Robinson v. Commonwealth (U)

At the defendant’s trial for sexual battery by force, the evidence failed to establish that alleged touching was accomplished by the use of force sufficient to overcome the victim’s will.

While it’s undisputed that the defendant sexually abused the victim when he “grabbed and twisted her breasts as hard as he could,” the Commonwealth failed to prove that the sexual abuse was accomplished by “force” as required by Code § 18.2-67.4(A)(i). While the evidence demonstrated that the defendant accomplished the battery “by surprise,” it was insufficient to prove he committed sexual abuse by force. The act itself was not used to overcome the victim’s will to accomplish the non-consensual touching. Any durational evidence served only to demonstrate the non-consensual touching occurred.

Conviction reversed and remanded. Judge Beales dissented.

Robinson v. Commonwealth (U), No. 1679-17-2, Jan. 15, 2019. CAV (O’Brien) from Amelia (Cella).

Categories: Court of Appeals of Virginia, Opinions, Unpublished


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