West Virginia - Age of Consent

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WEST VIRGINIA

SEXUAL OFFENSE LAWS (WV)

The laws listed here are from the 1993 edition of the West Virginia Code


SEXUAL ASSAULT OF THE FIRST DEGREE

A person is guilty of first-degree sexual assault when:

  • Such person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person and, in so doing:
    1. Inflicts serious bodily injury upon anyone; or
    2. Employs a deadly weapon in the commission of the act; or
  • Such person, being 14 years old or more, engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is 11 years old or less.

Any person who violates the above provisions shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be:

  1. Imprisoned in the penitentiary between 15 and 35 years; or
  2. Imprisoned in the penitentiary between 15 and 35 years and fined between $1,000 and $10,000.

 

Note: Evidence that a defendant committed violent or turbulent acts toward the sexual assault victim or toward others of which is she aware is relevant to establish her fear of her attacker which is a major element of proof of first-degree sexual assault (State v. Pancake, 1982).


SEXUAL ASSAULT OF THE SECOND DEGREE

A person is guilty of second-degree sexual assault when:

  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. Such person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is physically helpless.

Any person who violates the above provisions shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be:

  1. Imprisoned in the penitentiary between 10 and 25 years; or
  2. Imprisoned in the penitentiary between 10 and 25 years and fined between $1,000 and $10,000.

SEXUAL ASSAULT OF THE THIRD DEGREE

A person is guilty of third-degree sexual assault (statutory rape) when:

  1. Such person engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated; or
  2. Such person, being 16 years old or more, engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is less than 16 years old and who is at least 4 years younger than the defendant.

Any person who violates the above provisions shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be:

  1. Imprisoned in the penitentiary between 1 and 5 years; or
  2. Imprisoned in the penitentiary between 1 and 5 years and fined no more than $10,000.

 

Note: Consent is not a defense to third-degree sexual assault. Consent is irrelevant. (State v. Persinger, 1982)


SEXUAL ABUSE OF THE FIRST DEGREE

A person is guilty of first-degree sexual abuse when:

  1. Such person subjects another person to sexual contact without his/her consent, and the lack of consent results from forcible compulsion; or
  2. Such person subjects another person to sexual contact who is physically helpless; or
  3. Such person, who is 14 years old or more, subjects another person to sexual contact who is 11 years old or less.

Any person who violates the above provisions shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be:

  1. Imprisoned in the penitentiary between 1 and 5 years; or
  2. Imprisoned in the penitentiary between 1 and 5 years and fined no more than $10,000.

SEXUAL ABUSE OF THE SECOND DEGREE

A person is guilty of second-degree sexual abuse when such person subjects another person to sexual contact who is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated.

Any person who violates the above provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be:

  1. Imprisoned in the county jail no more than 12 months; or
  2. Imprisoned in the county jail no more than 12 months and fined no more than $500.

SEXUAL ABUSE OF THE THIRD DEGREE

A person is guilty of third-degree sexual abuse when such person subjects another person to sexual contact without the victims consent, when lack of consent is due to being less than 16 years old.

Any person who violates the above provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be:

  1. Imprisoned in the county jail no more than 90 days; or
  2. Imprisoned in the county jail no more than 90 days and fined no more than $500.

Note: defenses for third-degree sexual abuse are:

  1. The defendant was less than 16 years old; or
  2. The defendant was less than 4 years older than the victim.

 

NOTES

  • Sexual assault of a spouse is handled differently than the above cases.
  • For purposes of punishment, sexual abuse involving parents, custodians, or guardians is a separate and distinct crime from the general sexual offenses listed above. Consequently, separate sentences for both crimes are permissible. (State vs. Gill 1992)
  • Convictions for first and third degree sexual assault, and for incest, did not violate the defendant's rights under the double jeopardy clause (State v. Peyatt, 1983).
  • Convictions for abduction and sexual assault did not violate the defendant's rights under the double jeopardy clause (State v. Trail, 1985).

07-2000 New Source: U.S. statutory rape laws is published on the Web by the National
Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. The booklet, which
requires Adobe Acrobat to read, is located at:


http://www.calib.com/nccanch/pubs/99statutes/35-SexualOffenses.PDF

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