Most sexual acts between two adults are consensual. However, there are instances in which a sexual act occurs that a person does not consent to. These acts are illegal, and a person who commits them could be charged with sexual battery or aggravated sexual battery.
Sexual battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. An attack constitutes sexual battery if: the sexual abuse took place against a person’s will by force, threat, intimidation or trick; the accused sexually abused more than one person within a two-year time span or sexually abused a person more than once without that person’s consent; or when a person is an inmate, probationer, parolee or pretrial defendant and the accused holds a position of authority over the person.
Though, certain circumstances raise the crime of sexual battery to aggravated sexual battery, which is a felony crime in Virginia. An attack constitutes aggravated sexual battery if: the alleged act of sexual abuse is committed on a person under age 13; if the person was allegedly sexually abused through their mental incapacity or physical helplessness; if the accused was a parent, grandparent, step-parent or step-grandparent and the alleged abuse was committed on a child between the ages of 13 to 18; or if the sexual abuse is committed against a person’s will through force, threat or intimidation and the person is between the ages of 13 to 18 or the act resulted in serious physical or mental injury or if the act was committed using a dangerous weapon or threatening one with a dangerous weapon.
The penalty for sexual battery is incarceration for up to a year and/or a $2,500 fine. The penalty for aggravated sexual battery is incarceration for one to 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000. Therefore, it is important to take charges of sexual battery or aggravated sexual battery very seriously.