Sex Crimes: Definitions and Penalties
New Hampshire

Last Updated: March 2020
Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault Answer

How is it defined?

A person is guilty of the felony of aggravated felonious sexual assault if such person engages in sexual penetration with another person under any of the following circumstances:

  • When the actor overcomes the victim through the actual application of physical force, physical violence or superior physical strength, or
  • When the victim is physically helpless to resist, or
  • When the actor coerces the victim to submit by threatening to use physical violence or superior physical strength on the victim, and the victim believes that the actor has the present ability to execute those threats, or
  • When the actor coerces the victim to submit by threatening to retaliate against the victim, or any other person, and the victim believes that the actor has the ability to execute these threats in the future, or
  • When the victim submits under circumstances involving false imprisonment, kidnapping or extortion, or
  • When the actor, without the prior knowledge or consent of the victim, administers or has knowledge of another person administering the victim any intoxicating substance which mentally incapacitates the victim, or
  • When the actor provides therapy, medical treatment, or examination of the victim and in the course of that therapeutic or treating relationship or within one year of termination of that therapeutic or treating relationship, acts in a manner or for purposes which are not professionally recognized as ethical or acceptable, or uses this position as such provider to coerce the victim to submit, or
  • When, except as between legally married spouses, the victim has a disability that renders him or her incapable of freely arriving at an independent choice as to whether or not to engage in sexual conduct, and the actor knows or has reason to know that the victim has such a disability, or
  • When the actor through concealment or by the element of surprise is able to cause sexual penetration with the victim before the victim has an adequate chance to flee or resist, or
  • When, except as between legally married spouses, the victim is 13 years of age or older and under 16 years of age and: the actor is a member of the same household as the victim, or the actor is related by blood or affinity to the victim, or
  • When, except as between legally married spouses, the victim is 13 years of age or older and under 18 years of age and the actor is in a position of authority over the victim and uses this authority to coerce the victim to submit, or
  • When the victim is less than 13 years of age, or
  • When at the time of the sexual assault, the victim indicates by speech or conduct that there is not freely given consent to performance of the sexual act, or
  • When the actor is in a position of authority over the victim and uses this authority to coerce the victim to submit (i.e. disciplinary authority, or probation or parole officer).
    • Consent of the victim under any of these circumstances shall not be considered a defense.

A person is guilty of aggravated felonious sexual assault without penetration when he intentionally touches whether directly, through clothing, or otherwise, the genitalia of a person under the age of 13 under circumstances that can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.

A person is guilty of aggravated felonious sexual assault when such person engages in a pattern of sexual assault against another person, not the actor's legal spouse, who is less than 16 years of age. The mental state applicable to the underlying acts of sexual assault need not be shown with respect to the element of engaging in a pattern of sexual assault.

A person is guilty of aggravated felonious sexual assault when such person engages in sexual penetration with another person under 18 years of age whom such person knows to be his or her ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of the whole or half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece. The relationships referred to herein include blood relationships without regard to legitimacy, stepchildren, and relationships of parent and child by adoption.

What are the punishments for this crime?

Penalties for aggravated felonious sexual assault are complicated, under N.H. Rev. Stat.  632-A:10-a.

In general:

  • Those found guilty of aggravated felonious sexual assault may be imprisoned for 10 to 20 years with the possibility of longer sentences and lifetime supervision if they have been previously convicted under these statutes.

Anything else I should know?

  • An actor commits a crime under this chapter even though the victim is the actor's legal spouse. N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:5
  • Sexual penetration means:
    • Sexual intercourse, or
    • Cunnilingus, or
    • Fellatio, or
    • Anal intercourse, or
    • Any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the actor’s body, including emissions, or any object manipulated by the actor into genital or anal openings of the victim’s body, or
    • Any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the victim’s body, including emissions, or any object manipulated by the victim into the oral, genital, or anal openings of the actor’s body, or
    • Any act which forces, coerces, or intimidates the victim to perform any sexual penetration on the actor, or another person, or on himself.
  • Emissions include:
    • Semen, urine, and feces. Emission is not required as an element of any form of sexual penetration.
  • Objects include:
    • Animals.
  • Pattern of sexual assault means:
    • Committing more than one act under Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault or Felonious Sexual Assault, or both, upon the same victim over a period of 2 months or more and within a period of 5 years.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:2





Felonious Sexual Assault Answer

How is it defined?

A person is guilty of a class B felony if such person:

  • Subjects a person to sexual contact and causes serious personal injury to the victim under any of the circumstances in N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:2 (Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault), or
  • Engages in sexual penetration with a person, other than his legal spouse, who is 13 years of age or older and under 16 years of age where the age difference between the actor and the other person is 4 years or more, or
  • Engages in sexual contact with a person other than his legal spouse who is under 13 years of age, or
  • Engages in sexual contact with a person, or causes the person to engage in sexual contact on himself in the presence of the actor, when the actor is in a position of authority over the person and uses that authority to coerce the victim to submit (i.e.  disciplinary authority, or probation or parole officer)
    • Consent of the victim under any of the circumstance s set forth in this paragraph shall not be considered a defense.

What are the punishments for this crime?

Class B felony:

  • Imprisonment for a maximum of 7 years.

Anything else I should know?

