The Difference Between Sexual Assault and Sexual Battery

Aug 28, 2023


Welcome to John P. Bennett, Attorney at Law, your trusted source for legal advice and representation in matters related to sexual assault and sexual battery. In this article, we delve into the complexities of these two terms to provide you with a clear understanding of their differences.

Understanding Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a broad term used to describe any non-consensual sexual act or behavior inflicted on another person. It is an umbrella term that encompasses various forms of unwanted sexual contact, including but not limited to forced penetration, fondling, molestation, and attempted rape. Sexual assault can occur in different settings, such as homes, workplaces, schools, or public spaces.

Types of Sexual Assault

It is important to note that sexual assault can be categorized into different types, each with its own set of legal definitions and consequences. Some common types of sexual assault include:

  • Rape: Rape involves forced sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim.
  • Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse includes any non-consensual sexual act, such as fondling or molestation.
  • Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, comments, or conduct that creates a hostile environment.
  • Statutory Rape: Statutory rape refers to sexual intercourse with a minor, regardless of whether there was consent.

Exploring Sexual Battery

While sexual assault is a broader term, sexual battery specifically refers to unwanted or non-consensual touching of a sexual nature. It involves any intentional sexual contact, without the victim's consent, that may or may not result in physical injury. Sexual battery can occur through various means, such as touching intimate body parts, groping, or forcing the victim to touch the offender's intimate areas.

Distinguishing Factors

The main differentiation between sexual assault and sexual battery lies in the nature of the act. Sexual assault encompasses a wider range of non-consensual sexual acts, including penetration, while sexual battery focuses specifically on unwanted sexual touching. Both crimes are serious offenses and can carry severe legal consequences.

Legal Ramifications

Sexual assault and sexual battery laws vary by jurisdiction, but they are generally treated as felony offenses. Perpetrators may face imprisonment, fines, mandatory counseling, and mandatory registration as sex offenders. It is crucial for victims of sexual assault or sexual battery to seek legal help promptly and report the incident to law enforcement authorities.


In conclusion, sexual assault and sexual battery are distinct terms that describe non-consensual sexual acts. Sexual assault represents a broader category, incorporating various types of unwanted sexual contact. Sexual battery, on the other hand, specifically refers to non-consensual touching of a sexual nature. If you or someone you know has been a victim of either crime, it is vital to consult an experienced attorney like John P. Bennett to navigate the complex legal process and seek justice.

Contact John P. Bennett, Attorney at Law

If you require expert legal advice or need assistance with a sexual assault or sexual battery case, John P. Bennett, Attorney at Law, is here to help. With years of experience in law and government - legal matters, Mr. Bennett is dedicated to advocating for the rights of victims and providing comprehensive legal representation. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Beth Rose
Nice and helpful! 😊
Nov 8, 2023
Jim Deister
Informative and concise.
Oct 14, 2023