What is Sexual Penetration?

Definition of Sexual Penetration

The legal definition of the term sexual penetration can be found under MCL 750.520a(r), which specifically states:

“Sexual Penetration” is the act of entering through sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body, but emission of semen is not required.

While most people think of the term sexual penetration as sexual intercourse or anal intercourse, they don’t realize that under the law, oral sex is considered to be sexual penetration as well. While fellatio (penis penetrates mouth) makes it easy for one to figure out sexual penetration, oral sex with a female and anal sex are not as easy to figure out. Refer to the Breaking Down the Definition of Sexual Penetration section for further details.

While you are not expected to know all the nuances of the law, your sex offender lawyers are to know the depth to which something constitutes as sexual intercourse/sexual penetration. You may not think that you committed an “enemy territory” attack of sexual penetration to the accuser, however, under the law, you did.

Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is well versed in the numerous nuances of the law when it comes to accusations of sexual penetration. As the prior Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, along with her over 20 years of experience as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney, Nicole has both the knowledge and credentials to get to the bottom of every sexual penetration accusation and knock the opponent out.

Hiring Nicole Blank Becker may be the difference between doing time in prison and having your freedom.

What is Sexual Penetration?

Doctor hands making obscene gesture

Breaking Down the Definition of Sexual Penetration

Because of the importance of sexual penetration when it comes to being charged/investigated for criminal sexual conduct 1st degree and/or criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree, it’s imperative that you understand what the law considers “sexual penetration” to be.

The following are definitions of the depth to which something constitutes sexual penetration, under the law. Sexual penetration is a broad term, encompassing:

  • Sexual Intercourse: sexual activity the entails the entering of the male penis, or any object, into the genital opening of a female or into the anal canal or butt cheeks of a male.
  • Cunnilingus: requires the placing of the mouth of a person upon the external genital organs of the female, which lie between the labia, or the labia itself, or the mons pubis.
  • Genital Opening: the fact that the legislature used the words “genital opening” and not just vagina, infers that there was an intent on their part to include the labia of a female when determining if there was “sexual penetration of the vagina.”

*The law considers anything that is introduced or goes past the labia majora of a female to be considered penetration:

  • What is the labia majora? The labia majora are the large, outer lips of the vagina. They are fleshy folds of tissue that enclose and protect the other external genital organs. They are comparable to the scrotum in males. During puberty, hair appears on the labia majora.
  • What is the labia minora? The labia minora are the small, inner lips of the vagina. The labia minora lie just inside the labia majora and surround the openings to the vagina and urethra. During sexual stimulation, these blood vessels become engorged with blood, causing the labia minora to swell and become more sensitive to stimulation.
  • Fellatio: requires sexual activity that entails the entry of a penis into another person’s mouth or oral stimulation of the penis.
  • Anal Intercourse: includes both the anal canal and the crease of the buttocks or, in laymen’s terms, the void between the butt cheeks.
  • Any Other Intrusion, However Slight: this is a very important part of the definition of sexual penetration. When the legislature says, “… however slight …”, that means that the entry of the penis and/or an object into the genital organ or anal organ need only be very, very minimal penetration.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sexual Penetration

Q: I don’t think there was sexual penetration, I only put the very tip of my penis/finger inside her vagina. Is that enough to charge me with sexual penetration?

A: Under the law, putting a very small amount of your body/object into her vagina is enough to charge you with sexual penetration. Specifically, criminal sexual conduct 1st degree.

Q: I only put my penis in her vagina for about a second, is that considered sexual penetration?

A: Under the law, whether it was one second or 100 seconds, it doesn’t matter. Having put your penis/object inside her vagina, even for a second, is enough to charge you with sexual penetration. Specifically, first degree sexual assault.

Q: I only touched her vagina, I never put one or more fingers inside her vagina? Why am I being charged with sexual penetration?

A: Just because you think you only TOUCHED her vagina, that does not mean that the accuser feels the same way. If the accuser tells someone that your finger/penis/object didn’t just touch the outside of her genitals, but went slightly past the outside lips, even for a moment, that is enough to charge you with sexual penetration, i.e. first degree criminal sexual conduct. Remember, whether or not sexual penetration existed is determined by what the accuser claims occurred, not you.

Q: Doesn’t the HYMEN of a girl have to break in order to be considered sexual penetration?

A: A common misnomer is that if the child’s HYMEN is intact, then no sexual penetration occurred. That is NOT TRUE. Medical experts will testify that the fact that the HYMEN is intact, does not rule out sexual penetration. This fact is true no matter what the age of the girl is.

Q: In the medical records of the accuser, the sexual assault nurse examiner who did the medical exam of the accuser wrote that she observed a very small abrasion (an area damaged by scraping or wearing away) to the accuser’s labia minora (inside lips), but no abrasions to the labia majora. Couldn’t that abrasion be from riding a bike? Why am I being charged with sexual assault or sexual penetration?

A: If there is testimony from a nurse or a doctor that there were abrasions to the labia minora, a nurse or doctor may testify that in order to have abrasions on the labia minora, the labia majora must have been penetrated, thus vaginal intercourse/sexual penetration occurred.

Q: The accuser asserts that “it hurt” when she felt my penis inside her vagina, but I didn’t even put my penis in her vagina, it was just on the outside. Why am I charged with sexual penetration?

A: The assertion by the accuser that “it hurt” when your penis/object was in close proximity to her vagina is enough to charge you with sexual penetration, i.e. sexual assault.

Q: The accuser did not RESIST, scream or say stop, when we were having sex. Can I still be charged with sexual assault?

A: There is NO requirement that the accuser RESIST you. Even if he/she did not say “No,” scream, or fight back, you can still be charged with sexual assault in the 1st degree. The accuser will come up with reasons “why” she did not say “No,” scream or fight back. That reasoning by the accuser is enough to charge you with sexual penetration.

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