Sexual Assault of a Child

What to do if your child reports sexual assault

  • Stay calm.  While fear, sadness and anger are normal reactions, they can frighten your child.
  • If your child has been sexually assaulted within 72 hours, s/he should be examined immediately by a SANE nurse (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) or a trained emergency room doctor.  In Seattle, this exam can be provided at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital. 
  • If law enforcement has not been notified, call 911 or Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-866-363-4276.  A statement will be taken from you regarding the allegations. The information is provided to a detective who will set up a time for your child to be interviewed by a specially trained child interview specialist.

How to help them

  • Every child's need is different, though many children who have been sexually assaulted can benefit from therapy. 
  • You can seek a professional opinion at the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress (HCSATC) at 206-744-1600. 

What does the law say?

Rape of A Child in the First Degree (RCW 9A.44.073)

  • Sexual intercourse with another who is less than twelve years old and the perpetrator is at least twenty-four months older than the victim.

Rape of a Child in the Second Degree (RCW 9A.44.076)

  • A person is guilty of rape of a child in the second degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.

Rape of a Child in the Third Degree (RCW 9A.44.079)

  • A person is guilty of rape of a child in the third degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim.

Child Molestation in the First Degree (RCW 9A.44.083)

  • A person is guilty of child molestation in the first degreewhen the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is less than twelve years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.

Child Molestation in the Second Degree  (RCW 9A.44.086)

  • A person is guilty of child molestation in the second degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.

Child Molestation in the Third Degree  (RCW 9A.44.089)

  • A person is guilty of child molestation in the third degreewhen the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim.

Communicating with a Minor for Immoral Purposes (RCW 9.68a.090)

  • A person who communicates with a minor for immoral purposes, or a person who communicates with someone the person believes to be a minor for immoral purposes, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.