Federal Aggravated Sexual Abuse

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 15,000 criminal cases and are consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s top criminal defense firms. We are highly experienced federal aggravated sexual abuse lawyers in Columbus, OH and all of central Ohio. Experience matters when dealing with these cases, which prosecutors and judges handle differently on a case-by-case basis. We know what to expect and what to do to get the best result possible.

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Federal Aggravated Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Helping Clients Facing Federal Charges for Aggravated Sexual Abuse

Although many sex crimes, such as rape, are charged at the state level, some sex crimes – including aggravated sexual abuse – can be prosecuted at the federal level. While the potential penalties for a conviction of any sex crime can be serious, the potential penalties after being convicted of a federal sex crime can be especially harsh, and you could face the real possibility of life in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender. This is because federal sentencing judges must abide by the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines when imposing penalties. This means that judges have very little leeway in determining the punishment for a crime – that is, unless the defendant is able to assert a powerful legal defense to the criminal charge or charges brought by the federal prosecutor. 

If you have been charged with federal aggravated sexual abuse, you need a lawyer representing you who regularly goes to federal court and who tries cases at the federal level. Attorney Brian Joslyn and the team of defense lawyers at the Joslyn Law Firm have significant experience representing individuals in federal criminal matters and will give your case the aggressive, personal attention that it requires. We can start by gathering evidence, speaking to witnesses, and speaking with you to gain a thorough knowledge of the facts and issues in your case. We can then begin to assemble one or more legal defenses that could cast serious doubt on the federal prosecutor’s version of your case. 

Finally, if you have already been convicted of an offense, we can advocate for your interests at a federal sentencing hearing and try to minimize the consequences to the greatest extent possible. Call us today at (614) 444-1900 or contact us online to discover how we can assist you with your criminal legal matter today.

When are Sex Offense Charges brought in Federal Court? 

A charge for aggravated sexual abuse could be filed by a federal prosecutor in federal court under several different circumstances. Those circumstances could include any one of the following:

  • The sexual abuse act occurred in some area over which the United States has special jurisdiction, pursuant to federal law or statute
  • The sexual abuse act took place in a federal detention facility, such as in a federal penitentiary or prison
  • The sexual abuse act was one that crossed state lines and involved more than one jurisdiction in the United States, such as via the internet (i.e., with an individual who is under 12 years of age at the time the alleged act of abuse occurred and in another state)

How does the Law Define an Act of Federal Aggravated Sexual Abuse?

In order for you to be found guilty and convicted of a criminal act of aggravated sexual abuse in federal court, the federal prosecutor must charge you accordingly and set about proving all of the required legal elements of the charge. If even one of these elements is not satisfied, the case could end up being dismissed altogether.

There are essentially three separate ways that a person could be charged with and convicted of aggravated sexual abuse in the federal court system. First, the accused could initiate the act of sexual abuse through the use of physical force or threats of physical force against the other individual. When the accused threatens force against the other person, he or she could use threats of serious bodily harm, death, or kidnapping. 

In addition to using force or threats of force to commit an act of aggravated sexual abuse, the accused could commit the act after intentionally causing the other person to become unconscious, such as by drugging the alleged victim and rendering him or her incapable of understanding what is going on.

Finally, a person could be charged and convicted of aggravated sexual abuse if he or she engages in some sexual act with an individual who is under 12 years of age at the time the alleged act occurs. The same holds true if the accused uses force or threats of force to engage in some sexual act with someone between the ages of 12 and 16, and if the alleged victim is a minimum of four years younger than the accused. An attempt to commit this offense could also be sufficient for the accused to be convicted of aggravated sexual abuse. 

Potential Penalties under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that are currently in place, the potential penalties upon conviction for federal aggravated sexual abuse are harsh. If you are convicted of this serious charge, a federal judge could impose jail time up to and including life in a federal penitentiary. Moreover, if the alleged aggravated sexual abuse involves a minor child, a federal judge could impose a minimum sentence of 30 years in jail and up to life imprisonment.

If the accused has a prior conviction on his or her record for aggravated sexual abuse involving a child (or some similar sex offense conviction that takes place in state court), a federal judge is required to impose a sentence of life imprisonment upon the accused.


A convicted individual might also be required to pay a maximum monetary fine of $250,000. He or she might also have to pay restitution to the alleged victim in the case in order to compensate the victim in full for his or her losses. A federal aggravated sexual abuse lawyer will do whatever is possible to minimize the consequences associated with a conviction.

Call a Federal Aggravated Sexual Abuse Attorney Today about Your Case


If you are facing a federal criminal charge for aggravated sexual abuse, the criminal defense lawyers at the Joslyn Law Firm are ready to review your case and assist you with each step of the legal process. To schedule a free legal consultation and case evaluation with an experienced federal aggravated sexual abuse lawyer, call us today at (614) 444-1900 or contact us online to learn how we could help.



  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

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