Increase penalty for sexual battery of children
McDonnell will elevate sexual battery, when the crime is committed by force or where the offender is an adult and the victim is three years younger, to a Class 6 felony.
Not clearly on the agenda
Updated: Monday, September 17th, 2012 | By Sean Gorman
Bob McDonnell, while running for governor, laid out a series of initiatives to protect children from sex offenders.
He pledged, in an August 2009 policy paper, "Bob McDonnell will elevate sexual battery, when the crime is committed by force or where the offender is an adult and the victim is three (or more) years younger, to a class 6 felony. ”
Sexual battery -- defined as sexually molesting a victim by force, threat, intimidation or ruse -- is currently a class 1 misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Boosting the crime to a class 6 felony would raise the maximum penalty to five years in prison.
McDonnell has not yet introduced the bill yet to increase the penalty, although he still has another legislative session to do so. Paul Logan, a McDonnell spokesman, sent us an email saying the governor "will consider legislation that would elevate sexual battery, committed by force, or where the offender is an adult and the victim is a minor and three or more years younger to a class 6 felony in his 2013 legislative agenda.”
Logan noted that McDonnell, on Sept. 7, signed a series of bills to toughen penalties on violent sex offenders. Among the measures was a law imposing a mandatory minimum life sentence for an adult convicted of rape, forcible sodomy or object sexual penetration of a child under 13.
We'll keep watch on whether McDonnell backs legislation that will raise sexual battery by an adult on a child to a class 6 felony. At this point, three months before his final legislative session, the governor has not committed to pushing for the bill. So, for now, we rate this promise Stalled.
E-mails from Paul Logan, spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell, September 12-14, 2012.
Interview with Paul Logan, September 14, 2012.
McDonnell for Governor, "McDonnell unveils public safety plan,” August, 2009.
Virginia State Code, "Sexual battery,” accessed September 14, 2012.
Virginia State Code, "Punishment for conviction of misdemeanor,” accessed September 14, 2012.
Virginia State Code, "General Definitions,” accessed September 14, 2012.
Virginia State Code, "Penalty for conviction of felony,” accessed September 14, 2012.
Governor Bob McDonnell, "Governor McDonnell signs legislation to toughen penalties for violent sex offenders,” September 7, 2012.
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