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West Virginia Sex Offense Laws

 

West Virginia laws are very specific about sexual abuse and sexual assault. Sexual abuse occurs when a person subjects another person to sexual contact without their consent, and that lack of consent is due to physical force, threat or intimidation. In West Virginia, sexual assault includes sexual intercourse and sexual intrusion.

 

This section includes: Sexual Offenses.

 

Note: The laws cited below were current as of July 2012.
West Virginia Legislature

 

 

Sexual Offenses

 

§61-8B-1. Definition of terms.

In this article, unless a different meaning plainly is required:

 

  1. 1. "Forcible compulsion" means:
    1. (a) Physical force that overcomes such earnest resistance as might reasonably be expected under the circumstances; or
    2. (b) Threat or intimidation, expressed or implied, placing a person in fear of immediate death or bodily injury to himself or herself or another person or in fear that he or she or another person will be kidnapped; or
    3. (c) Fear by a person under sixteen years of age caused by intimidation, expressed or implied, by another person who is at least four years older than the victim. For the purposes of this definition "resistance" includes physical resistance or any clear communication of the victim's lack of consent.
  2. 2. "Married," for the purposes of this article in addition to its legal meaning, includes persons living together as husband and wife regardless of the legal status of their relationship.
  3. 3. "Mentally defective" means that a person suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders that person incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct.
  4. 4. "Mentally incapacitated" means that a person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his or her conduct as a result of the influence of a controlled or intoxicating substance administered to that person without his or her consent or as a result of any other act committed upon that person without his or her consent.
  5. 5. "Physically helpless" means that a person is unconscious or for any reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.
  6. 6. "Sexual contact" means any intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the breasts, buttocks, anus or of any part of the sex organs of another person, or intentional touching of any part of another person's body by the actor's sex organs, where the victim is not married to the actor and the touching is done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party.
  7. 7. "Sexual intercourse" means any act between persons involving penetration, however slight, of the female sex organ by the male sex organ or involving contact between the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another person.
  8. 8. "Sexual intrusion" means any act between persons involving penetration, however slight, of the female sex organ or of the anus of any person by an object for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the person so penetrated or for gratifying the sexual desire of either party.
  9. 9. "Bodily injury" means substantial physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition.
  10. 10. "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death, which causes serious or prolonged disfigurement, prolonged impairment of health or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.
  11. 11. "Deadly weapon" means any instrument, device or thing capable of inflicting death or serious bodily injury, and designed or specially adapted for use as a weapon, or possessed, carried or used as a weapon.
  12. 12. "Forensic medical examination" means an examination provided to a possible victim of a violation of the provisions of this article by medical personnel qualified to gather evidence of the violation in a manner suitable for use in a court of law, to include: An examination for physical trauma; a determination of penetration or force; a patient interview; and the collection and evaluation of other evidence that is potentially relevant to the determination that a violation of the provisions of this article occurred and to the determination of the identity of the assailant.

 

 

§61-8B-2. Lack of consent.

  1. (a) Whether or not specifically stated, it is an element of every offense defined in this article that the sexual act was committed without the consent of the victim.
  2. (b) Lack of consent results from:
    1. 1. Forcible compulsion; or
    2. 2. Incapacity to consent; or
    3. 3. If the offense charged is sexual abuse, any circumstances in addition to the forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent in which the victim does not expressly or impliedly acquiesce in the actor's conduct.
  3. (c) A person is deemed incapable of consent when such person is:
    1. 1. Less than sixteen years old; or
    2. 2. Mentally defective; or
    3. 3. Mentally incapacitated; or
    4. 4. Physically helpless; or
    5. 5. Subject to confinement or supervision by a state or local government entity, when the actor is a person prohibited from having sexual intercourse, or causing sexual intrusion or sexual contact pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of section ten of this article.

 

 

§61-8B-3. Sexual assault in the first degree.

  1. (a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the first degree when:
    1. 1. The person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person and, in so doing: (i) Inflicts serious bodily injury upon anyone; or (ii) Employs a deadly weapon in the commission of the act; or
    2. 2. The person, being fourteen years old or more, engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is younger than twelve years old and is not married to that person.
  2. (b) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than fifteen nor more than thirty-five years, or fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars and imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than fifteen nor more than thirty-five years.
  3. (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the penalty for any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this section who is eighteen years of age or older and whose victim is younger than twelve years of age, shall be imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than twenty-five (25) nor more than one hundred years and a fine of not less than five thousand dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars.

 

 

§61-8B-4. Sexual assault in the second degree.

  1. (a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the second degree when:
    1. 1. Such person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person without the person's consent, and the lack of consent results from forcible compulsion; or
    2. 2. Such person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is physically helpless.
  2. (b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than ten nor more than twenty-five years, or fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars and imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than ten nor more than twenty-five years.

 

 

§61-8B-5. Sexual assault in the third degree.

  1. (a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the third degree when:
    1. 1. The person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated; or
    2. 2. The person, being sixteen years old or more, engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is less than sixteen years old and who is at least four years younger than the defendant and is not married to the defendant.
  2. (b) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than five years, or fined not more than ten thousand dollars and imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than five years.

 

 

§61-8B-7. Sexual abuse in the first degree.

  1. (a) A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree when:
    1. 1. Such person subjects another person to sexual contact without their consent, and the lack of consent results from forcible compulsion; or
    2. 2. Such person subjects another person to sexual contact who is physically helpless; or
    3. 3. Such person, being fourteen years old or more, subjects another person to sexual contact who is younger than twelve years old.
  2. (b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than five years, or fined not more than ten thousand dollars and imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than five years.
  3. (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the penalty for any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this section who is eighteen years of age or older and whose victim is younger than twelve years of age, shall be imprisonment for not less than five nor more than twenty-five years and fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.

