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How Does Virginia Define & Punish Sexual Battery?

FedCrime

The Virginia Criminal Code prohibiting many types of sex crimes and applying misdemeanor or felony charges for violations. Within this domain, sexual battery is one of the most serious offenses. Though before discussing sexual battery statutes, specifically, it will be helpful to review the definition of sexual abuse under Virginia law.

How Does Virginia Define Sexual Abuse?

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-67.10 defines the term sexual abuse under state law. Sexual abuse involves an intent to molest, arouse, gratify where the perpetrator:

  • Touches the victim’s sexual organs or material covering those organs;
  • Forces the victim to touch their own sexual organs or those of any other person;
  • Causes or assists a victim under the age of 13 to touch their own sexual organs or those of any other person; or
  • Forces someone else to touch the victim’s sexual organs or material covering those organs.

How Does Virginia Define & Punish Sexual Battery?

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-67.4 establishes the definition of and punishment for sexual battery. This offense applies whenever a perpetrator commits sexual abuse and:

  • Uses force, threat, intimidation, or ruse to complete the act;
  • Commits the act multiple times against the will of the victim or victims; or
  • Has a position of authority over a victim sentenced to confinement or on parole.

Section 18.2-67.4 also furnishes the punishment for sexual battery. Under this section, sexual battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, the punishment can include a maximum of one year in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines, either or both.

How Does Virginia Define & Punish Aggravated Sexual Battery?

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-67.3 provides the definition of and punishment for aggravated sexual battery. There are five versions to this offense under Virginia law. Though each version requires the perpetrator to commit an act of sexual abuse.

First, aggravated sexual battery applies if the victim is under 13 years old.

Second, aggravated sexual battery applies if the perpetrator took advantage of the victim’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness.

Third, aggravated sexual battery applies if the victim is at least 13 years old but less than 18 years old. In this version, the perpetrator must be the parent, step-parent, grandparent, or step-grandparent of the victim.

Fourth, aggravated sexual battery applies if the perpetrator uses force, threat, or intimidation to complete the act and:

  • The victim is at least 13 years old but less than 15 years old;
  • The perpetrator causes serious physical or mental harm to the victim; or
  • The perpetrator uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon.

Fifth, aggravated sexual battery applies if the act occurs without consent and outside of recognized treatment by a perpetrator who is a:

  • Massage therapist or someone claiming to be a massage therapist;
  • Professional engaged in the healing arts or similar treatment; or
  • Physical therapist or someone claiming to be a physical therapist.

Section 18.2-67.3 also outlines the punishment for aggravated sexual battery. Under this section, aggravated sexual battery is a felony crime. If convicted, the punishment can include one to 20 years in prison and up to $100,000 in criminal fines, either or both.

Do You Need Legal Help?

The dedicated Leesburg criminal defense lawyers at Simms Showers LLP are prepared to help you today. Reach out to our office for a consultation.

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