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Rape Sexual Intercourse Virginia Penetration Jurisdiction Lawyers Bath County

Rape Sexual Intercourse Virginia Penetration Jurisdiction Lawyers Bath County

DUSENBERY V. COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Facts:

Late one night, two teenagers parked their car in a secluded area and partially undressed in preparation for sexual intercourse. Defendant, a part-time security guard in uniform, appeared at the window with a flashlight and told them that he would take them to the authorities or tell their parents unless they allowed him to watch. The couple agreed. Complaining that the boy had not penetrated the girl, defendant thrust his head and shoulders through the open window and forced the boy’s penis partially in the girl’s vagina. Defendant was convicted in the Trial Court of rape Code § 18.2-61.

Issue:
  • Whether the evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant committed that crime as a principal in the first degree?
Discussion:

With respect to certain crimes, the law regards a person who acts through an innocent agent as a principal in the first degree. In some jurisdictions, this rule has been applied in rape cases where the accused forced an innocent third party to have carnal knowledge of an unwilling victim. But the “innocent agent” rule cannot be applied here, for it is antithetical to the construction this Court has placed upon Virginia’s rape statute. One element of rape is the penetration of the female sexual organ by the sexual organ of the principal in the first degree. Whether Dusenbery’s conduct constituted an offense other than rape is not a question before us on appeal. We hold only that the evidence is insufficient to prove that defendant carnally knew the prosecutrix within the intendment of Code § 18.2-61 as construed by this Court and the judgment must be reversed.

The case will be remanded for further proceedings if the Commonwealth be so advised, provided that defendant may not be retried for rape.

The SRIS Law Group Virginia lawyers will do their best to help you with your sex crime case. Contact a Virginia lawyer from our firm to discuss your sex crime case. A Virginia lawyer from our firm will talk with you about your sex crime case in Virginia and advise you about your options. You can count on a lawyer from our firm to try their best to help you obtain the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

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Article written by A Sris

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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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