considered rape.

Molestation Vs. Rape

Molestation is the term that’s used when someone commits a crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18. That includes touching private parts, exposing genitalia, rape, engaging in sexual acts with either the molester or with other children, and taking pornographic photos of the victims.

The term of molestation is also applied in cases of incest by a relative with a family member who is a minor.

Also, it’s considered molestation vs rape when any unwanted sexual acts occur between adults but there’s been no penetration of any sort.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is a term used when describing inappropriate behavior towards children rather than adults.

It can include anything from forcing a victim to touch the perpetrator to touching a victim in a sexual way or making a victim look at sexual body parts or watching sexual activities.

Every state recognizes that children are not capable of giving informed consent to any sex act. However, the laws of consent vary between 16 and 18 years of age depending on which state you live in.

Get Help

Whether it’s sexual assault vs rape can make a big difference in your court case. Find a good attorney and do everything they tell you to do.

Show up in court and make yourself look presentable. If you are guilty, learn from your mistakes and seek out help to avoid problems in the future.

Remember, no always means no.

If a judge orders you to pay bail and you don’t have the money to pay it yourself, we can help. Click here to learn all you need to know about how bail bonds work.

How do Bail Bonds Work for Rape Charges

The cold handcuffs clench your wrists as you are taken to a police car. You feel dazed and in disbelief that you are being arrested for rape. Unfortunately, your worst nightmare is currently your reality.

If you’ve been charged with rape, then you may need to post bail to get out of jail until your trial. Of course, the bail process can seem complicated if you’ve never been through it before.

That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide answering the question of “How do bail bonds work?”

Let’s get started.

Rape Charges

Every form of sex crime against another individual is considered to be assaultive. In other words, it is a felony crime that carries a possible life sentence in North Carolina.

In light of this, to be released from jail, you have to make bail by paying a felony sexual assault bond, which the court sets.

What Exactly Is Bail?

Bail is essentially a payment that you must make to court officials to make sure that you will come back to court for your scheduled rape charge hearings. It is basically a form of collateral. If you appear in court for your hearings, you’ll get the money back.

The Setting of Bail

Once you are taken into police custody, you are automatically booked into jail. Then, authorities record all of your personal information in their computer/database and impound your personal items.

Following your jail booking, you are allowed to make a single phone call before being put into a cell. Then, officials will schedule your hearing, during which a judge will determine your bail amount. This normally takes place within a couple of days following your arrest.

The Bail Amount

A bail bond serves as a type of personal loan. Once a small portion of the total loan amount is put down, your bail bondsman will cover the remainder of the cash required for bail.

But exactly how much will your bail be?

Your bail bond hearing will take place within about 48 hours following your arrest. At that time, a judge will decide on your bail amount based on the type of charge you face. Your bail amount will also be based on how great your risk of not appearing in court at the scheduled time is.

Court systems usually have standard bail bond amounts that pertain to specific crimes. However, your judge doesn’t have to stick with the court system’s given standard.

Once your bail bond amount has been set, it’s time to pay up. Let’s take an in-depth look at what the payment process involves.

How Do Bail Bonds Work When it Comes to Making Payments?

Let’s say your bail happens to be $20,000. Your family members or you may have to make a premium payment of $3,000 (15% of the total) depending on the bail company you choose. Then, your bondsman would provide the jail or courts with the total of $20,000 needed to post bail.

Bail companies sometimes require you to give them collateral, too. For example, your collateral could be a jewelry item, your automobile’s pink slip or your home’s deed. The bail bond service uses the collateral to secure the loan in the event that you fail to appear in court on your appointed date.

Because bail bond companies and bail bondsmen naturally assume financial risks when posting bail bonds, they typically take extra precautions to make sure that defendants attend all of their court dates. After all, their goal is to receive back all of the bail money they provide.

So, for example, the bond company may have one of your friends or relatives provide the necessary collateral for your bond because bail bondsmen usually believe that defendants are more likely to make their court dates since their friends’ or relatives’ money or property is at stake.

