A Connecticut Republican politician took the sweeping Republican victory in November a little too far. The incident in question was caught on a security camera. In the video, he allegedly pinched a woman's butt who then admonished him. The victim claims that the politician, Mr. Keyserling, allegedly claim that it was "a new world" and he "no longer [had] to be politically correct."
The incident resulted in sexual assault charges and an arrest a month later. Mr. Keyserling asserts, through his attorney, that it was a playful gesture and not intended as a sexual assault. Unfortunately for Mr. Keyserling, sexual assault is judged by an objective, not a subjective standard. Regardless of how he meant the gesture to be interpreted, if it was performed without the victim's consent (which is appears not, since she admonished him), then it is sexual assault.
Grabbing another person is illegal, it is considered a form of assault. When you grab someone backside, genitalia or another private area, it is a form of sexual assault. The context of the assault matters, for example, if a person tried to grab someone's shoulder but slipped and touched their breast, it may have resulted in a touch on a private area, but the context suggests it should be classified as assault, rather than sexual assault.
But, pinching, grabbing, slapping ? even if intended to be playful ? is not a gentle or unintentional touching. These actions can result in enhanced charges of assault, including sexual assault. Most states prohibit any unwanted touching but criminalize harmful touching, such as grabbing or pinching a private area.
If you are charged with a sex crime, you may want to contact a lawyer. As stated above, context matters. It is very easy to see how an innocent touching, such as bumping together on public transit, could blow out of proportion and result in a sexual assault allegation. It is thus critical that you secure the assistance of an attorney who can help you sort out the confusion and avoid damage to your reputation.