  • An actor commits a crime under this chapter even though the victim is the actor's legal spouse. N.H. Rev. Stat.  632-A:5
  • Sexual contact means:
    • The intentional touching of the person’s sexual or intimate parts, including genitalia, anus, breasts, and buttocks, where such contact, or the causing of such contact, can reasonably be construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the person in the position of authority, or the humiliation of the person being touched.
  • Sexual penetration means:
    • Sexual intercourse, or
    • Cunnilingus, or
    • Fellatio, or
    • Anal intercourse, or
    • Any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the actor’s body, including emissions, or any object manipulated by the actor into genital or anal openings of the victim’s body, or
    • Any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the victim’s body, including emissions, or any object manipulated by the victim into the oral, genital, or anal openings of the actor’s body, or
    • Any act which forces, coerces, or intimidates the victim to perform any sexual penetration on the actor, or another person, or on himself.
  • Serious personal injury means:
    • Extensive bodily injury or disfigurement, extreme mental anguish or trauma, disease or loss or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:3





Sexual Assault Answer

How is it defined?

A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor under any of the following circumstances:

  • When the actor subjects another person who is 13 years of age or older to sexual contact under any circumstances named in RSA 632-A:2 (Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault), or
  • When the actor subjects another person, other than the actor’s legal spouse, who is 13 years of age or older and under 16 years of age to sexual contact where the age difference between the actor and the other person is 5 years or more, or
  • In the absence of the circumstances set forth in RSA 632-A:2 (Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault), when the actor engages in sexual penetration with a person, other than the actor’s legal spouse, who is 13 years of age or older and under 16 years of age, where the age difference between the actor and the other person is 4 years or less.

A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if such person engages in sexual contact or sexual penetration with another person, or causes the person to engage in sexual contact on himself or herself in the presence of the actor, when the actor is in a position of authority over the person (i.e.  disciplinary authority, or probation or parole officer).

  • Consent of the victim under any of the circumstances set forth in this paragraph shall not be considered a defense.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • Class A misdemeanor:
    • Maximum imprisonment of 1 year.

Anything else I should know?

  • An actor commits a crime under this chapter even though the victim is the actor's legal spouse. RSA 632-A:5
  • Sexual contact means:
    • The intentional touching of the person’s sexual or intimate parts, including genitalia, anus, breasts, and buttocks, where such contact, or the causing of such contact, can reasonably be construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the person in the position of authority, or the humiliation of the person being touched.
  • Sexual penetration means:
    • Sexual intercourse, or
    • Cunnilingus, or
    • Fellatio, or
    • Anal intercourse, or
    • Any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the actor’s body, including emissions, or any object manipulated by the actor into genital or anal openings of the victim’s body, or
    • Any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the victim’s body, including emissions, or any object manipulated by the victim into the oral, genital, or anal openings of the actor’s body, or
    • Any act which forces, coerces, or intimidates the victim to perform any sexual penetration on the actor, or another person, or on himself.

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.H. Rev. Stat.  632-A:4





Incest Answer

How is it defined?

  • New Hampshire has no specific statutory rape statute, but this concept is captured under N.H. Rev. Stat.  632-A:2, “Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault.”
  • A person is guilty of aggravated felonious sexual assault when such person engages in sexual penetration with another person under 18 years of age whom such person knows to be his or her ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of the whole or half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece. The relationships referred to herein include blood relationships without regard to legitimacy, stepchildren, and relationships of parent and child by adoption.

What are the punishments for this crime?

Penalties for aggravated felonious sexual assault are complicated, under N.H. Rev. Stat.:10-a.

In general:

  • Those found guilty of aggravated felonious sexual assault may be imprisoned for 10 to 20 years with the possibility of longer sentences and lifetime supervision if they have been previously convicted under these statutes.

Anything else I should know?

  • An actor commits a crime under this chapter even though the victim is the actor's legal spouse. N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:5
  • Sexual penetration means:
    • Sexual intercourse, or
    • Cunnilingus, or
    • Fellatio, or
    • Anal intercourse, or
    • Any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the actor’s body, including emissions, or any object manipulated by the actor into genital or anal openings of the victim’s body, or
    • Any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the victim’s body, including emissions, or any object manipulated by the victim into the oral, genital, or anal openings of the actor’s body, or
    • Any act which forces, coerces, or intimidates the victim to perform any sexual penetration on the actor, or another person, or on himself.
  • Emissions include:
    • Semen, urine, and feces. Emission is not required as an element of any form of sexual penetration.
  • Objects include:
    • Animals.
  • Pattern of sexual assault means:
    • Committing more than one act under Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault or Felonious Sexual Assault, or both, upon the same victim over a period of 2 months or more and within a period of 5 years.

Statutory citation(s):

  • Please see N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:2, “Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault”





Statutory Rape Answer

How is it defined?

  • “Statutory rape” is commonly used to refer to sexual penetration that is illegal because it involves a youth.
    • New Hampshire has no specific statutory rape statute, but this concept is captured under N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:2, “Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault”, N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:3, “Felonious Sexual Assault”, and N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:4, “Sexual Assault.”

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • Please see N.H. Rev. Stat.632-A:2, “Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault”, N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:3, “Felonious Sexual Assault”, and N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:4, “Sexual Assault.”

Anything else I should know?

  • Please see N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:2, “Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault”, N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:3, “Felonious Sexual Assault”, and N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:4, “Sexual Assault.”

Statutory citation(s):

  • N.H. Rev. Stat. 632-A:2 – A:4





Sodomy Answer

How is it defined?

  • New Hampshire does not have an anti-sodomy statute on the books.

What are the punishments for this crime?

  • N/A

Anything else I should know?

  • Any state laws that outright prohibit sodomy are unconstitutional under Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 588 (2003).

Statutory citation(s):

  • N/A








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