Difference Between Assault and Battery In Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, "assault and battery are separate acts, usually arising from the same transaction, each having independent significance." Hennessey v. Pyne, 694 A.2d 691, 695-96 (R.I. 1997) (quoting Picard v. Barry Pontiac-Buick, Inc., 654 A.2d 690, 694 (R.I. 1995)).
"'An assault is a physical act of a threatening nature or an offer of corporal injury which puts an individual in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm.'" Id. at 696 (quoting Picard, 654 A.2d at 694) "It is a plaintiff's apprehension of injury which apprehension must be of the type normally aroused in the mind of a reasonable person which renders a defendant's act compensable." Id. (quoting Picard, 654 A.2d at 694).
Battery, however, is: "an act that was intended to cause, and in fact did cause, 'an offensive contact with or unconsented touching of or trauma upon the body of another, thereby generally resulting in the consummation of the assault.
An intent to injure plaintiff, however, is unnecessary in a situation in which a defendant willfully sets in motion a force that in its ordinary course causes the injury.'" Id. (quoting Picard, 654 A.2d at 694).
Sexual abuse of a child is essentially a common law battery. Kelly v. Marcantonio, 678 A.2d 873, 877 (R.I. 1996).