California Penal Code Section 288.7 has two subsections: Section 2887(a) pertains to engaging in sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child under ten (10) years old, while Section 2887(b) specifically addresses oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child under ten (10) years old.
When a defendant is arrested for sexual intercourse, sexual penetration, oral copulation, or sodomy of a child under ten (10) years old, the defendant will suffer many consequences. These collateral consequences include, but are not limited to, the following: negative military service and professional licensing consequences, driving privileges lost or suspended (if allegations include the use of the defendant’s vehicle), reputation damage, and more.
The definitions provided in this code section are useful for understanding the specific terms used in relation to sexual activity described within the code:
- Sexual intercourse: Sexual intercourse involves a man inserting his penis into a woman’s vagina, regardless of how shallow the penetration may be. Sexual penetration refers to any form of penetration into the vagina without the use of a man’s penis, excluding oral copulation (i.e., penetration using an object or any body part other than the defendant’s).
- Sodomy: Sodomy is a sexual act involving contact between one person’s penis and another person’s anus. Any form of sexual penetration, no matter how minimal, is considered sufficient to constitute the crime of sodomy PC 286(a).
- Oral copulation: Oral copulation refers to the act of one person using their mouth to engage in sexual activity with another person’s sexual organ or anus (PC 287(a).
- Sexual penetration: Sexual penetration encompasses the act of causing penetration, even if it is slight, of the genital or anal opening of any person. It also includes causing another person to penetrate the defendant’s or another person’s genital or anal opening using any foreign object, substance, instrument, device, or unknown object, with the intention of achieving sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse (PC 289(k)(1)).
To secure a conviction under Penal Code 288.7 in California, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The defendant engaged in sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child who is 10 years of age or younger.
– Sexual intercourse refers to vaginal penetration.
– Sodomy refers to oral or anal intercourse.
- The defendant was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense.
Here are some additional important points to know about California Penal Code 288.7:
- Age limit: The law applies to child victims who have not yet turned 11 years old. It specifically includes children who are 10 years of age or younger. If the child is older, different laws will apply.
- Consent defense: In cases under Penal Code 288.7, consent is not a valid defense. This means that even if the child appeared to give consent or agreed to engage in the sexual act, it is legally irrelevant. California law states that individuals under the age of 18 cannot provide legal consent.
- Intent requirement: The prosecution does not need to prove criminal or malicious intent to secure a conviction under this law. It is sufficient for them to present evidence that the sexual act occurred. The focus of the law is the act itself rather than the defendant’s intention.
The penalties for Sexual Acts with a Child Under 10 in California vary depending on the specific crime committed. The two main offenses covered by the law are:
Penal Code 288.7(a)
Sodomy with a minor under 10, which involves sexual penetration of the genitals or rectum. If found guilty, the offender will face a felony charge with the following penalties:
- 25 years to life in the California State Prison.
- Required registration as a lifetime sex offender.
For more detailed information about sodomy, you can refer to California Penal Code 286.
Penal Code 288.7(b)
Oral copulation or penetration with a minor under 10, which covers sexual intercourse with a foreign object or oral sex involving an adult and a minor under 10. If convicted, the offender will face a felony charge with the following penalties:
- 15 years to life in the California State Prison.
- Required registration as a lifetime sex offender.
For more detailed information about oral copulation, you can refer to California Penal Code 288a, and for sexual penetration, you can refer to California Penal Code 289.
Important: Crimes classified under Penal Code 288.7 are considered “super strike” offenses in California. This means that regardless of any prior “strike” convictions, if applicable, individuals convicted under PC 288.7 will receive a sentence of life in prison.
Both PC 288.7(a) and PC 288.7(b) are classified as serious and violent offenses according to California law. These classifications are defined under PC 1192.7 and PC 667.5, respectively. As a result, individuals convicted under these provisions are not eligible for sentence reductions or benefits under Proposition 57. Additionally, any “good time credits” earned by the defendant while in prison will be limited to a maximum of fifteen percent (15%).
