October 3, 2011 By Stephen Klarich

Recently in San Bernadino, a fifteen year old was accused of committing a lewd act upon a child and an attempted lewd act on a child. The victim in the case was three years old. At trial, the Judge deemed the three year old victim was unavailable as a witness at trial due to her young age. Therefore, the victim’s mother was allowed to testify and testified on behalf of the prosecution. The victim’s mother explained that the defendant pulled victim’s pants down and touched the victim’s private area. Additionally, a police officer who had responded to the location of the crime interviewed the defendant. During the interview the defendant confessed to the officer that he had kissed the victim’s vagina. After hearing arguments, the court determined that the victim’s statements would be admitted into evidence under Evidence Code section 1228. Subsequently, the court sustained both counts in the petition and ordered the defendant to be placed on probation and participate in a sexual offender program.

The Court of Appeal affirmed. Under section 1228, any out of court statements of a child victim of a sex crime are admitted under certain specific conditions. Specifically, these conditions include the victim’s statement was made before a confession by the defendant, and that there were no significant inconsistencies between the defendant’s confession and the child victim’s statements.

If a person is convicted of a specified sex crime, terms of probation may include lifetime registration as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code section 290. Jessica’s Law was introduced in California as part of Proposition 83 in November 2006. The intent of Proposition 83 is to strengthen and improve the laws that punish and control sexual offenders. Penal Code section 290 provides that a person who has been convicted of a sex crime must, for his or her entire life, register with the local police of the city he or she is residing in. As a result of Proposition 83, California placed residency restriction on sex offenders who are released on parole after serving time in jail. Therefore, individuals who register pursuant to Penal Code section 290, will be restricted from living in certain areas. People subject to sex offender registration can not live within 2000 feet of a school, park or area where children gather.

If you or a loved one is facing a charge of sexual assault or lewd or lascivious acts, it is important that you speak with an experienced San Bernardino sex crimes attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling all types of sex crimes cases. Our attorneys will fully inform you of your options as they navigate through the ramifications of Jessica’s Law. Call us today at (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.

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