In California, a violation of Penal Codes section 288(a), which defines a lewd or lascivious act upon a child, requires any touching of an underage child accomplished with the intent of arousing the sexual desires of either the perpetrator or the minor. The circumstances of the touching are critical to commission of this crime. It has to be a union of act and sexual intent, where such intent must be inferred from all the circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt. Even hugging or rubbing the minor’s body over her clothes will constitute this offense when committed with the specific intent.
Courts have also held that a defendant need not touch the victim in order to be convicted of lewd or lascivious act upon a child. When the accused, without touching the child, compels the child to remove her own clothing, the person will be guilty of this crime as long as the prosecution can prove that the child’s touching was sexually motivated by the accused. As such, a violation of section 288 requires a person to either touch the body of a child, or willfully cause a child to touch her own body, the body of the accused, or the body of someone else.
If you have been accused of committing a lewd or lascivious act upon a child, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to vigorously represent you. At Wallin & Klarich, we have helped people accused of this crime for over 30 years. Call us today at (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call