In the state of Virginia, being charged with sexual battery is a severe and complex legal situation that may have a lasting effect on the offender’s life even if he/she was found not guilty. For example, being convicted means having to register as a sex offender, which may affect where the offender can live, what kinds of jobs the offender can have.
Simple Sexual Battery
Virginia law makes it a serious misdemeanor crime to sexually abuse another person. The offense occurs when the accused:
- Purposely touches another person’s intimate body parts (Virginia defines intimate parts as the other person’s genitals);
- Using force, threat, or intimidation;
- Or forces the person to touch the intimate body parts of the accused or another person
- With the intention to sexually molest or gratify
- Against the other person’s consent.
Simple sexual battery is penalized by up to a year in prison and a maximum $2,500 fine.
Aggravated Sexual Battery
Virginia law defines four instances when the sexual battery can be considered aggravated and becomes a more severe felony charge.
An aggravated sexual battery charge includes all of the factors of simple sexual battery, plus one of these allegations:
- Sexually abusing a person under the age of 13;
- Sexual abuse of a person who is mentally and/or physically disabled;
- Sexual abuse of a teenager by a parent or parent’ parents.
An aggravated sexual battery conviction can hold a prison sentence of one to 20 years and a maximum $100,000 fine.
Sexual Battery When Infected
Virginia law creates a special felony sexual battery offense when someone purposely tries to infect someone else with certain sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
The offense occurs when the offender:
- Is infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases
- Is aware of it
- And has sexual contact with another person with the intention of transmitting the infection
The penalty upon conviction of an infected sexual battery felony may include one to five years in prison and a maximum $2,500 fine.
The offense is a misdemeanor if the person didn’t have the intention to transmit the infection, but knew about the infection and failed to disclose it to his/her sexual partner. A conviction on this type of infected sexual battery can carry a sentence of up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine.
Attempted Sexual Battery
Under Virginia law conviction for an attempted simple sexual battery carries the same punishment as a completed offense, up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Sex Crimes Defenses
When a person is charged with sexual battery, a prosecutor generally has to prove:
- The person did actually touch the other person’s intimate parts;
- The person purposely did so;
- The person had a sexual motive for doing so;
- The person used force, threat, intimidation;
- The touching was against the other person’s consent
Registering as a Sex Offender
If convicted of almost all of these crimes, the offender could be required to register in the Virginia Sex Offender Registry for the rest of his/her life. This could severely limit where the offender can live, work, and may even restrict public places where he/she can go to.