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by Benjamin Griffitts, Senior Attorney

It would be tough to think of a classification of criminal acts that stir up as much emotion and strong feelings as those in the sex crimes category. Homicides are clearly horrible and tragic for the loss of life and the emptiness that a deceased person leaves behind in their survivors. So while sexual assault cases in themselves do not result in a loss of a physical life, it is commonly thought that sex crimes are homicides of the soul and spirit.

It is also the one category of criminal acts that I hear so often from colleagues in the defense bar that they are just unwilling to take such cases. I understand the feeling. In a business that seems so often cold and shallow, it is difficult to separate your own emotions and feelings when you are faced with representing a defendant who is accused of doing something to someone that you experienced yourself or that someone close to you experienced; or someone is accused of doing something to a child, and you have a child of a similar age, or a niece or nephew. Attorneys are not robots. At the same time, our justice system fails if we decide that due process and Constitutional rights do not extend to those accused of committing the most horrific crimes. So we at Robinson Law do take on these cases.

Most people are aware that the Commonwealth of Virginia is recognized as the state for lovers. But few people know why. “Virginia is for Lovers” was launched in 1969 by Virginia’s tourism industry, which considered younger generations as its target market. The baby boomers were known for their sense of adventure and “love” of life and peace, hence the reasoning behind the slogan.

But what most people don’t know about Virginia is that it’s notorious for having some of the most comical, archaic laws in the country. In fact, there are so many, I had difficulty narrowing this list down. While none of these laws are enforced today, some are still technically on the books.

1. It’s illegal to tickle women. Please be a lover, not a tickler.

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