Felony sex crimes are serious offenses that are punishable by more than one year in prison. A Virginia felony sex crimes lawyer can help you understand some of the felony sex offenses that a person might be charged with or investigated for. Visit our Virginia sex crimes page for more information on sex crimes and penalties.
There are many different sex offenses and whether they are felonies depend on whether the accused is an adult or a minor. In addition, it will depend on who is the complaining witness and/or victim, for lack of a better term. Then a lawyer will need to look at the conduct. For instance, when a person is charged with rape, this is a sexual intercourse charge versus other types of sexual conduct.
Rape can be defined as sexual intercourse against another one’s will by force, threat, or intimidation. Rape can also be sexual intercourse with a person who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless. So that is basically how rape is defined in Virginia if the victim is an adult. The penalty for rape is a range of five years to life in prison. If there is a different sort of sexual conduct, then it qualifies as different types of felony sexual assault offenses. See Virginia Code Section 18.2-61.
For instance, forcible sodomy is the commission of sodomy by force, threat, or intimidation, or force through the use of the victim’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness. See Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.1. The third set of conduct is object sexual penetration, which means conduct involving the penetration of the vagina or the anus by something other than a penis. See Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.2. The penalty for forcible sodomy is also five years to life.
Conduct that is not quite as egregious as what was just discussed—the next level down—is aggravated sexual battery. Aggravated sexual battery is the sexual abuse of a person who is less than 13 years old. If the sexual abuse is accomplished through the use of the person’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness, that is also aggravated sexual battery. If the sexual abuse is committed by a parent, a step parent, a grandparent, or step grandparent and the complaining witness is at least 13 but less than 18, that is also aggravated sexual battery.
And then finally aggravated sexual battery is sexual abuse that is accomplished against the will of the complaining witness by force, threat or intimidation and the victim is at least 13 but less than 15 or the accused causes serious bodily or mental injury to the complaining witness or the accused uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon.
All of that constitutes aggravated sexual battery, which is a felony punishable as 1 to 20 years and a fine of not more than $100,000. See Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.3.
Then you have to look at what sexual abuse means, which requires looking at the definition of sexual abuse before we can understand what aggravated sexual battery is. Sexual abuse means an act committed with the intent to sexually molest, arouse or gratify any person where:
That is sexual abuse and that definition describes the conduct which is included under a charge of aggravated sexual battery.
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