Child Molestation and Sex Abuse: Penal Code Section 288 and 288.5

Penal Code Section 288 and 288.5 defines child molestation as any sexual touching (sexual intercourse not required) of a minor under 14 years of age.

The consequences of conviction for such a crime include 3-8 years in prison per count, parole, sex offender registration for life, and substantial fines.

Child Pornography: Penal Code Section 311.11
and United States Code Title18

Most pornography is lawful under the rights granted by the first amendment of the United States Constitution, however Child Pornography is unlawful when it depicts actual or simulated sexual conduct by an individual under the age of 18, or it depicts the lascivious exhibition of the pubic area of such an individual.

Courts have held that such material may be unlawful even if it is not legally “obscene” and does not involve actual nudity. Penal Code Section 311.11 applies to California Superior Court prosecutions, while the United States Code Title 18 is used for federal court cases in Los Angeles.

The government will seek substantial jail or prison time in such cases, and require sex crime registration for life.

Internet Sex Crimes

When a suspect chats with someone he or she considers to be underage, in a sexually provocative manner, numerous state and federal criminal violations occur. The government may charge the suspect with attempting to lure or provoke a child to commit a sexual act or disseminating sexually-explicit material that may be harmful to children including Child Pornography. The Internet has become a means to investigate these crimes because of its ability to hide the identity of the perpetrator and the police, posing as a potential victim.

The government will seek substantial jail or prison time in such cases, and require sex crime registration for life.

Lewd Conduct: Penal Code Section 647(a)

Penal Code Section 647(a) defines Lewd Conduct as the touching or displaying of the genitals, buttocks or female breasts with the intent of achieving sexual arousal or gratification. These acts are illegal when done in a lewd or lascivious manner in a public place where a third party may be offended by its viewing.

Indecent Exposure: Penal Code Section 314

Penal Code Section 314 is a similar and related criminal law provision, which makes it unlawful for a person to expose his/her person or his/her private parts in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby.

The consequences of conviction for such a crime include one year in the County Jail per count, probation, sex offender registration for life, and substantial fines. Sentencing for Lewd Conduct and Indecent Exposure may be enhanced when the defendant has a prior conviction on his or her record.

Prostitution or Solicitation for Sex: Penal Code Section 647(b)

Penal Code Section 647(b) can be violated in two different ways: (1) solicitation, or offering compensation for sexual services or (2) engaging in the act of prostitution.

The consequences of conviction for such a crime one year in the County Jail per count, probation, AIDS counseling and testing, stay away orders, and substantial fines. If the accused has a prior conviction, the prosecution can seek increased jail time.

Rape: Penal Code Section 261

Penal Code Section 261 defines Forcible Rape as sexual intercourse with an alleged victim without consent. Even if no physical force is used, rape charges may be pursued by the prosecution where the victim is intoxicated or physically or mentally disabled to provide lawful consent. Other criminal charges also may be prosecuted alleging forcible sex acts, including violations of Penal Code Section 288 and 289 such as sodomy, rape using a foreign object, or forced oral copulation. Date Rape, or Rape using alcohol or GHB, or other substances, may also be prosecuted as violations of Penal Code Section 261 by the District Attorney’s Office.

The consequences of conviction for such a crime include 3-8 years in prison per count of Rape, probation, sex offender registration for life, and substantial fines.

Rape sentencing may be enhanced if the defendant used a weapon in the commission of the crime, caused great bodily injury, or has a prior conviction on his or her record. Rape is considered a violent offense under the Penal Code, and will is a “strike” offence. If you or your loved one is facing Forcible Rape charges, and have a prior strike conviction, it is crucial that you obtain experienced legal counsel.

Statutory Rape: Penal Code Section 261.5

Penal Code Section 261.5 defines Statutory Rape as sexual intercourse with an alleged victim under the age of eighteen.

The consequences of conviction depends on the age difference between the alleged victim and suspect. A prison sentence is likely when the difference in age is ten years or more. Other consequences from a Statutory Rape conviction include probation, sex offender registration for life, and substantial fines.

Sexual Battery: Penal Code Section 243.4

The crime is defined as an unlawful sexual touching, without consent, of any person by using force, restraint, intoxication, or upon someone who is mental or physically disabled. The touching must be done with the purpose of causing sexual arousal or abuse.

The consequences of conviction for such a crime include one year in the County Jail per count, probation, sex offender registration for life, and fines.

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