What Does the Prosecution have to Prove in Order to Convict a Defendant of Sexual Molestation? – California Penal Code Section 288(a)

Sexual molestation is a serious charge. California Penal Code Section 288(a) provides that any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body… of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony. In other words, it is a crime to perform a lewd or lascivious act on a child under the age of 14. If you are charged with child molestation, it is important that you talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

In order to prove that the defendant is guilty child molestation, the prosecution must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully touched any part of a child’s body either on the bare skin or through the clothing; OR
  1. (B) The defendant willfully caused a child to touch (his/her) own body, the defendant’s body, or the body of someone else, either on the bare skin or through the clothing;
  2. The defendant committed the act with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of (himself/herself) or the child; AND
  3. The child was under the age of 14 years at the time of the act.

The touching need not be done in a lewd or sexual manner. Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage. Actually arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of the perpetrator or the child is not required. It is not a defense that the child may have consented to the act. A conviction can lead to imprisonment for up to 8 years in state prison.

Defending one charged with sexual molestation can be complex. It is critical that you talk to an experienced Southern California criminal defense attorney if you are charged with child molestation. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling these cases. We will aggressively defend your rights and fight to get the best possible result in your case. Call us today at (888) 749-0034 or visit us on our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call. The stakes are simply too high not to.

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About Stephen Klarich

Stephen Klarich is a partner at Wallin & Klarich and expert in the field of sex crimes. For over thirty years, Stephen Klarich has been handling criminal cases and matters involving sex offenses. With an unparalleled knowledge of sex crimes defense, Stephen Klarich protects his clients’ rights. Stephen Klarich has experienced significant success in obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon for his clients. Thousands of clients have put their trust in Stephen Klarich and the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich in their time of legal need.

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