Statutory Rape is a crime that must be understood by men and women of all ages. Some confusion may exist in the minds of some, because many states do not specifically refer to this crime as “statutory rape.” Instead, many statutes use the term “sexual abuse” or “assault” to refer to the crime. What you must understand, is that the crime is based upon a person NOT having attained a certain age. The law views such persons as incapable of consenting to sexual activity. If you live in Virginia Beach, your trusted Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer is your best source for information and advice relating to this crime
The differentiating factor between statutory rape and regular rape is the term commonly referred to as “force.” Thus, if the alleged “victim” is not of the age identified by statute, then that person is not of the “age of consent.” This means that an alleged perpetrator can be charged or even convicted even if he or she did not use force. If you have questions regarding your relationship or perhaps even a criminal charge, your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer may be willing to offer you a consultation.
What is the Punishment for Statutory Rape in Virginia?
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, if a person has sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 13, he or she may be punished by a sentence in prison of five years to life. (See Virginia Code Section 18.2-61, 63).
“Carnal knowledge” of a child between 13 and 15 can be punished by 2 to 10 years in prison. If the accused is a minor, and the victim is three or more years younger, then the crime may be punished by 1 to 5 years in prison. Given the serious nature of statutory rape, and the stigma of “rape” in general, accused individuals should take all such charges seriously. Civil penalties, loss of freedom (confinement), and loss of reputation all point to the importance of securing an experienced legal representative. Contact your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer to ensure the prosecution has “crossed every T” and “dotted every i.”