The state of Virginia takes the safety of children and minors very seriously. With the rise of technology and access to anything easily available on the internet, it is no surprise that exploitation by those in power is at an ever-increasing high. Keeping that in mind, Virginia state and federal courts have devised a strict and vigilant set of laws and punishments whose very aim is to prevent the exploitation of minors.
The specific exploitation this article focuses upon is sexual abuse. Young children are innocent and naïve and it is not very hard for predators to get ahold of them and take away their innocence. They lurk among the society sometimes very close to the children and their families and hence are able to carry out their disgusting fantasies.
In order to push back at these predators, the state of Virginia first of all dictates what comes under the heading of sexual abuse; rape, forced sodomy, penetration, and crimes against nature. Starting with the lack of use of force. This implies that the individual exploiting the child is not using any kind of force but that the child is either consenting or staying quiet about it. In this case, the individual can be sentenced for up to 10 years along with a hefty fine of a 100,000 dollars.
In more specific terms, the age difference between the individual and the child also plays a part. If the person is at least 3 years older, then the offense becomes a class 6 felony which constitutes a jail term of 5 years or less along with a 2500 dollar fine. However if the age difference is less than 3 years then this comes under a class 1 misdemeanor because in these the individual being convicted many times comes under the age group of minors and hence is dealt with by the juvenile court and the punishments includes time in jail for up to 12 months as well as a fine of maximum 2500 dollars.
Furthermore, to ensure utmost safety of its citizens, the state of Virginia has a sex offender registry which is open for the public to access and consult in case of suspicious activity. If an individual is convicted twice for this crime then their name will have to be added to the sexual offender registry which not only is open to the public but also accessible by any schools, colleges and potential employers. In many institutions of educational nature as well as multinational companies have HR policies that clearly state that a background check on any individual who is applying to be part of that institution or firm includes checking if their name is on the sexual offender registry. If the name is found to be on the registry, it becomes nearly impossible for the individual to find a job or even admission for further studies.
In conclusion, the child sexual abuse laws of the state of Virginia make sure to trap and treat such offenders accordingly.