What is aggravated sexual battery? What to know about Jackson Mahomes’ charges

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Jackson Mahomes was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of misdemeanor battery on Wednesday, following a series of incidents when he allegedly shoved a waiter and forcibly kissed the owner of an Overland Park restaurant back in February.

The 22-year-old social media influencer and brother of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes could face consequences including prison time and registrering his name to a sex offender list.

He posted his $100,000 bail and was released from the Johnson County jail on Wednesday. His next court date is May 11.

So what is aggravated sexual battery?

Kansas state statute defines aggravated sexual battery as touching someone who is at least 16 years old without their consent with the intent to arouse or satisfy sexual desires and by overcoming them with force or fear. An incident could also be considered aggravated sexual battery if the victim is unconscious, physically powerless or if they are incapable of giving consent when the defendant touched them sexually.

Those added factors are what can escalate a charge from misdemeanor sexual battery to felony aggravated sexual battery.

Aggravated sexual battery is a level 5 felony, which is a very serious offense according to Overland Park defense attorney Christopher Kalberg.

What’s the difference between aggravated sexual battery and rape?

Kalberg said that aggravated sexual battery should not be confused with rape, which is an also serious but different felony offense.

Kansas law defines rape as knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse with a victim who does not or cannot give consent to the sexual intercourse.

“This is not a rape charge. A rape charge is significantly different, with different elements,” Kalberg said. “That’s not what this is. He’s not being accused of raping anybody.”

Aspen Vaughn provided this photo, right, showing what she says shows the bruise on her neck from Jackson Mahomes’ alleged assault at Vaughn’s restaurant Aspens Restaurant and Lounge in February. The incident, shown at left, was captured on a surveillance camera in the restaurant.
Aspen Vaughn provided this photo, right, showing what she says shows the bruise on her neck from Jackson Mahomes’ alleged assault at Vaughn’s restaurant Aspens Restaurant and Lounge in February. The incident, shown at left, was captured on a surveillance camera in the restaurant.

What is a misdemeanor count of battery?

Aside from the three counts of aggravated sexual battery charges, Mahomes will also face one count of misdemeanor battery.

Kansas law defines battery as knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person, or knowingly causing physical contact with another person in a rude, insulting or angry way.

“So as an example, if we’re in a bar, and I push you, if it’s done in a rude or insulting manner, then that’s a garden-variety misdemeanor battery,” Kalberg explained.

What kind of sentence could Mahomes face?

It depends, according to Kalberg.

Many offenses in Kansas are sentenced based on a sentencing grid that compares offenses, the level of severity of those offenses and the amount of prison time that is suggested for the offense.

Kalberg said that based on that grid, a person with no prior convictions and the same charges as Mahomes could see around 38 months in prison.

Kalberg noted that Mahomes’ lawyer could ask for less time. There’s also a chance that Mahomes will only get probation if he takes a plea of some kind, according to Kalberg.

If Mahomes is charged with any of the aggravated sexual battery charges, he will also be required to register with the sexual offenders list, according to defense attorney Greg Watt.

Watt said that he believes that Mahomes may have been overcharged.

“This young man — whether we like it or not — is a public figure and simply put, scrutiny comes with the territory. Does he need to stop horsing around so much? Yes. Does he need prison and sex offender registration to teach him this lesson? No,” Watt said.

Mahomes has hired attorney Brandan Davies of the law firm Roth Davies LLC.

What happened in the incidents that led to Mahomes’ arrest?

While his legal case is still unfolding, we have some accounts of the incident that prompted Mahomes’ arrest from past reporting.

Police previously confirmed they were investigating a Feb. 25 incident involving Mahomes at Aspens Restaurant and Lounge in Overland Park, where he had been accused of assaulting a waiter and the owner of the business.

Throughout that evening, Mahomes allegedly shoved a 19-year-old male waiter more than once and later forcibly kissed Aspen Vaughn, 40, the restaurant’s owner.

In a previous interview in March and a series of follow-up texts with The Star following the incidents, Vaughn recounted the events related to Mahomes’ arrest, which the waiter, who at the time asked not to be named, also backed up.

Here’s what we know about that night, according to their accounts:

  • The waiter said Mahomes arrived at the restaurant with five friends around 9:30 p.m. The place was busy. About 80 people were eating dinner or at the bar.

  • Mahomes and his friends went downstairs into the restaurant’s basement office.

  • The waiter said he tried to go into the office, which is typically an employee area, and that the group wouldn’t let him enter. The waiter said Mahomes physically pushed him out of the office.

  • Mahomes’ group then moved upstairs to the restaurant’s VIP room.

  • At one point, Vaughn said she smelled marijuana coming from that room and told the group that they couldn’t smoke in the restaurant.

  • Shortly after 10 p.m., Vaughn said Mahomes asked to speak with her privately in the basement office to discuss the shoving incident that happened earlier in the evening with the waiter.

  • During that encounter, Vaughn said Mahomes grabbed her neck with enough force to leave a faint bruise (which was evident in a photograph she provided The Star) and forcibly kissed her at least twice.

  • She said his advances were unwelcome and shocking, and that he seemed to be intoxicated.

  • Mahomes and his group left around 10:45 p.m., according to the waiter, when Vaughn’s boyfriend told them to go and not come back.

  • Police arrived shortly after that in response to a phone call from the waiter’s father, who reported the shoving incident.

“He forcibly kissed me out of nowhere,” Vaughn previously told The Star, “and I’m telling him, pushing him off saying ‘what are you doing?’ and then he proceeded to do it two more times where the last time I was pushing him off.”

The Star’s Mike Hendricks, Robert A. Cronkleton and Joseph Hernandez contributed reporting.