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Virginia Rape and Sexual Battery Laws

In Virginia, rape is also known as sexual battery. It is a sex crime that is considered a form of forced sexual contact. The force used can be physical or emotional (threat, intimidation, pressure, coercion).

Rape is a type of sexual battery usually involving sexual intercourse which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent.

The following table highlights the main provisions of Virginia's rape laws. See also Rape, Statutory Rape, and Sex Offenders and Sex Offenses.

Code Sections

Virginia Code §18.2-61

Elements of Rape/Sexual Assault

Sexual intercourse with another person, whether or not his or her spouse and

Against that person's will

  • By force, threat or intimidation of or against the complaining witness or another person; or
  • Through the use of the complaining witness's mental incapacity or physical helplessness;
  • or with a child under age 13 as the victim

Sexual Assault (Generally): Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.

Penalty

Felony. Between five (5) years and life imprisonment depending on circumstances. Additional penalties apply to someone who rapes a child younger than 13 years old, and, may include a 25 year (to life) mandatory minimum prison sentence, depending on the severity of the circumstances of the crime.

Sexual Intercourse

Penetration (anal, oral or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object

Sexual Contact

The deliberate touching of a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks, or clothing covering any of those areas), or using force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts.

Mandatory Sex Registration?

Sex offenders must, by law, register in the Virginia Sex Offender Registry . Sex offenders who intentionally do not comply with the mandatory registration requirements by failing to register or providing false information face serious consequences, including returning to prison or jail.

Resources

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted contact any of the following resources:

If you do find yourself facing a rape charge in Virginia, you may wish to contact a criminal defense attorney for assistance.

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