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Sexual Assault

Student Legal Services - ASUW

Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault? 
In Wyoming, there are different types of sexual assaults that are defined as crimes.

First degree sexual assault occurs when someone inflicts sexual intrusion on a victim:

  • by using physical force or confinement to cause submission;
  • by using threats of death, serious physical injury or kidnapping of any person and the victim believes it is possible for the perpetrator to carry out the threats;
  • when the victim is physically helpless, and the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the victim is physically helpless and that the victim has not consented; or
  • when the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the victim is not capable of consenting to sexual activity because of a mental illness, mental deficiency or developmental disability.

Second degree sexual assault occurs (if the circumstances do not otherwise constitute first degree sexual assault) when:

  • The perpetrator makes the victim submit by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or the victim's spouse, parents, brothers, sisters or children, and the victim reasonably believes the actor will execute this threat. To retaliate includes threats of kidnapping, death, serious bodily injury or extreme physical pain;
  • The perpetrator forces the victim to submit by any means that would prevent resistance by a victim of ordinary resolution;
  • The perpetrator gives the victim or knows that someone else gave the victim, without the prior knowledge or consent of the victim, any substance which substantially impairs the victim's power to appraise or control her conduct;
  • The perpetrator knows or should reasonably know that the victim submits only because of a mistaken belief that the perpetrator is the victim's spouse;
  • The perpetrator is in a position of authority over the victim and uses this position of authority to cause the victim to submit;
  • The perpetrator is an employee of a correctional facility and the victim is a resident of the facility; or
  • The actor inflicts sexual intrusion in treatment or examination of a victim for purposes or in a manner substantially inconsistent with reasonable medical practices.

Third degree sexual assault occurs when (if the circumstances do not otherwise constitute first or second degree sexual assault) a perpetrator subjects a victim to sexual contact under any of the circumstances listed in the first or second degree sexual assault laws but does not inflict sexual intrusion on the victim and does not cause serious bodily injury.
For more information on sexual assault, please see Wyoming Statute 6-2-304.

Sexual battery occurs when a perpetrator unlawfully subjects another person to any sexual contact but said contact does not constitute a violation of the first, second or third degree sexual assault laws.
See Wyoming Statue 6-2-313.

In addition to the laws described above, Wyoming also defines four degrees of sexual abuse of a minor as crimes. These laws are very complicated and are to be found at Wyoming Statutes 6-2-314 through 6-2-317.

Sexual Assault Penalties
In Wyoming, first degree sexual assault is a felony, and is punishable by imprisonment of no less than 5 years and no more than 50 years for a first offense.

Second degree sexual assault is a felony that is punishable by imprisonment of no less than 2 years and no more than 20 years for a first offense.

Third degree sexual assault is a felony that is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years for a first offense.

Sexual battery is a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, a fine of not more than $1000.00 or both.

See Wyoming Statute 6-2-306.


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Julianne Gern

1000 E. University Ave

Knight Hall 128

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3296

Email: sls@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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