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  • Writer's picturePeter Lindstrom, Esq.

Understanding "Intimate Parts" in Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges in Minnesota

In criminal sexual conduct charges (known more commonly as sexual assault), a critical aspect is understanding what constitutes "intimate parts" according to Minnesota Statute 609.341. This definition holds substantial weight in determining the nature and severity of charges, making it imperative to understand what exactly is being alleged in your case.

Minnesota Statute 609.341: Deciphering "Intimate Parts"

Minnesota law defines "intimate parts" as the primary genital area, groin, inner thighs, buttocks, or breasts. There are over 50 ways to charge criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota. But the most common elements that cross the breadth of different charges is that the defendant allegedly touched the intimate part of another without consent.  

What is Not Included as Intimate Parts

It’s important to note that the intimate part is a necessary element of the alleged crime. For example, a backrub that only involves touching someone’s back is not an intimate part. Which may seem obvious. But when allegations are being thrown around it sometimes get lost what is actually necessary for the statute the defendant may be charged under. To qualify as an intimate part the touching needs to b of the genital area, groin, inner thighs, buttocks, or breasts.

Navigating the Complexity in Defense

Defending individuals accused of criminal sexual conduct involving intimate parts requires a meticulous approach. From a defense attorney's standpoint, challenges often arise in clarifying misconceptions or misinterpretations of actions deemed as sexual in nature.

Contextual Understanding:

Defense strategies frequently revolve around demonstrating the absence of intent or the misinterpretation of actions in contexts that may not have been sexually motivated. Context is pivotal—what might seem like an inappropriate touch or contact could have been misconstrued due to various factors.

Relationship Dynamics:

In scenarios where the accused and the alleged victim have or had a prior relationship, defining the nature of their interactions assumes paramount importance. Contextualizing their history, understanding the dynamics, and presenting evidence to illustrate the absence of coercion or lack of intent can be a part of the defense strategy.

The Role of Defense Counsel

As a defense attorney, the primary objective is to uphold the rights of the accused and ensure a fair trial. This involves thorough investigation, meticulous examination of evidence, scrutinizing witness testimonies, and crafting a defense strategy tailored to the specific circumstances of the case.


Understanding the legal definition of "intimate parts" within the context of Minnesota's statutes is pivotal in defending individuals accused of criminal sexual conduct. A nuanced comprehension of this term enables defense attorneys to navigate the intricacies of the law, examine the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, and construct robust defense strategies to ensure fair and just legal proceedings for their clients.

Peter Lindstrom has been trained at the nation’s best seminar on defending sex crimes in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you are serious about defending yourself against your serious charges contact Subzero Criminal Defense today. 651-248-5142.


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