How To Fight Charges Under Penal Code 288.7
Law enforcement commonly uses three techniques to establish connections with violations of the code section. These include out-of-custody interrogations, lie detector tests, and pretext calls. These techniques can lead individuals to confess to crimes of having sexual intercourse with a child under 10, even if they are innocent. It is crucial to be aware of these tactics and seek legal advice when dealing with such situations. A criminal defense attorney employs various legal strategies to challenge charges under this particular code section. These strategies include demonstrating the following:
- The alleged “victim” was 10 years old or older: This code section specifically applies to children under the age of 10. Therefore, it can be a valid defense for the accused to prove that the individual involved was 10 years old or older, negating the applicability of the statute.
- The contact with the child was not of a sexual nature: The offense outlined in this statute pertains to sexual acts with children. However, it is not a crime to have innocent or non-sexual contact with a child. Therefore, the defense can argue that any contact or touching that occurred was not sexual in nature and does not fall under the scope of this statute.
- The accuser made a false accusation: There are instances where a child may falsely accuse someone due to confusion or manipulation. Factors such as unfamiliarity with the defendant, the circumstances of the alleged incident, age of the child, or external influence can contribute to false accusations. In such cases, the defense can present evidence to prove that the accused was wrongly blamed.
- A commonly used defense strategy in PC 288.7 cases is the involvement of defense forensic interview psychologists. These professionals help the jury understand that statements made by the child against the defendant may have been coerced or unreliable. They explain how the way young children are questioned can lead to inaccurate statements, such as repeating what other children say, asking biased questions, asking multiple questions at once, leading the child with suggestions, or being confrontational.
- Another popular defense strategy in PC 288.7 cases is presenting medical reports and experts. This involves showing that the alleged sexual penetration described by the prosecution does not match the findings in the medical report, or that there is no DNA evidence linking the defendant to the alleged crime.
By utilizing these strategies, our defense law firm aims to challenge the charges and cast doubt on the validity of the prosecution’s case.
A conviction under this statute can have significant immigration consequences due to it being classified as a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT). Non-citizens who are found guilty of a CIMT can face deportation or be deemed inadmissible into the country. It is essential for non-citizens facing charges under PC 288.7 to be aware of these potential immigration consequences. If you or someone you know is charged with this crime, it is strongly advisable that you also consult with an immigration lawyer. If you do not have or know of an immigration lawyer, the Tabibnia Law Firm can refer you to one.
Can A Person Get A Conviction Expunged?
In California, certain offenses, such as sex offenses committed against children, are generally not eligible for expungement. Sexual offenses involving minors are taken extremely seriously, and the law aims to protect the welfare and safety of children.
Sex Offender Registration
According to Penal Code 290 PC, a person convicted of California Penal Code 288.7 is required to register as a sex offender. The registration is mandatory and is a lifetime requirement for tier-three sex offenders. Under the Sex Offender Registration Act, convicted individuals must initially register with the local law enforcement agency. Additionally, they are required to update their information annually with the same agency.
- Penal Code 288 PC – Lewd acts on a child
- Penal Code 288a PC – Oral copulation on a minor
- Penal Code 288.2 PC – Send harmful matter to a minor
- Penal Code 288.3 PC – Contact a minor to commit a felony
- Penal Code 288.4 PC – Arrange a meeting with a minor
- Penal Code 288.5 PC – Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Penal Code 287 PC – Oral copulation with a minor
- Penal Code 261.5 PC – Statutory rape
- Penal Code 647.6 PC – Annoying or molesting a child
- Penal Code 311.1 PC – Child pornography
- Penal Code 207/209 PC – Kidnapping
Speak With Criminal Defense Lawyer From Tabibnia Law Firm
If you are seeking more information regarding the crimes of sexual intercourse, sexual penetration, oral copulation, or sodomy with a child who is ten years old or younger (PC288.7(a)-F & PC288.7(b)-F), we recommend reaching out to our sex crimes criminal defense lawyer. Our highly experienced lawyer from Tabibnia Law Firm has successfully handled numerous misdemeanor and felony sex crime cases in Los Angeles County and other areas of southern California. Call 866-713-2159