Continuously sexually abusing a child is against the law in the state of California. Individuals may face charges for this action under Penal Code 288.5. This charge is a felony in California.
A conviction under PC 288.5 could result in prison time and high fines. This charge may also lead to your mandatory registry as a sex offender in California.
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child Charges in California
Child sexual abuse includes all acts of child molestation. Engaging in sexual activity with someone under the age of 18 could lead to child sexual abuse charges in California. PC 288.5 deals with child sexual abuse. To be convicted of this charge, an individual:
Must Have Had Access to the Minor
Individuals must have had regular contact with a minor to face PC 288.5 charges. This charge can apply if the individual lives in the same place as the minor. It could also apply if the individual is the minor’s teacher.
Must Have Engaged in a Sexual Act with the Minor on Three Prior Occasions
PC 288.5 is used to prosecute ongoing acts of sexual abuse. An individual must commit at least three acts of sexual abuse to face this charge. Sexual conduct may include:
- Penetration of the vagina
- Penetration of the rectum
- Oral copulation
An individual may use a foreign object to carry out the penetration. The use of a foreign object is still considered a sex act in California. Additionally, at least three months must pass from the time of the first act of abuse to the time of the final act of abuse.
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Penalties for the Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child in California
PC 288.5 represents a felony-level offense in California. The results of a conviction under PC 288.5 may be very severe. Individuals could end up paying court fines and restitution to the victim. A conviction could also lead to up to 16 years in prison.
Additionally, PC 288.5 convictions result in a “strike” on an individual’s record. California is a three-strike state. Individuals face increased amounts of prison time if they have past strikes on their record and are accused of additional felonies.
Further, all individuals convicted under PC 28835 must register as sex offenders. The continuous sexual abuse of a child results in a lifelong sex offender registry. Individuals must update their registration each year and every time they move.
Failure to register as a sex offender is a criminal act in California. It may lead to additional time behind bars and fines. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you learn more about how to fight failure to register as a sex offender charges. Find out more by calling (310) 997-4688.
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Defenses Available to You Under PC 288.5
You have defenses available to you under PC 288.5. A sex crimes lawyer in Los Angeles can argue that:
The Abuse Involved a Child Over 14
PC 288.4 charges only apply if the sexual abuse involved a child under the age of 14. A lawyer could argue the facts related to a child’s age. However, you may still face charges for the sexual abuse of a minor if the child was under the age of 18.
The Abuse Occurred Less than Three Times
There must be at least three acts of abuse to lead to a PC 288.5 conviction. Additionally, these acts of abuse cannot all take place at the same time. They must be spread out over a period of three months for PC 288.5 charges to apply.
No Sexual Abuse Occurred
PC 288.5 only forbids the sexual abuse of children. Other types of physical touching should not lead to a PC 288.5 conviction. A lawyer can help you show that you did not touch a child in a sexually explicit manner.
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Fight Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child Charges with the Simmrin Law Group
Penal Code 288.5 is a felony offense in California. A conviction for the continuous sexual abuse of a child can lead to fines and prison time. You may also face other related sex crime charges under California law. The Simmrin Law Group can help you handle these charges. Find out how by contacting us at (310) 997-4688. You may also fill out our online contact form.
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