Certain sex crimes, also known as sexual assault or sexual battery, are prosecuted in the State of California through Penal Code 243.4. California Penal Code 243.4 makes it unlawful to touch another person’s intimate parts, either directly or through clothing, if the touching is unwanted. According to Penal Code 243.4, intimate parts are “sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, and the breast of a female.”
Proving Sexual Battery
There are several factors that must be true in a case for the prosecution to prove that sexual battery took place, and the defendant’s actions clearly went against the state’s sexual assault laws, as defined in California Penal Code 243.4. First, a prosecutor must prove that the defendant touched the intimate parts of the victim, and the victim was restrained. The prosecutor must also show that the touching was unwanted by the victim. Additionally, the prosecutor must prove the defendant performed the touching for his or her own sexual gratification. All three of these factors must be proven for the defendant to be convicted of a sex crime.
Sexual Battery Penalties
Sexual assault in the State of California may be charged as misdemeanor sexual battery or felony sexual battery, based on the circumstances surrounding the incident. If a defendant is convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery, he or she could receive a six month sentence to jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000, in accordance with California Penal Code 243.4. The code also allows for a $3,000 fine for a misdemeanor conviction if the sexual assault was done by the victim’s boss at the time. An individual convicted of felony sexual battery could face a one-year jail sentence and/or a $2,000 fine, as defined in Penal Code 243.4. A conviction of felony sexual battery could result in a range of additional consequences, as well.
Sexual Battery Defenses
If you have been charged with sexual assault, under California Penal Code 243.4, or a loved one has been charged, there are several defenses a skilled criminal defense attorney could raise in court on one’s behalf. It is beneficial to contact a defense lawyer very familiar with Penal Code 243.4 before going through the court process to discuss your options. One defense that could be raised on your behalf would be that the alleged victim actually consented to the touching and/or was never constrained during the encounter. If the defense can prove that sexual contact did not violate the victim’s will, the prosecutor may be unable to prove sexual battery too place. A criminal defense attorney may also argue that insufficient evidence exists for the defendant to be convicted of sexual assault. Furthermore, a defense lawyer may be able to prove the allegations of sexual battery were false or the defendant did not do the touching for his or her own sexual pleasure.