JD Law
Call Today for a free Consultation: 814-954-1094

Assault with a Sexual Weapon - Daughter Hits Mother with Vibrator

I am sure that almost everyone has heard the phrase "assault with a deadly weapon," but few, if any, of us have heard of someone being accused of assault with a sexual weapon. According to a Huffington Post story, a 35-year-old New Mexico woman was arrested for assault after her 60-year-old mother contacted the police and reported that the daughter struck her in the head with a vibrator. When the Albuquerque police responded, they found the mother and noticed that she was bleeding profusely from her head. The mother informed them that she and her daughter had been arguing when her daughter picked up a nearby vibrator and struck her in the head. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, I pay careful attention to a person's story and take note of things that do not make sense or are generally not true. Here, I find it a little odd that the "nearby weapon" was a vibrator as opposed to a pen, spoon, knife, or any other instrument that is routinely found nearby. Then again, this is just a very odd story.

The daughter was not present in the home when the police arrived, but the mother pointed out a nearby truck and told police that the daughter was believed to be in the vehicle. While the police did not find the woman in the truck, they did find that alleged weapon when they observed a vibrator lying on the passenger floor. When the daughter was located, she told police that the mother's head wound had been self-inflicted by the sex toy. Not so surprisingly, the police did not believe that the mother hit herself in the head with the vibrator, so the daughter was arrested and charged with assault and battery.

Pennsylvania Assault Charges - What is a Deadly Weapon?

Had this incident happened in Pennsylvania, the daughter would definitely have been charged with a misdemeanor Simple Assault offense under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2701(a)(1) for causing a bodily injury to the mother. It is also possible that the daughter could have been charged with a felony offense of Aggravated Assault under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2702(a)(4), which prohibits a person from attempting to cause or causing a bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. The mother clearly suffered a bodily injury, but the issue would be whether or not the vibrator was a "deadly weapon." The Pennsylvania definition of "deadly weapon" includes not only firearms or other devices that are designed as weapons and capable of causing death or serious bodily injury but also "any other device or instrumentality which, in the manner in which it is used or intended to be used, is calculated or likely to produce death or serious bodily injury." Here, the vibrator, like a common pen or brick, is generally not a weapon, but such an object could be used to cause a serious bodily injury or death.

If this case happened in Centre County, I would not be surprised if the police or prosecutor filed a felony Aggravated Assault charge and argued that the vibrator was a deadly weapon under the facts and circumstances of this case. The Centre County District Attorney would probably concede that their case was not overly strong on whether or not the sex weapon was a deadly weapon. A jury could readily find that the vibrator was not a deadly weapon, in which case the jury would find the daughter not guilty of Aggravated Assault but would be guilty of Simple Assault. The difference between Aggravated Assault and Simple Assault is substantial as a person convicted of the felony is subject to much more severe collateral consequences for a conviction and is likely to be sentenced to jail time. A person convicted of misdemeanor Simple Assault may still be sentenced to jail time, but the sentence length for Aggravated Assault would be much longer. An entire case rises and falls over whether or not a jury believes that a vibrator was a deadly weapon.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information