Lewd Act with a Child under 14

Published: 08th June 2006
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Lewd Act with a Child under 14

A lewd or lascivious act is defines as any touching of the body of a child under the age of 14 years with the specific intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify the sexual desires of either party. The touching can be against bare skin, or on top of clothing. California Penal Code Section 288 defines what a lewd act with a child under 14 comprises, reading in part:

(a) Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, 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 and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.

(b) (1) Any person who commits an act described in subdivision (a) by use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.

(b) (2) Any person who is a caretaker and commits an act described in subdivision (a) upon a dependent person by use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person, with the intent described in subdivision (a), is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.

(c) (1) Any person who commits an act described in subdivision (a) with the intent described in that subdivision, and the victim is a child of 14 or 15 years, and that person is at least 10 years older than the child, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for one, two, or three years, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year. In determining whether the person is at least 10 years older than the child, the difference in age shall be measured from the birth date of the person to the birth date of the child.

In addition to criminal punishment of incarceration, the court may order the defendant to pay an additional fine up to $10,000.

Persons convicted of Penal Code section 288 must register as a sexual offender, pursuant to Penal Code Section 290. Section 290 of the California Penal Code requires people convicted of certain sexual offenses to register with the local law enforcement agency responsible for the jurisdiction in which they reside within 5 working days of their birthday and within 5 working days of changing their address. This is a requirement for the rest of their lives. Failing to register may be punishable as a felony.



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