In addition, you may get a call from the bail bond company prior to every court date. You might also have to check in at the company’s office regularly to prove you haven’t skipped town.

Payment Methods & Court Appearance

You can generally make a bail bond payment in one of four ways (with payment plans also potentially being available):

  • Unsecured bail bond
  • Secured bail bond
  • Cash
  • Signature or own recognizance, also known as no-cost bail (you simply make a promise to appear in court)

Then, get ready to show up in court at the proper time. As we mentioned earlier, if you do this, you’ll avoid forfeiting the bail money paid.

If you don’t, the court will keep the bail bond money, and a warrant for your arrest will be issued. In addition, you’ll have to cover the full bail amount minus deposit already given to the bond company.

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Being accused of rape is certainly frightening and unsettling due to the severe nature of this type of crime. Emotions have a tendency to run high. In addition, witness testimony may be unreliable.

In your case, it may be that you are a mistaken identity victim — in other words, you’re accused of committing rape even though someone else actually committed the crime. In this situation especially, being released on a felony sexual assault bond is critical for defending your character and good name.

How We Can Help

We offer leading bail bond services in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area. Still wondering “How do bail bonds work?” We’ve got answers for you.

Our goal is to help our clients to vacate their jail cells as soon as possible following their arrests. In many situations, clients don’t even need to have hard assets available as collateral.

We possess decades of industry experience and can go over all of your options with you when you need to be freed from jail.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you during one of your life’s most terrifying moments. We promise to provide dependable and honest service to those whom we represent each time.

Sex Crime Arrest? 3 Tips for Moving Forward

Getting charged with a sex crime can turn your life upside down but you don’t have to go it alone. Over than 400,000 cases of rape or sexual assault were reported in 2012 alone. Here’s what to expect after you’ve been arrested for an unexpected charge.

Remember Not All Sex Crimes Are Created Equal

It’s important to remember that not convictions carry the same penalty. Even in the worst case scenario, a guilty verdict doesn’t automatically mean prison time.

Lewd acts, for example, cover a wide range of infractions. This charge can include acts ranging from consensual sex (in a public) to indecent exposure.

Indecent exposure is a charge not limited to genital exposure, but also includes exposure of the breasts in females.

Public sex is also covered in the covers consensual acts in public spaces. This could include sex acts in areas such as public bathrooms or even within the privacy of a parked car in a secluded area.

Violent and non-consensual acts carry heftier penalties at sentencing. Acts committed against minors also carry heavier penalties. These charges may carry additional weight if this involves the continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Accusations of childhood sex abuse may surface years after the alleged event. It is common for children to wait until adulthood to prosecute their alleged abusers.

It’s important to talk to legal counsel in order to decide what your best legal options are.

Know What to Expect

After your arrest, you may have the opportunity to make bail. First, the judge must decide if you qualify.

Qualifying for bail means that the judge will decide whether you are a flight risk or if you can be trusted to show up for trial. If it is decided that you can be trusted, bail will be set and you can make bail with the help of a bail bond.

While bail is usually set at a very high rate, bail bonds can get you out of jail for as little as 5% down. These rates may also qualify for a payment plan. After your release, you will have a much better opportunity to concentrate on your legal defense.

It is very important to have a well-qualified attorney to defend you. Quality legal advice will help you avoid any errors that could make your case more difficult.

Know Your Rights

Before your trial, there is a chance that social services may also approach you. Although they may be aggressive in requesting your cooperation, they have no right to enter your home without a court order.

Your lawyer may also move to have the charges dismissed if the case is unfounded or relies solely on the testimony of the accuser. He may also move for the case to be dismissed if the charge is a victimless crime.

You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you will have one appointed to you. Public defenders are notoriously overworked, however, experienced in fighting criminal cases.

If you are convicted of a sex crime, you have the right to appeal your conviction. Your legal counsel will help you decide what grounds you have to fight your conviction.

Appealing your conviction may mean arguing that some evidence shouldn’t have been allowed in the trial, jury composition, and improper arguements made by the prosecution.

Contact us if you or someone you love is facing criminal charges. Bail gives defendants a fighting chance at the defense they deserve.