In 1960, you worked as a caretaker at an institution for mentally disabled children. Your job responsibilities included teaching the children, feeding them, and monitoring their hygiene. Now, you are being confronted with accusations that you and another staff member acted in concert to rape one of the children. Can you be prosecuted for a sexual offense that allegedly occurred decades ago? Will the statute of limitations bar the prosecution?

Sexual Offenses Pursuant to PC 667.61 Are Never Barred by a Statute of Limitations

California Penal Code section 799 states that the “prosecution for an offense punishable by death or by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for life without the possibility of parole, or for the embezzlement of public money, may be commenced at any time.”

The sexual offenses listed under PC 667.61(c) are punishable by life imprisonment upon the occurrence of one or more of the circumstances specified in PC 667.61(d) or two or more of the circumstances specified in PC 661.61(e). As such, these offenses may be charged at any time and are never barred by a statute of limitations. The “one-strike” sexual offenses listed under PC 667.6(c) include the following:

    • Rape or spousal rape that is accomplished against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another (PC 261(a)(2)), PC 262(a)(1);
    • Rape or spousal rape that is accomplished against the victim’s will by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person, and there is a reasonable possibility that the perpetrator will execute the threat (PC 261(a)(6), PC 262(a)(4));
    • Rape, spousal rape, or sexual penetration, in concert (PC 264.1);
    • Lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 years of age by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person (PC 288(b));
    • 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 victim or another person (PC 289(a));
    • Sodomy, while voluntarily acting in concert with another, against the victim’s will by means of force or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person (PC 286(d));
    • Oral copulation, while voluntarily acting in concert with another, against the victim’s will by means of force or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person (PC 288a(d));
    • Continuous sexual abuse of a child (PC 288.5);
    • You have been previously convicted of a sexual offense listed under PC 667.61(c);
    • You kidnapped the victim of the present offense and the movement of the victim substantially increased the risk of harm to the victim over and above that level of risk necessarily inherent in the underlying offense in subdivision PC 667.61(c);
    • You inflicted aggravated mayhem or torture on the victim or another person in the commission of the present sexual offense (PC 205, PC 206);
    • You committed the present sexual offense during the commission of a burglary of the first degree (PC 460(a)); AND
    • You personally inflicted great bodily injury on the victim or another person in the commission of the present sexual offense (PC 12022.53).

The aggravating circumstances listed under PC 667.61(d) are provided below:

    • You have been previously convicted of an offense specified in PC 667.61(c);
    • You kidnapped the victim of the present offense and the movement of the victim substantially increased the risk of harm to the victim over and above that level of risk necessarily inherent in the underlying offense in subdivision (c);
    • You inflicted aggravated mayhem or torture on the victim or another person in the commission of the present offense in violation of PC 205 or PC 206;
    • You committed the present offense during a commission of burglary of the first degree in violation of PC 460(a);
    • You personally inflicted great bodily injury on the victim or another person in the commission of the present offense in violation of PC12022.53, PC 12022.7, or PC 12022.8;
    • You personally inflicted bodily harm on the victim who was under 14 years of age.

The aggravating circumstances enumerated under PC 667.61(e) include the following:

    • You kidnapped the victim of the present offense in violation of PC 207, PC 209, or PC 209.5;
    • You committed the present offense during the commission of a burglary in violation of PC 459;
    • You personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon or a firearm in the commission of the present offense in violation of PC 12022, PC 12022.3, PC 12022.5, or PC 12022.53;
    • You have been convicted in the present case or cases of committing an offense specified in subdivision (c) against more than one victim;
    • You engaged in the tying or binding of the victim or another person in the commission of the present offense;
    • You administered a controlled substance to the victim in the commission of the present offense in violation of Section 12022.75.

If you and another staff member acted in concert to rape one of the children, you may potentially be prosecuted. First, you are accused of violating PC 262(a)(1), which is enumerated under PC 667.61. You may be prosecuted if you committed this act and one of the aggravating circumstances in PC 667.61(d), such as torturing the child. You may also be prosecuted if you committed this act and two of the aggravating circumstances in PC 667.61(e), such as kidnapping and tying the child.

What Wallin & Klarich can do for you

The Law Offices of Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of sex offenses When you retain a Wallin & Klarich attorney, you can expect to be informed of all developments in your case as they occur. At Wallin & Klarich, we have the knowledge to help you understand whether the sexual offense that you are accused of qualifies as an offense under PC 667.61. We will guide you through the entire criminal process until its successful conclusion.

Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks.

Give us a call today at (877) 466-5245 to speak with an experienced sex crimes attorney. We will get through this together.

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