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What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behavior used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another. It includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and any conduct of a sexual nature that is without consent, or has the effect of threatening or intimidating the person against whom such conduct is directed.

Generally sexual misconduct can involve any of the following acts:
  • Intentional touching without consent
  • Exposing one’s own genitals under circumstances likely to cause affront or alarm
  • Having sexual contact in the presence of a third person(s) under circumstances likely to cause affront or alarm
  • Having sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse in a public place in the presence of a third person
  • Soliciting or requesting another person to engage in sexual conduct under circumstances in which one knows that the request or solicitation is likely to cause affront or alarm
  • Forcing a victim to touch, directly or through clothing, another person’s genitals, breast, groin, thighs or buttocks
  • Vaginal or anal intercourse
  • Fellatio or cunnilingus
  • Sexual penetration with an object without consent 

Degrees of Sexual Assault

First-Degree Sexual Assault
Wisconsin Statutes prohibits sexual contact or sexual intercourse without consent in any of the following situations:

  1. The assault causes pregnancy or great bodily harm
  2. Use or threat of use of a dangerous weapon or what appears to be one
  3. The perpetrator is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and the assault involves the use or threat of use of force or violence. This constitutes a Class B felony. 

Second-Degree Sexual Assault
Wisconsin Statutes prohibits sexual contact or sexual intercourse without consent in situations involving:

  1. Use of or threat of force or violence
  2. Injury, illness, disease or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ, or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care for the victim
  3. Assault upon a person who suffers from a mental illness or deficiency that renders the person temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising the assault and the defendant knows of such condition
  4. Assault upon a person who the defendant knows is unconscious
  5. Assault is abetted by one or more other persons
  6. Assault upon a patient or resident of a health or treatment facility or program by an employee of that facility or program
  7. Assault upon a person that the perpetrator knows is under the influence of an intoxicant to a degree which renders the victim incapable of appraising his or her conduct, an act popularly known as “date rape”. This constitutes as a Class BC felony 

Third-Degree Sexual Assault
Wisconsin Statutes also prohibits nonconsensual sexual contact involving intentional ejaculation or emission of urine or feces if such conduct is either for the purposes of sexual degradation or humiliation or sexual arousal or gratification. This constitutes a Class D felony.

Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault
Wisconsin Statutes prohibits nonconsensual sexual contact involving the intentional touching of clothed or unclothed intimate body parts. This constitutes a Class A misdemeanor.

For more information about sexual misconduct, visit the Title IX / Gender-Based Misconduct & Sexual Harassment website.

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