It was recently reported that the California Court of Appeal held that a trial court is required to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of battery when a defendant is on trial for child molest. Under California law, Penal Code section 288(a) states that it is unlawful for any person to willfully commit any lewd or lascivious act, including 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.
How Can You Be Charged With Battery and Child Molestation at the Same Time?
The Court argued that any lesser included offense that is supported by the evidence must be presented to the jury at trial. Under California law, battery is described as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. The court determined that any touching of a child committed for the purposes of sexual arousal would also be a touching that is harmful or offensive; therefore, it is a battery. As such, every lewd act under Penal Code section 288(a) is a battery and battery is a lesser included offense of a lewd act.
Prosecution of Child Molestation Charges
A criminal charge of Penal Code section 288(a) is extremely serious since a conviction will mean lifetime registration as a sex offender. That is why it is important to hire an experienced Southern California sex crimes attorney if you are charged with this crime. However, for the prosecutor to convict you of committing this crime, the prosecutor must show the prosecutor must show that (1) defendant willfully touched any part of a child’s body either on the bare skin or through the clothing; (2) the defendant committed the act with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of (himself/herself) or the child; and (3) the child was under the age of 14 years at the time of the act.
Call the Experienced Sex Crimes Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is facing a charge of sexual assault or lewd or lascivious acts, it is important that you speak with an experienced San Bernardino sex crimes attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling all types of sex crimes cases. Our attorneys will fully inform you of your options as they navigate through the ramifications of Jessica’s Law. Call us today at (877) 466-5245 or visit us at www.wksexcrimes.com. We will be there when you call.