Can You Be Charged with Child Molestation Without Touching a Child? (PC 647.6)
There are often differences between what the law states and what the public understands the law to be. For example, when most people hear the phrase “child molestation,” they think of an incident involving the inappropriate touching of a child. However, you could be convicted of this crime without ever touching a child.
Definition of Child Molestation (PC 647.6)
California Penal Code Section 647.6 prohibits any person from “annoying or molesting” another person under the age of 18. This crime is committed when you:
- Direct your conduct at a minor (a person who is under the age of 18 at the time of the act) or a group of minors
- Engage in conduct likely to disturb or irritate a minor, and
- You were motivated to do so by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the child or in children
So, this means you do not have to touch the minor to be convicted of annoying or molesting a child. For example, the act of asking a minor to perform sexual acts with you is enough for you to be charged with this crime, even if none of the parties attempted to perform the act.
Defending Against Child Molestation Charges
In order to convict you of the crime of child molestation under PC 647.6, the prosecution must prove all of the above elements were true in your case.
One element that is difficult for the prosecution to prove is that your conduct was likely to annoy or molest a minor. The prosecution must prove that your conduct would normally cause a reasonable person to feel disturbed, irritated, offended or injured.
This means that the conduct does not have to be sexual in nature. For example, there is nothing inherently sexual about repeatedly asking a group of teenagers for their phone numbers, but the prosecution could prove the element of the crime by showing it would be a normal reaction of a reasonable person to be disturbed or annoyed by the request.
The most difficult element of this crime for the prosecution to prove is that the conduct was motivated by an “unnatural or abnormal sexual interest.” It is difficult to prove this because you are the only one who knows your own motivations. However, the prosecution will attempt to prove this element is true by bringing up any past interactions with or crimes you committed against children.
An experienced child molestation attorney will take many steps to attempt to show that this element of the crime is not true. The first step is to have you undergo a psychological evaluation with a medical expert. This could show that you do not fit the sexual profile of someone who would likely commit this crime.
Contact the Child Molestation Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
Child molestation is a serious crime, and you could be facing years in custody and expensive fines if you are convicted. That is why you should contact an experienced child molestation attorney immediately if you are accused of this crime. Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients accused of sex crimes. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal lawyer available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.