The exact definition of “rape,” “sexual assault,” “sexual abuse” and similar terms differs by state. The wording can get confusing, since states often use different words to mean the same thing or use the same words to describe different things. So, for a precise legal definition, you need to check the law in your state. But here are some general guidelines based on the definitions used by the U.S. Justice Department. Please note that this definition is a bit graphic, which is inevitable when describing crimes this violent.
Sexual assault: unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (But, be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape.)
Learn more about the laws in your state through RAINN's state database.