Child molestation crimes are taken very seriously in California. There is a certain stigma involved with these cases due to the nature of the crime and the act against minors.
If you are convicted of child molestation, not only do you face severe criminal penalties, but your personal and professional life can also be devastated permanently.
Child molestation cases hold a certain stigma to them as the victim, in these cases, is not only a person but an underage human being who is unable to or partially able to understand and survive in the society without a mentor/parent.
However, every child molestation case differs greatly based on factors such as the age of the victim and the act. In fact, there are several different crimes that encompass child molestation in California. Following are the different types of child molestation crimes:
Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Minor (PC 288)
According to California Penal Code Section 288, a lewd or lascivious act against a minor is defined as touching any part of the body (bare or covered skin) of a minor or forcing the minor to touch him or herself or you for the purposes of sexually arousing or gratifying yourself or the victim. Penal Code Section 288 consists of three subsections:
288(a) Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child Under the Age of 14: To be convicted under California Penal Code Section 288(a), the prosecution has to prove that you touched a part of a child’s body or caused the child to touch his/her body to gain any sexual pleasures. In order to be convicted under Penal Code Section 288(a), the victim must be under the age of 14.
A conviction for this crime carries up to eight years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
288(b) Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Minor by Force or Fear: If you are convicted of lewd acts with a minor by use of force, fear or threat, you face up to 10 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine under California Penal Code Section 288(b).
288(c) Lewd or Lascivious Acts with a Child of Age 14 or 15: To be charged under California Penal Code Section 288(c), the prosecution must prove that you made physical contact with a child 14 or 15 years of age, and that the contact was done for sexual arousal or gratification. This crime carries a sentence of up to one year in county jail. If you are 10 years older than the victim, you face more serious consequences, including up to three years in state prison.
Annoying or Molesting a Child (PC 647.6)
California Penal Code Section 647.6: Under PC 647.6, it is a crime to molest or annoy a child under the age of 18. In order to convict you of this crime, the prosecution must prove that the victim is a minor and the behavior of the accused was motivated due to an unusual sexual interest in the minor.
If you are convicted of annoying or molesting a child, your punishment depends on how you are charged. If you are convicted of felony child molestation, you face up to three years in state prison.. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you face up to 364 days in county jail.
Sex with a Child Under Age of 10 (PC 288.7(a))
California Penal Code Section 288.7(a): Under this law, it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with a child under the age of 10. If you are convicted of this crime, you face 25 years to life in state prison.
Contact a Child Molestation Attorney Today
Child molestation cases are taken very seriously in California.. If you are convicted of this crime, your entire life could be destroyed. That is why you should not hesitate to contact an attorney immediately if you are accused of child molestation. Your attorney will help you attempt to obtain a favorable result in your case.