lewd and lascivious battery

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Does "battery" here mean "illegal attack/sexual assault"?

Thanks in advance

Debra Lafave, a reading teacher at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Florida, was charged in 2004 with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a person under 16 for having sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Lafave pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years house arrest and seven years probation.

-CREDIT: Chris O Meara/AP

Source:Notorious teacher sex scandals
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Battery is a technical term in English law, and other bodies of law descended from English law. It refers to the unlawful touching of another person or another person's clothing.

    If you innocently brush against someone in a crowd it is not normally unlawful, but there are many ways in which touching can be unlawful. Even the slightest touch in anger can technically qualify as "battery"; so can intentional touching of "private parts".
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    American English
    As PaulQ pointed out in your other thread, battery in this context is a crime created by statute, and it means exactly what the Florida statute says, no more, no less. For example, in my state “in anger” is not part of the definition (in fact, “lewd and lascivious battery” does not exist as the name of a crime in my jurisdiction).
    Does "battery" here mean "illegal attack/sexual assault"?
    "Lewd and lascivious battery" is the specific name of a crime under the laws of the state of Florida. (Keep in mind that each state in the United States has its own set of criminal laws, and the terms used in one state may be different from the terms used in other states.)

    Florida defines the crime of "lewd and lascivious battery" this way:
    (a) A person commits lewd or lascivious battery by:
    1. Engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or
    2. Encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.
    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
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