Being accused of sex crimes in Virginia can be a life-altering experience. Not only are many accusations made public, but those accused must defend the legal case and their reputations at the same time. If convicted, defendants can be sure that their neighbors will find out about it.
At Del Rio Law, PLLC, our Virginia sex crimes attorney has defended many people accused of rape and sexual battery. These are some of the most serious sex crimes a person can be charged with, and there are many laws that apply depending on the alleged conduct. Please contact us today.
Rape is the most serious sex crime in Virginia. The statute is found at Virginia Code § 18.2-61 and defines rape as:
- Sexual intercourse with a victim against his or her will through force, threats, or intimidation, or
- Sexual intercourse by taking advantage of the victim’s physical disability or mental incapacity, or
- Sexual intercourse with a child under 13
Sexual intercourse requires penetration, however slight. Most defendants face up to life in prison for the offense, with a minimum of 5 years. If an adult defendant raped a child under 13, then life in prison is the mandatory sentence.
Defining Sexual Battery
Virginia Code § 18.2-67.4 defines sexual battery as sexual abuse of a victim by threat, intimidation, force, or ruse. The defendant must intentionally touch the victim’s “intimate parts” with the intent to arouse or gratify someone. Unlike with rape, no penetration must occur.
This is obviously a broad statute that covers many offensive actions, such as forcibly groping someone to pretending to perform a medical exam as a pretext to touching someone’s private parts.
Of course, not all touching qualifies. Necessary elements of the offense include:
- The touching is done with the intent to arouse, molest, or gratify someone.
- The defendant used force or intimidation, or else created a ruse, to bring the abuse off. As described by Virginia courts, the force used must be more than that which accomplishes the touching. Instead, the defendant must overcome the victim’s will.
Sexual abuse is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but defendants can be charged with a felony if this is their third conviction.
The age of the victim matters, also. When the victim is under age 13, then the punishment is severe: up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $100,000, and required registration as a sex offender.
Infected Sexual Battery
Virginia also has a statute (Va. Code § 18.2-67.4:1) that criminalizes sexual intercourse without disclosing to their partner that you have syphilis, Hepatitis B, or HIV. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If, however, you intend to infect your partner, you can face a Class 6 felony.
Sexual Battery of a Minor
Virginia law criminalizes carnal knowledge of a minor between the ages of 13 and 15—even when the minor consents. It includes sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, anilingus, and sexual penetration with an animate or inanimate object. It is a Class 4 felony. However, the defendant can be charged with a Class 6 felony, depending on the ages of those involved. Most defendants must register as sex offenders if convicted.
Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
If the child is at least 15 but not yet 18, then consensual intercourse is a Class 1 misdemeanor called contributing to the delinquency of a minor, provided the defendant is over 18. However, the defendant generally does not have to register if convicted.
Speak with a Virginia Sex Crimes Attorney
If you have been accused of a sex crime, time is of the essence. Call Del Rio Law, PLLC today to review the circumstances. There are defenses you can bring, but we need time to find the necessary evidence.