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Types of Sex Crimes in Virginia

Many people consider rape, forcible sodomy, and object sexual penetration to be the most serious adult sexual assault crimes. However, there are also different types of sex crimes in Virginia that have serious legal penalties in addition to sex offender registration. Virginia sex crimes lawyers can help you understand the different types of sex crimes, and under what aggravating circumstances they may be charged as felony offenses.

Sexual Battery in Virginia

Misdemeanor sexual battery codified in Virginia Code Section 18.2- 67.4 is defined as the sexual abuse against the will of the complaining witness by force, threat, intimidation or ruse. The definition also contains a subsection regarding persons inside of the detention center. Also, a third conviction for a misdemeanor sexual battery is a separate and distinct felony conviction, that offense requires registration on the sex offender registry.

Infected Sexual Battery

Another type of sexual assault is infected sexual battery, which can be charged as a felony, or it can be a misdemeanor, and it depends on the intent of the accused. So, infected sexual battery is when any person who, knowing they are infected with HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis B has sexual intercourse or anal intercourse with the intent to transmit the infection to another. This is what makes it a felony. If it is done without the intent to infect the other person, then it’ is considered a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia.

Prostitution or Solicitation

The more common type of sexually-related misdemeanor crime is prostitution, or solicitation of prostitution, which fall under the same statute and they are Class 1 misdemeanor offenses.

Crimes Against Children

Another category of sex crimes is crimes against children. Any intercourse with a child under 13 is rape and there is a mandatory life sentence if the offender is 18 years or older. Another type of sexual offense against children is what is called carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15 and that is in Virginia Code Section 18.2-63. So, what makes it a crime under that statute is if any person carnally knows, without the use of force, a child of 13 years of age or older but under 15 of age; that is a class 4 felony.

It becomes a class 6 felony if any person:

  1. Carnally knows, without the use of force, a child 13 years of age or older but under 15 years of age who consents to the sexual intercourse, and
  2. The accused is a minor and the child is three years or more the accused junior.

However, if the consenting child is less than 3 years the accused’s junior, the accused shall be guilty of a class 4 misdemeanor, which only carries a fine, so there is a big distinction. The definition of carnal knowledge includes the act of sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, anal intercourse and animus and inanimate object sexual penetration.

Sexual Battery on a Minor

There is a separate and distinct crime of sexual battery on a minor. In this case, if the victim is a minor, the accused would be required to register on the sex offender registry on the first rather than the third offense because of the victim being a minor.

Then there is aggravated sexual battery as related to a minor victim. It is considered aggravated sexual battery regardless if force is used and if the victim is younger than 13. The penalty is 1-20 years in prison and it is also aggravated sexual battery if force was used and the victim is 13-15.

Also, sexual abuse of a child under 15 is a class 1 misdemeanor if the child is 13 or older but under 15 years of age. And it is all the distinctions of age. Then, if there is consensual intercourse with a person 15 years or older but under 18, so still a minor, then that is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child

There is also an offense called taking indecent liberties with a child, and that is in 18.2-370. It is an extremely long statute, but, basically, the conduct of taking indecent liberties includes the following. It is a class 5 felony for a person 18 years of age or older who knowingly and intentionally commits any of the following acts when that person (the victim) is under 15 years of age.

  • Expose his or her sexual or genital parts to any child to whom such person is not legally married or propose any such child expose his or her sexual or genital parts to such person, or
  • Propose that any such child feel or fondle his own sexual or genital parts or the sexual or genital parts of such person, or propose that such person feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of any such child, or
  • Propose to such child a performance of an act of sexual intercourse or any act constituting an offense under 18.2-361 (sodomy).

The Age of the Accused

There are also different rules when the accused is a minor facing allegations of carnal knowledge without force of a child at least 13 years old and under 15 years. If it is not consensual if the accused is at least three years older than the child then it is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison. If the consenting  child is less than three years younger than the accused, then it is only a class 4 misdemeanor.  If the alleged conduct involving taking indecent liberties of a minor is done by a minor, then there are  different penalties associated with that too.

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