 

 

§61-8B-8. Sexual abuse in the second degree.

  1. (a) A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree when such person subjects another person to sexual contact who is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated.
  2. (b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in the county jail not more than twelve months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars and confined in the regional jail not more than twelve months.

 

 

§61-8B-9. Sexual abuse in the third degree.

  1. (a) A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the third degree when he subjects another person to sexual contact without the latter's consent, when such lack of consent is due to the victim's incapacity to consent by reason of being less than sixteen years old.
  2. (b) In any prosecution under this section it is a defense that:
    1. 1. The defendant was less than sixteen years old; or
    2. 2. The defendant was less than four years older than the victim.
  3. (c) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in the county jail not more than ninety days, or fined not more than five hundred dollars and confined in the county jail not more than ninety days.

 

 

§61-8B-9a. Mandatory sentence for person committing certain sex offenses against children.

  1. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section one-a, article eleven-a, section four, article eleven-b and section two, article twelve of chapter sixty-two of this code, a person shall not be eligible for probation, home incarceration or an alternative sentence provided under this code if they are convicted of an offense under section three, four, five, seven, eight or nine, article eight-b, chapter sixty-one of this code, are eighteen years of age or older, the victim is younger than twelve years of age and the finder of fact determines that one of the following aggravating circumstances exists:
    1. 1. The person employed forcible compulsion in commission of the offense;
    2. 2. The offense constituted, resulted from or involved a predatory act as defined in subsection (m), section two, article twelve, chapter fifteen of this code;
    3. 3. The person was armed with a weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon and used or threatened to use the weapon or article to cause the victim to submit; or
    4. 4. The person removed the victim from one place to another and did not release the victim in a safe place. For the purposes of this section, "release the victim in a safe place" means release of a victim in a place and manner which realistically conveys to the victim that he or she is free from captivity in circumstances and surroundings wherein aid is readily available.
  2. (b) (1) The existence of any fact which would make any person ineligible for probation under subsection (a) of this section because of the existence of an aggravating circumstance shall not be applicable unless such fact is clearly stated and included in the indictment or presentment by which such person is charged and is either:
      1. (i) Found by the court upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere; or
      2. (ii) found by the jury, if the matter be tried before a jury, upon submitting to such jury a special interrogatory for such purpose; or
      3. (iii) found by the court, if the matter be tried by the court, without a jury.
    1. (2) Insofar as the provisions of this section relate to mandatory sentences without probation, home incarceration or alternative sentences, all such matters requiring such sentence shall be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in all cases tried by the jury or the court.

 

 

 

§61-8B-9b. Enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses committed by those previously convicted of sexually violent offenses against children.

  1. (a) Not withstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, any person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, as defined in section two, article twelve, chapter fifteen of this code, against a victim under the age of twelve years old and thereafter commits and thereafter is convicted of one of the following offenses shall be subject to the following penalties unless another provision of this code authorizes a longer sentence:
    1. 1. For a violation of section three of this article, the penalty shall be imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than fifty nor more than one hundred fifty years;
    2. 2. For a violation of section four of this article, the penalty shall be imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than thirty nor more than one hundred years;
    3. 3. For a violation of section five of this article, the penalty shall be imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than twenty-five years;
    4. 4. For a violation of section seven of this article, the penalty shall be imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than ten nor more than thirty-five years; and
    5. 5. Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of section eight of this article, a violation of its provisions by a person previously convicted of a sexually violent offense, as defined in section two, article twelve, chapter fifteen of this code, shall be a felony and the penalty therefore shall be imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than three nor more than fifteen years.
  2. (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section two, article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code, any person sentenced pursuant to this section shall not be eligible for probation.
  3. (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section one-a, article eleven-a and section four, article eleven-b of chapter sixty-two of this code, a person sentenced under this section shall not be eligible for home incarceration or an alternative sentence.

 

 

 

§61-8B-10. Imposition of sexual acts on persons incarcerated or under supervision; penalties

  1. (a) Any person employed by the Division of Corrections, any person working at a correctional facility managed by the Commissioner of Corrections pursuant to contract or as an employee of a state agency, any person working at a correctional facility managed by the Division of Juvenile Services pursuant to contract or as an employee of a state agency, any person employed by a jail or by the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, any person working at a facility managed by the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority or a jail or any person employed by, or acting pursuant to, the authority of any sheriff, county commission, or court to ensure compliance with the provisions of article eleven-b, chapter sixty-two of this code who engages in sexual intercourse, sexual intrusion or sexual contact with a person who is incarcerated in this state is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a state correctional facility under the control of the Commissioner of Corrections for not less than one nor more than five years or fined not more than $5,000.
  2. (b) Any person employed by the Division of Corrections as a parole officer or by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals as an adult or juvenile probation officer who engages in sexual intercourse, sexual intrusion or sexual contact with a person said parole officer or probation officer is charged as part of his or her employment with supervising, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a state correctional facility under the control of the Commissioner of Corrections for not less than one nor more than five years or fined not more than $5,000, or both.
  3. (c) The term "incarcerated in this state" for purposes of this section includes in addition to its usual meaning, offenders serving a sentence under the provisions of article eleven-b, chapter sixty-two of this code.
  4. (d) Authorized pat-down, strip search or other security related tasks does not constitute sexual contact pursuant to this section.