Forcible Sexual Penetration with a Foreign or Unknown Object – Penal Code Section 289 (PC 289)
In California, district attorneys have an incredibly low tolerance for sex-related crimes. In 2012, of all the charges filed by the DA’s office, over one-third of the cases reported on the DA’s Media Advisory website were sex offenses.1 The severity of such charges could be absolutely devastating to your future. Therefore, it is imperative that you do not hesitate to contact an experienced sex crimes attorney to properly represent you if you are accused of sex offense.
One of the most common sex crimes in California is forcible penetration with a foreign object. This crime carries severe consequences that could impact you for the rest of your life. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have more than 35 years of experience successfully helping persons accused of sex crimes such as forcible penetration with a foreign object. If you’ve been accused of this crime, call us today so we can begin the preparation necessary for your defense.
Also, read on to learn more about the charges that have been filed against you. As you read on, the experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich explain what you can expect if you have been accused of forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object under California Penal Code Section 289.
Definition of Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object Under PC 289
Forcible penetration with a foreign object is essentially a type of rape crime in California (PC 289)2 It is defined as an act of sexual penetration when the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the accuser or another person.
Possible scenarios for committing this offense include:
- The accused person forcibly penetrated the victim
- The accused person forced the victim to penetrate himself or herself, or
- The accused person forced the victim to penetrate the accused person or another third person
You could be convicted under PC 289 for simply attempting to commit any of the acts mentioned above. However, the intent to perform these acts is often more difficult for the prosecution to prove, especially when the accused person is represented by a skilled and experienced sex crimes attorney.
How is Sexual Penetration Defined Under Penal Code 289?
In order to better understand the crime of forcible penetration of a foreign object, you must fully comprehend the elements of this crime. That means you need to understand how this law defines the act of “sexual penetration.”
As specified under PC 289, sexual penetration is defined as the act of causing the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of any person. This includes the act of causing another person to penetrate the defendant’s or another person’s genital or anal opening for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse by any foreign object, substance, instrument or device, or by any unknown object.
In layman’s terms, the phrase “however slight” means that even the slightest bit of penetration is enough to constitute this crime. In terms of vaginal penetration, for example, mere penetration of the labia is sufficient enough to be charged with this crime.
Prosecution of Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object – PC 289
If the prosecution is able to prove your guilt of this crime, you are facing a serious sentence of several years in prison. However, in order to convict you, there are certain elements of the crime that the prosecution must prove. All of these elements must be proved in order to convict you of the crime.
The elements of forcible penetration with a foreign object under PC 289 that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt are that you:
- Penetrated your victim’s vagina or anus, however slight, and
- Did so by using an unknown object, such as a finger, sex toy or other inanimate object, or even a penis (if the victim did not know it was a penis due to certain mentally constraining circumstances as listed above), and
- Did so by means of force as described above
In order to prove these elements are true, the prosecution will rely on all available evidence, including physical, photographic and eyewitness testimony and police reports.
Many cases involving forcible acts of penetration come down to “he-said / she-said” scenarios where the prosecution relies on the credibility of the accuser. It is common for a defendant to be found guilty based simply on the testimony of the alleged rape victim alone. That is why you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you against these accusations.
What is Considered a Foreign Object Under Penal Code 289?
Under PC 289, it is illegal to forcibly use a foreign object, substance, instrument or device to penetrate the genitals of another person. The most obscure part of this law is defining the term “foreign object.” What exactly is a foreign object?
In this context, PC 289 defines a foreign or unknown object as any foreign object, substance, instrument or device. This means a foreign object can essentially be anything. An unknown object can also include any part of the body, including a penis or finger, only when the object involved in the penetration is unknown by the alleged victim.
This section also applies to the sexual penetration of someone who cannot give necessary consent to such sexual acts because he or she is:
- Too intoxicated, or
- Physically or mentally disabled
In other words, you could be convicted of this crime if you did not have consent to penetrate another person because he or she met any of the above qualifications.
Defenses to Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object
False accusations are common in sex-related crimes and, unfortunately, many innocent people get charged and convicted. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been defending clients accused of sex crimes for more than 35 years. We have represented many people falsely accused of sex crimes. Our lawyers have extensive experience challenging wrongful allegations of forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object. We understand the valid legal defenses to this crime and we can work with you to apply a winning defense strategy to your case.
Some of the defenses we’ve used successfully to defend clients against PC 289 charges include:
- You honestly and reasonably believed your accuser was a willing, consensual participant – If you believed your partner gave you consent to perform the sexual penetration, you may have a valid defense to the charges. However, you must remember that consent is not a defense if the alleged victim was asleep, unconscious, intoxicated or mentally disabled at the time of the incident.
- The accuser is making up false allegations due to other motives – It is very common for people to be falsely accused of sex crimes. Sometimes, a person might accuse a significant other of forcible sexual penetration to get back at them for breaking up with him or her, or a spouse may accuse her soon-to-be ex of this crime during a divorce case to get an upper hand. Your lawyer may be able to show that your accuser has a motive to lie and would make up the accusations.
- Although some touching occurred, there was no sexual penetration involved – If it cannot be proved that you sexually penetrated the alleged victim, you cannot be convicted of the crime of forcible penetration with a foreign object.
Note that not all of these defenses will be available to you in every case. Your sex crimes attorney will work with you to tailor a defense strategy that is tailored to your specific case. That means your lawyer will know which is the best legal defense to use in your case once you have discussed the details of your case with your attorney.
Penalties for Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object
Under Penal Code Section 289, forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object is a felony in California. This means the crime carries severe consequences if you are convicted.
The potential penalties for violating PC 289 include three, six or eight years in state prison.
If the alleged victim of your forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object is a minor, the potential prison sentence you face increases dramatically. The potential penalties for forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object on a minor depend on the circumstances of your case. The consequences include:
- If the victim is 14 years of age or older—Six (6), eight (8) or ten (10) years in state prison; or
- If the victim is under 14—Eight (8), ten (10) or twelve (12) years in state prison
In addition, if you are convicted of violating Penal Code Section 289, you will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life pursuant to California Penal Code Section 290.
Contact an Experienced Attorney at Wallin and Klarich Today
A conviction of forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object will impact you for the rest of your life. Not only do you face years in prison, but you also will have to live with the negative stigma that comes with being a registered sex offender for the rest of your life. That is why you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away if you have been accused of this serious sex crime.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable sex crimes defense lawyers have been successfully defending clients accused of forcible penetration with a foreign object and other serious sex crimes for more than 35 years. We’ve helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now. We can help you challenge the evidence against you and achieve a favorable result in your case. With so much at stake, you can put your trust in the capable hands of our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, our experienced criminal defense lawyers are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL (877-466-5245) for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.