Legal Resources

Laws in Oregon

The state of Oregon uses certain legal definitions to define unlawful sexual contact. Below are some relevant definitions. Please note that the language used in legal definitions can be jarring and/or upsetting, and is not reflective of the language used by the University of Oregon.

Rape or Sodomy is defined as forcing another person to have sex, or having sex with any of the following: a person under 12 years of age (first-degree), 14 years of age (second-degree), or 16 years of age (third-degree), a person under 16 years of age who is a sibling, of whole or half blood, or the offender's child or spouse's child, or a person incapable of consent due to mental defect, mental incapacitation, or physical helplessness

Unlawful sexual penetration is defined as penetrating the vagina, anus, or penis of another person with any object other than the penis or mouth of the offender, either by force or to a victim 12 years of age (first-degree) or 14 years of age (second-degree), or incapable of consent to due mental defect, mental incapacitation, or physical helplessness

Sexual abuse is defined in the following ways;

  • First-degree: forcing another person to have sexual contact or having sexual contact with a person under 14 years of age or a person incapable of consent due to mental defect, mental incapacitation, or physical helplessness, or intentionally causing a person under 18 years of age to touch the mouth, anus or sex organs of an animal to arouse or gratify a person's sexual desires
  • Second-degree: having sex or deviate sex, or penetrating the vagina, anus or penis of another person with any object other than the penis or mouth of the offender, without consent, or committing third degree sexual abuse (see below) and the offender is 21 years of age or older and was also the victim's coach at any time prior to the crime
  • Third-degree: having sexual contact without consent or with a person under 18 years of age, or intentionally propelling any dangerous substance at a victim without the victim's consent to arouse or gratify a person's sexual desires

Sexual misconduct is defined as having sex or deviate sex with an unmarried person under 18 years of age

Back to top

Laws Outside of Oregon

Relevant Laws – By State

You can search for state-specific laws, policies and definitions related to sexual assault on the RAINN website. RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) is the largest national organization dedicated to issues around sexual violence.

Search State Laws

Back to top

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 
Provides legal resources and where to find local legal help.

National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
Provides education and resources for victims of crime and crisis. 

Office for Victims of Crime ­
Provides information on next steps and resources for victims of crime.

National Center for Victims of Crime ­
Provides assistance and resources for victims of crimes, including sexual assault.

Back to top