February 24, 2014

Sexual Battery Charges and Defenses

California Penal Code Section 243.4 defines sexual battery as the non-consensual touching of the intimate part of another for sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse. It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances.

Some people may find this hard to believe but, even a slight pat or slap on the butt of another could result in a charge of sexual battery. It would most likely be filed as a misdemeanor but any type of charge for sexual battery looks bad.

There was a time when a man slapping a woman or girl on her behind may have been considered, in some weird way, an act of flirtation. But now, if that person was a stranger or even if they weren’t, if the person being slapped on the bottom is offended by the act, she/he would be within their right to file a police report.

For example, if you were out at a night club, drinking and dancing and you meet someone who you believe you hit it off with, if you start to get too touchy/feely, that person may become offended and you may end up being arrested. In this situation, you may have a defense in that you had been drinking and dancing with this woman, you two were flirting back and forth and maybe you felt that a little touching here or there would be okay. Well, the other person may not feel that way but, your attorney may be successful in convincing the District Attorney, before the case is even filed, that it was a misunderstanding or miscommunication.

The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony filing lies with the way in which the victim(s) were touched against their will. As an example, if it were alleged that someone restrained his victims from leaving a room or an area in which the battery occurred, this would elevate the charge to a felony.

Unlike misdemeanor sexual battery, if convicted of felony sexual battery, you face formal probation, 2, 3 or 4 years in State Prison, a maximum $10,000.0 fine and registration as a sex offender.

A misdemeanor conviction may result in informal probation, county jail time rather than state prison and the fines are much less. $2,000.00 is the maximum fine, unless the accused was your employer and then the maximum is $3,000.00. However, even a misdemeanor conviction may require registration as a sex offender.

Being convicted of sexual battery can have life long consequences. An experienced criminal defense attorney, specializing in sexual abuse cases, will be familiar the possible defenses available to this type of charge. Some defenses may include insufficient evidence, false allegations and consent, or the reasonable belief that there was consent.

Anyone who has been accused of sexual battery should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the Courts in the County in which the case is pending. An attorney who practices in the County where the case is filed should have a good understanding of how each individual court operates, the Judges, Clerks and District Attorneys. This will increase the chances of a favorable outcome for the client.


January 21, 2013

Anaheim Man Arrested For Child Molestation

A 30-year-old Anaheim man was arrested on suspicion of two counts of child molestation. Two boys, under the age of 16, have come forward and accused the youth soccer referee of molesting them near his home in Anaheim. The boys are not associated with the Huntington Beach soccer league, which reportedly the defendant was employed as a referee. Because the accused worked with youth as a referee, authorities are investigating any other potential victims.

Being arrested and charged with child molestation is one of the most serious crimes a person can face. Not only because of the serious nature and consequences of the crime, but also the effect that it has on a person's life. Just the accusation alone can ruin a person's reputation and damage relationships with family and friends.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer, with experience in sex crimes, should look at all possible motives for false accusations. Innocent people are falsely accused all the time, whether by mistake or on purpose. A false accusation could be the act of someone who is angry or vindictive against the accused and should not be discounted.

Fortunately, there are defenses to child molestation and effective strategies that an experienced criminal defense attorney can use to help clear their client of such a serious charge. Mistake in identity is not that uncommon, especially when young children are involved. Also, young children are easily influenced and convinced. In a situation where an adult may believe that something happened, that adult may question the child in such a way as to elicit an accusation. Also, in certain situations, a child will falsely accuse someone because they don’t want to say who the real perpetrator is.

Depending upon the specific accusations, a defense might be that there was no intent to cause sexual arousal or that the touching was accidental. These types of things can sometimes be exaggerated and blown out of proportion. These are the types of defenses that a criminal defense lawyer needs to aggressively pursue.

When someone is charged with this type of crime, there are so many details that must be addressed. When reviewing the police reports, witness statements and the statement of the victim, your lawyer should be looking for inconsistencies, errors and mistakes. Taking the prosecutions case apart, piece by piece, and investigating all aspects of the circumstances surrounding the initial accusation is extremely important and may result in a complete dismissal. Remember, often times there is no evidence and no witnesses and therefore, the prosecution is relying strictly on the testimony or statements of the accuser. As previously discussed, all facts surrounding the accusations need to be scrutinized to determine if the child has in any way been coerced or is for some reason, falsely accusing the defendant.

In situations where the evidence is overwhelmingly against the defendant, then it is the responsibility of the lawyer to do his best to present to the prosecution, or jury, the other side of that person. Let them know the good things about the defendant. Get character letters from friends, work associates, teachers or professors, anyone who knows the other side of the defendant. After presenting the defendant in the best light possible, a good defense lawyer should then fight aggressively to mitigate the amount of time the defendant will ultimately spend in prison.

