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Certain sex crimes in Virginia might not be fully understood by most of society, but they can lead to charges and punishments as significant as rape and other charges. One such act is object sexual penetration. As the phrasing implies, this act involves an object penetrating another person's labia majora or anus. This object can be either animate or inanimate. It does not matter if the complainant was the spouse of the alleged perpetrator. It is illegal unless it is for a legitimate medical purpose.

The defendant will be charged in the following circumstances: if the complainant was less than 13-years-old; or if the act was done against the complainant's will by using force, threats or intimidation against the victim or another person, or if the complainant was mentally incapacitated or physically helpless. With this type of sexual assault charge, the defendant will be subject to a felony and could be put in prison for a minimum of five years, and up to a maximum life sentence.

If there are other violations, the offender's sentence for the sex crime will be served consecutively with other sentences. With a defendant who is more than three years older than the victim, and the victim is less than 13 years-old, and the sentence imposed is less than life in prison, the judge will also impose a suspended sentence of a minimum of 40 years. If the act is committed against the spouse, the sentence can be suspended if the defendant completes therapy or counseling if this will help with the family unit staying together and if this is in the best interest of the complainant.

If a defendant is found guilty with a spouse as the complainant, the defendant may be placed on probation if there were no other proceedings in the past. Counseling and therapy can allow further proceedings to be deferred. If the counseling and therapy are completed, the court can discharge the defendant and the charges can be dismissed.

Those who are confronted with sex offenses related to object penetration need to be aware of how the law views these issues. A conviction can result in prison, damage to reputation and long-term problems. An attorney is imperative to formulate a defense against any sex crimes that a person faces in Virginia.

Source: Code of Virginia, "18.2-67.2. Object sexual penetration; penalty.," accessed on March 21, 2016

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