Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 37: Juveniles

Chapter 1: Juvenile Courts and Proceedings

Part 6: Child Sexual Abuse

TCA 37-1-602: Part definitions -- Harm to child's health or welfare.

(a)  For purposes of this part and §§ 8-7-109, 37-1-152, 37-1-403, 37-1-406, 37-1-413 and 49-7-117, unless the context otherwise requires:

     (1)  "Child care agency" is as defined in §§ 71-3-501 and 37-5-501;

     (2)  "Child protection team" means the investigation team created by § 37-1-607;

     (3)  (A)  "Child sexual abuse" means the commission of any act involving the unlawful sexual abuse, molestation, fondling or carnal knowledge of a child under thirteen (13) years of age that prior to November 1, 1989, constituted the criminal offense of:

                (i)  Aggravated rape under § 39-2-603 [repealed];

                (ii)  Aggravated sexual battery under § 39-2-606 [repealed];

                (iii)  Assault with intent to commit rape or attempt to commit rape or sexual battery under § 39-2-608 [repealed];

                (iv)  Begetting child on wife's sister under § 39-4-307 [repealed];

                (v)  Crimes against nature under § 39-2-612 [repealed];

                (vi)  Incest under § 39-4-306 [repealed];

                (vii)  Promotion of performance including sexual conduct by minor under § 39-6-1138 [repealed];

                (viii)  Rape under § 39-2-604 [repealed];

                (ix)  Sexual battery under § 39-2-607 [repealed]; or

                (x)  Use of minor for obscene purposes under § 39-6-1137 [repealed];

          (B)  "Child sexual abuse" also means the commission of any act involving the unlawful sexual abuse, molestation, fondling or carnal knowledge of a child under thirteen (13) years of age that on or after November 1, 1989, constituted the criminal offense of:

                (i)  Aggravated rape under § 39-13-502;

                (ii)  Aggravated sexual battery under § 39-13-504;

                (iii)  Aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor under § 39-17-1004;

                (iv)  Criminal attempt as provided in § 39-12-101 for any of the offenses in (a)(3)(B)(i)-(iii);

                (v)  Especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor under § 39-17-1005;

                (vi)  Incest under § 39-15-302;

                (vii)  Rape under § 39-13-503;

                (viii)  Sexual battery under § 39-13-505; or

                (ix)  Sexual exploitation of a minor under § 39-17-1003;

          (C)  "Child sexual abuse" also means one (1) or more of the following acts:

                (i)  Any penetration, however slight, of the vagina or anal opening of one (1) person by the penis of another person, whether or not there is the emission of semen;

                (ii)  Any contact between the genitals or anal opening of one (1) person and the mouth or tongue of another person;

                (iii)  Any intrusion by one (1) person into the genitals or anal opening of another person, including the use of any object for this purpose, except that it shall not include acts intended for a valid medical purpose;

                (iv)  The intentional touching of the genitals or intimate parts, including the breasts, genital area, groin, inner thighs, and buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of either the child or the perpetrator, except that it shall not include:

                     (a)  Acts that may reasonably be construed to be normal caretaker responsibilities, interactions with, or affection for a child; or

                     (b)  Acts intended for a valid medical purpose;

                (v)  The intentional exposure of the perpetrator's genitals in the presence of a child, or any other sexual act intentionally perpetrated in the presence of a child, if such exposure or sexual act is for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, aggression, degradation, or other similar purpose;

                (vi)  The sexual exploitation of a child, which includes allowing, encouraging, or forcing a child to:

                     (a)  Solicit for or engage in prostitution; or

                     (b)  Engage in an act prohibited by § 39-17-1003; and

          (D)  For the purposes of the reporting, investigation, and treatment provisions of §§ 37-1-603 — 37-1-615 "child sexual abuse" also means the commission of any act specified in subdivisions (a)(3)(A)-(C) against a child thirteen (13) years of age through seventeen (17) years of age if such act is committed against the child by a parent, guardian, relative, person residing in the child's home, or other person responsible for the care and custody of the child;

     (4)  "Department" means the department of children's services;

     (5)  "Guardian ad litem" means a responsible adult who is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child in a proceeding as provided for by law, who shall be a party to any judicial proceeding as a representative of the child, and who shall serve until discharged by the court;

     (6)  "Institutional child sexual abuse" means situations of known or suspected child sexual abuse in which the person allegedly perpetrating the child sexual abuse is an employee of a public or private child care agency, public or private school, or any other person responsible for the child's care;

     (7)  "Mental injury" means an injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by a discernible and substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within the child's normal range of performance and behavior, with due regard to the child's culture; and

     (8)  "Other person responsible for a child's care or welfare" includes, but is not limited to, the child's legal guardian, legal custodian, or foster parent; an employee of a public or private child care agency, public or private school; or any other person legally responsible for the child's welfare in a residential setting.

(b)  Harm to a child's health or welfare can occur when the parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare:

     (1)  Commits, or allows to be committed, child sexual abuse as defined in subdivisions (a)(3)(A)-(C); or

     (2)  Exploits a child under eighteen (18) years of age, or allows such child to be exploited, as provided in §§ 39-17-1003 — 39-17-1005.

History: [Acts 1985, ch. 478, § 3; 1988, ch. 953, § 12; 1996, ch. 1079, § 73; 2000, ch. 981, §§ 51, 55; 2008, ch. 893, §§ 1, 2.]