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How Does New Mexico Define Sexual Abuse?

July 5, 2024
sexual abuse

With about 2.1 million residents, New Mexico only has the 36th-highest population in the U.S., but it routinely ranks high when it comes to sexual abuse cases. If you’ve experienced sexual abuse, a New Mexico licensed lawyer with experience in helping sexual abuse victims  can assist you in building a case.

Before you begin exploring your legal options, though, you need to determine how New Mexico defines sexual abuse. It’ll help you and a lawyer from a reputable law firm determine how strong your case is.

Discover how New Mexico defines sexual abuse with help from the lawyers at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C.

The Definition of Sexual Abuse in New Mexico

New Mexico’s definition of sexual abuse is similar to the definition of sexual abuse that many other states use. Sexual abuse in New Mexico refers to sexual acts that involve:

  • Criminal sexual contact
  • Criminal sexual penetration
  • Criminal sexual exploitation

Generally speaking, sexual abuse is just about any sexual act that one person forces another to participate in through the use of violence, force, threats, fear, or deception. If a person doesn’t legally consent to take part in a sexual act with another person, it often amounts to sexual abuse in New Mexico.

Examples of Sexual Abuse in New Mexico

Since New Mexico and many other states use such a loosely defined meaning of sexual abuse, those who are sexual abuse victims can’t always figure out if they’ve been sexually abused. There are, however, many examples of sexual abuse in New Mexico that may help you understand it better. These include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Unwanted touching and fondling
  • Forced sexual acts, such as oral sex
  • Incest
  • Exposing those under 18 to pornography

Even something like taking sexual images of another person without their consent could fall into the sexual abuse category. A New Mexico sexual abuse lawyer can evaluate a case like this when you schedule a free consultation; they’ll let you know if what happened to you can be considered sexual abuse.

The Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse in New Mexico

The statute of limitations for sexual abuse in New Mexico depends on the specific crime that was allegedly committed and the seriousness of it.

In many instances, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse in the state will be either five or six years. But New Mexico has been working hard to expand its statute of limitations, particularly when it comes to cases involving child sexual abuse.

In the past, the statute of limitations for this type of sexual abuse was six years. The state’s lawmakers are working to eliminate the statute of limitations in these instances because of the trauma that many children deal with in sexual abuse cases.

If you’re interested in trying to file a criminal case or a civil lawsuit against an alleged sexual abuse perpetrator, a New Mexico lawyer can explain the state’s statute of limitations further. They can also walk you through the steps that come along with trying to file a civil suit in this kind of case.

Contact Us When You Need a New Mexico Lawyer  

If you’re a sexual abuse victim in New Mexico, taking action against a perpetrator can present challenges. Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. can help you overcome them by breaking down your legal options and making sure you know what each of them entails. We will help gather evidence, build a case, and provide support throughout your case.

Call us at 800-433-2408 if you would like to begin working closely with an experienced and knowledgeable New Mexico  lawyer.