The Word Of One Young Child Is Sufficient To Have An Adult Arrested And Convicted Of A Sex Crime (Penal Code Section 288)
Many people do not realize the power children have in our criminal justice system. We are often asked “Can a person be arrested solely on the accusation of a six year old child?” The answer to that question is that not only can the adult be arrested for a serious crime but can also be found guilty and go to prison solely on the word of a child.
As one might expect most sexual molestation cases occur when the only two people that are present are the adult and the minor. There is often no physical evidence to either support or attack the allegation made by the minor that he or she was molested. The accused in most cases vehemently denies that the molestation took place. In many cases the accused offers an alibi defense that he was not present at the time and location where the minor said the molestation occurred. Further in some cases, the defense calls expert witnesses to testify that the accused has no sexual interest in young children.
However, even in light of all of the defense testimony mentioned above, if the jury believes the testimony of the young alleged victim, that is sufficient to support a conviction for child molestation. What this means is that in California the testimony of “one witness alone” is sufficient to support a criminal conviction for any offense. The jury is told that they should consider the demeanor of the witness when testifying, all of the facts that the witness testifies to, any motive the witness might have to testify falsely and many other factors in deciding if the witness is believable.
Every day in California those accused of sexual molestation are found guilty by jurors of sexual molestation of a minor based upon the word of a young child. So long as the court is satisfied that the minor child is old enough to know the difference between the truth and a lie, they “qualify” as a witness in a court of law.
After a person is found guilty of child molestation they face serving many years in state prison (and sometimes even life sentences). In addition, when they are released from prison they must register as a sex offender per Penal Code Section 290. In reality the defendant who is convicted of child molestation in California in 2013 has their life destroyed forever.
Based upon the law that exists in California if you or a loved one finds themselves accused of a sexual offense or any crime where a child is the main witness for the prosecution you should immediately retain the services of a highly experienced criminal defense law firm. Wallin and Klarich has been successfully representing clients accused of sex crimes for over 30 years. We have the knowledge of how to win sex cases. We realize how much is at stake for you and your family. Call now at (877) 466-5245 for a consultation. With offices located throughout the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties, we are able to be there for you wherever you happen to live. Call us today, we will get through this together.