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Sexual Assault Definition

Statutes and Definitions

The term “rape” is not used in the Montana Code Annotated (MCA). Instead, the crimes usually thought of as rape are divided into the crimes of “sexual assault” and “sexual intercourse without consent.”

  • MCA 45-5-502 describes the crime of sexual assault. Sexual Assault occurs when a person who knowingly subjects another person to any sexual contact without consent commits the offense of sexual assault.
  • MCA 45-2-101 (67) defines the term “sexual contact.”
  • MCA 45-5-503 describes the crime of sexual intercourse without consent (SIWC). SIWC requires “sexual intercourse.”
  • MCA 45-2-101 (68a) defines the term “sexual intercourse.”
  • MCA 45-5-501 defines the term “without consent.”
  • MCA 45-5-507 describes the crime of incest.

Sexual Offense Statutes

  • MCA 45-5-511 relates to sex crimes, mainly in the realm of limiting certain defenses that may be offered by the defendant. For instance, this section contains Montana’s “rape shield” law that limits the use of the victim’s sexual past in court.
  • MCA 26-1-28 protects the communications between a rape victim and an advocate. Advocates cannot be forced to divulge privileged information without the victim’s consent. Healthcare providers are not considered advocates, unless they are an employee or volunteer of a domestic violence shelter, crisis line or victim services provider.

Visit the Montana Dept. of Justice website for more information.