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Under California Penal Code 288, it is a felony for a person to willfully commit a lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14. A violation of this section is taken very seriously and if convicted, it is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to 8 years. Further, pursuant to Penal Code section 290, there is a requirement for life-time registration as a sex-offender.
- To prove an individual guilty of lewd act with a child under the age of 14, the prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The accused willfully touched any part of the child's body;
- The touching was committed with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of himself or the child; and
- The child was under the age of 14 at the time of the act.
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If you are under investigation for a sexual offense such as molestation, sexual child abuse, lewd act with a child or any other form of sex crime, it is important that you understand your rights. There are often cases of mistaken identity involved with arrests for sexual crimes and sometimes the accuser could be mistaken or lying. Sometimes, a third party such as a parent or relative could be coaching the accuser into reporting a sexual act that never occurred, or the contact was accidental. False accusations and wrongful charges are, unfortunately, often reported.
Because of so many varying factors that could lead someone to being accused of a criminal sexual act, it is of the outmost importance that you exercise your Miranda Rights. Anything you say to the police can and will be used against you in court. It may be a confusing and upsetting time and in your intent to cooperate with the police you may say something that could negatively affect the outcome of your case.
You are innocent until proven guilty, and although police and investigators will be trying their hardest to gather evidence against you, it may be of your best interest to remain silent and contact a top Murrieta criminal attorney.
If you have been accused of sexual child abuse, lewd or lascivious act with a child or child molestation in Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Banning, Perris, Corona, Winchester or Riverside, you need the assistance of an effective and experienced criminal defense attorney.
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