Local Lawyer Dion Custis Explains the Difference between Third-Degree Sexual Assault and Sexual Battery

In the state of Wyoming, there are four broad types of sexual assault. Depending on the nature and circumstances of the act, the state may consider the crime to be first-, second- or third-degree sexual assault, or sexual battery. Each of these classifications comes with different penalties.


First- and second-degree sexual assaults cover a wide range of circumstances. Third-degree sexual assault and sexual battery relate to crimes that first- and second-degree sexual assaults do not cover.

If police have arrested you for sexual assault in Wyoming, then it is important to take these charges seriously. The Law Offices of Dion J. Custis, P.C. can answer any questions you have about these crimes and help you build an aggressive defense.

Cheyenne criminal defense lawyer Dion J. Custis approaches each case as if his own freedoms are at stake. Call our office today at 307-638-2442 to schedule a consultation.

In the meantime, read on to learn the difference between third-degree sexual assault and sexual battery:

Third-Degree Sexual Assault

According to Wyoming Statutes, third-degree sexual assault occurs when one person subjects another person to non-consensual sexual contact under circumstances not covered by first- and second-degree sexual assault. In these cases, the offender does not cause serious bodily injuries to the victim or inflict sexual intrusion.

When facing third-degree sexual assault charges, it is important to understand the definition of the terms “sexual contact” and “intrusion.” According to Wyoming Statutes, sexual contact includes touching with the intent to create sexual arousal, abuse or gratification. The act can be against the victim’s body or on clothing that covers intimate areas of the body.

Sexual intrusion includes the insertion of an object or part of the person’s body into either the genital or anal opening of another person’s body. If a judge considers the offense to have been for the purposes of sexual arousal or abuse, then he or she may consider the act to be sexual intrusion – even if it is only slight.

Third-degree sexual assault is a felony and carries harsh sentences. Possible penalties for third-degree sexual assault include a fine and a prison sentence of up to 15 years – even for first-time offenders.

Sexual Battery

According to the University of Wyoming, sexual battery occurs when an individual unlawfully subjects another person to sexual contact. This act must not constitute a crime under first-, second- or third-degree sexual assault laws for it to be considered sexual battery.

Sexual battery is a misdemeanor in the state of Wyoming. As such, the maximum jail sentence that a judge can hand down is one year, and the fine cannot exceed $1,000.

All criminal charges are serious, but in particular, the law punishes sexual crimes severely. If you are facing charges for sexual assault or battery in Wyoming, contact Cheyenne criminal defense lawyer Dion Custis.

Even if the charges do not seem that serious, the justice system can be unpredictable. To protect your interests, schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Dion J. Custis by calling 307-638-2442.