Like many of those attending any of the institutions of higher learning in or around Lynchburg, you likely enjoy the student social scene. Oftentimes, your interactions may present opportunities for you to become intimate with another. While romantic relationships certainly are not something to be avoided, many of those that we here at Mark B. Arthur PC have worked with will tell you to exercise caution when engaging in intimate activity, as actions that you may view as being innocent can often be portrayed as being otherwise.
According to the Code of Virginia, sexual abuse includes any of the following activity:
- You intentionally touching another’s intimate parts, be they covered or uncovered.
- You forcing another to touch your own intimate parts, either covered or uncovered.
- You forcing another person to touch another’s intimate parts, again either covered or uncovered.
The aforementioned definitions show that should you be involved in a romantic encounter, and such activity escalates to touching or petting, you could potentially face criminal charges if your partner later claims that the actions were not consensual.
If it is alleged that you initiated sexual abuse through intimidation, a ruse, or force of the threat of it, you could be charged with sexual battery, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If such abuse is allegedly perpetrated against one who is suffering from mental incapacity (even if it is temporary) or is physically helpless, the charge escalates to a felony offense. The same is true if it is alleged that you used a weapon in the encounter, or if you supposedly caused serious physical or emotional harm to your partner.
You can find out more about what qualifies as a sex crime in Virginia by continuing to explore our site.