The Virginia criminal code encompasses many types of unlawful activities under its article on Criminal Sexual Assault, and one of the most serious is aggravated sexual battery. When the term “aggravated” is inserted before the title of a criminal offense, you can expect a long prison sentence, fines, and probation for a conviction; the inclusion of the term “sexual” in describing a crime could also bring registration requirements. A Virginia felony sex crimes defense attorney can explain the details, but you can also read on for some important facts about aggravated sexual battery cases.
The prosecutor must prove several elements to convict. The Virginia statute on aggravated sexual battery is rather complicated, but a breakdown may be helpful. The prosecution must first show that you committed sexual abuse, which means you tried to sexually gratify yourself through certain forms of contact with your or the victim’s intimate parts. In addition:
- The act must occur against the will of the victim;
- You must have used force or threats, or intimidated the victim; and,
- You caused serious harm to the victim, or you used or threatened use of a weapon.
Special rules apply when the victim is a child. You could be charged with aggravated sexual battery even in the absence of the elements described above. There’s no need for the prosecutor to show consent, force, threats, or a use of a weapon if the victim is a child under 13 years old. All that’s required is proof that you engaged in sexual abuse against the victim.
Aggravated sexual battery is always a felony in Virginia. Some sex offenses may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances, such as a prior criminal history or mitigating factors. However, aggravated sexual battery is always a felony. For a conviction, you could be sentenced to:
- At least one year and up to a maximum of 20 years in prison; and,
- A maximum fine of $100,000.
Plus, a conviction for aggravated sexual battery triggers the requirement to register as a sex offender in Virginia. At minimum, your name will appear on the registry and you must comply with registration requirements for 15 years.
You can be arrested for attempt to commit aggravated sexual battery. Virginia considers the attempt to commit some crimes just as serious as the completion. The attempt to commit aggravated sexual battery is a Class 6 Felony, which is a “wobbler” – meaning the judge could impose either misdemeanor or felony sanctions. If convicted, you face:
- Incarceration of 1-5 years for a felony sentence; or,
- Up to 12 months imprisonment and a $2,500 fine for a misdemeanor sentence.
Contact a Virginia Felony Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer About Your Case
This aggravated sexual battery fact sheet may be useful, but it’s no substitute for the skills and knowledge that an experienced attorney brings to the table. If you’re facing charges, please contact Leary Law to schedule a consultation at our offices in Manassas or Fairfax, VA. We can discuss defense options after reviewing the facts of your case.