Child Molestation Crimes in California
There are many different types of child molestation crimes in California. The following child molestation crimes in California include:
- Penal Code Section 288(a)– Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Under the Age of 14
- Penal Code Section 288(b) – Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Minor by Force or Fear
- Penal Code Section 288(c) – Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Age 14 or 15
- Penal Code Section 647.6 – Annoying or Molesting a Child
- Penal Code Section 288a – Oral Copulation with a Minor
- Penal Code Section 288.4 – Soliciting a Minor for Lewd Purposes
- Penal Code Section 288.5 – Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
- Penal Code Section 288.7 – Sex with a Child Under the Age of 10
- Penal Code Section 290 – Sex Offender Registration
PC 288(a) Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Under the Age of 14
PC 288(a) Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Under the Age of 14: Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act upon, or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a lewd or lascivious act against a child (PC 288(a)).
Elements of the Crime of Child Molestation Under Penal Code Section 288(a)
Child molestation charges are normally filed as Lewd Acts with a Child. To be charged with child molestation the prosecutor will have to establish that:
- Defendant touched or fondled the alleged victim with the purpose of achieving sexual arousal or gratification.
- It is not necessary to prove you actually touched the child’s sexual organs; the contact may have been through clothing. All that is necessary is that the contact was intentional and that it was sexual in nature.
What Does Lewd and Lascivious Act Mean?
Lewd and lascivious act means an inappropriate sexual touching. The touching can be either when the minor is touched by the defendant, or when the defendant is touched by the minor as directed or forced by the defendant. The touching does not have to be skin to skin contact. As such, even if the child molestation charges involves allegations that the defendant touched a minor over the clothes.
Specific Intent to Sexually Arouse The Defendant or The Child
Unless the touching is made by the defendant with the specific intent to sexually arouse the defendant or the child, touching a child, even in a child’s private area, is not a lewd and lascivious act. If the defendant’s touching is for the purpose of sexual arousal, then the touching is a lewd and lascivious act regardless of where touching occurs.
Penalties for a Conviction of Child Molestation in California
Penalties for child molestation charges are severe and long-lasting and may include fines, prison, and a lifetime of stigma with the added penalty of having to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
The stakes are high if you have been accused of child molestation in California. Consequently, it is important that you seek legal representation from an experienced Los Angeles child molestation criminal defense lawyer with a solid track record in the defense of those accused of child molestation, child abuse, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and other crimes that involve children.
Starting over after a child molestation allegation or conviction is difficult at best; therefore, you want to make sure that your case is handled quickly and well if you are charged with the crime. Contacting a qualified Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer like R.J. Manuelian will speed your case along and provide you with the experienced representation you want to go into court with.