Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney Explains: Sexual Battery in Virginia
Sexual Battery in violation of Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.4 is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Virginia. A sexual battery can be committed in Virginia a few different ways.
First, if any person sexually abuses an individual against their will by force, threat, intimidation, or ruse they can be found guilty. Sexual abuse is generally defined as an act committed with the intent to sexually molest, arouse, or gratify any person by touching, or causing to be touched, their intimate parts. Under this theory, it is not enough that a private part was merely touched because the touching must be accomplished by force, threat, intimidation, or ruse. However, an individual who touches somebody's intimate parts without force, threat, intimidation, or ruse has potentially committed an assault and battery, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail. And, depending on the age and relationship of the parties, an aggravated sexual battery, a felony, may have been committed. You see, in practice, misdemeanor sexual battery is typically an offense charged when an adult defendant and an adult victim are involved. If an adult has committed an assaultive sexual act with a minor, it is very likely that conduct would be charged as a felony.
Second, if a person sexually abuses, without consent, one or more persons on multiple occasions within a two year period, they are guilty of sexual battery even if force, threat, intimidation or ruse is absent.
Lastly, a sexual battery can be committed by correctional officers and other persons of authority simply by engaging in sexual activity with a person in their custody or care - consent is not at issue. This means even if the victim consented to the activity, that is no defense.
Although sexual battery is a misdemeanor, upon a third conviction for such an offense a defendant is required to register on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. Registration is also required if the victim is a minor or mentally incapacitated or physically helpless. And, if a young child is the victim (under 6), registration is required for life upon the first conviction. Sexual battery, to say the least, is a serious misdemeanor that can have life altering consequences nearly the same as a felony if an individual is convicted.
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If you, or a loved one, is charged with Sexual Battery, contact a seasoned, experienced Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer today. George Freeman will gladly meet with you to discuss your case and any defenses you may have.