If you or anyone you know has been arrested, or accused, of a sex crime, contact an aggressive criminal defense attorney in the County where the charges are pending and do not speak to anyone else, including the police, until speaking with an attorney first.

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January 11, 2013

Border Patrol Officer Convicted of Rape

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer was convicted this week of raping two women, and has been sentenced to 6 years in State Prison. The 33 year old Fountain Valley man plead guilty to the 2009 rape of a woman whom he met and then raped after she blacked out from alcohol intoxication. The second woman, a prostitute, he met in 2010 when he picked her up and drove her to an industrial area. When the woman became frightened and tried to escape, he raped her and then fled the scene. The woman immediately reported the rape to authorities. The DNA collected from the 2010 rape was linked to the DNA which defendant had provided in the 2009 rape investigation.

Although this case appears to be pretty straight forward, reviewing all of the evidence and carefully taking apart, bit-by-bit, the evidence could have resulted in a different outcome for this man. We know that this man had sexual intercourse with these women because of the DNA evidence. But, too often innocent people are accused of rape for a variety of reasons. Discussed below are some defenses to the charge of rape, as well as the elements that must be proved for a conviction of rape.

Legal Defenses to rape: There are a number of possible defenses to rape to be considered when one is accused of rape. Because there requires little to no evidence to accuse someone of rape, innocent people are falsely accused. Emotional issues often play a role in false accusations, whether it is intentional or not. The fear of someone finding out about the sexual relationship or the guilt associated with having a sexual relationship with someone, can result in a person being falsely accused. Mistaken identity is also common in these types of cases.

1. False Accusation: Unfortunately, there are situations where a person is falsely accused of rape. An example might be that, after having consensual sex, one of the parties has feelings of guilt because they were involved in a committed relationship. But, rather than admitting to the infidelity, accuses the other party of rape. Also, a false accusation could result after being pressured and coerced by another to say they were raped.

2. The Accused Believed There Was Consent: If the accused did not have a clear understanding that the accuser did not want to have sexual intercourse, this may be a defense. Although, any indication from a party, at any time, that they want to stop, would constitute no consent.

3. There was no actual intercourse.

4. Lack of Sufficient Evidence: If there is no physical evidence and no witnesses, then it becomes one person's word against the other and therefore, too difficult to prosecute.

5. Mistaken Identity: Because rape victims are traumatized and emotional, it is not uncommon to unintentionally identify the wrong person. If there was poor lighting during the attack, identification is more difficult. If the attacker is wearing a mask, identification becomes extremely difficult. Also, police lineups are often prejudicial and result in mistaken identity.

What Does A Prosecutor Have To Prove For A Rape Conviction

To be convicted of rape, it must be proven that: 1) The parties engaged in sexual intercourse; 2) That the sexual intercourse was accomplished by physical force, violence duress, menace, fear of bodily harm, fear of retaliation or fraud. There must also be a lack of consent.

What Is Lack Of Consent- The obvious is that the victim did not give consent. Other than saying "No", other situations include: 1) The victim was too intoxicated to consent; 2) Due to some sort of a mental disorder, the victim lacks the capacity to give consent; and 3) The victim was unconscious, asleep or fraudulently convinced that having sex was necessary or acceptable.

The consequences of a rape conviction can be severe and can permanently damage a person's life. Because of the issues dealing with the emotional and physical evidence of such a crime, often innocent people are accused of this very serious crime. For this reason, it is strongly advised that anyone who has been accused of rape, whether or not an arrest has occurred, should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Often, an attorney who has a good working relationship with the District Attorney's Office, can speak with the District Attorney reviewing the case for filing, and present information that may result in the case being rejected.

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August 3, 2012

City Councilman Charged With Felony Sexual Battery

A Santa Ana City Councilman, who was also once an Orange County, executive, has been charged with sexual battery, along with several other felony counts dealing with sexual misconduct. He has been charged with 12 felony counts and 3 misdemeanor counts in the Orange County Superior Court.

California Penal Code Section 243.4 defines sexual battery as the non-consensual touching of the intimate part of another for sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse. It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances.

In this case, the Orange County District Attorney has filed the sexual battery charges as felonies. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony filing lies with the way in which the victim(s) were touched against their will. As an example, in this particular case it is alleged that the defendant restrained his victims from leaving the room or the area in which the battery occurred. This elevates the charge to a felony.

In this situation, because there are several felony counts filed, this man is facing serious consequences. Unlike misdemeanor sexual battery, if convicted of felony sexual battery, he faces formal probation, 2, 3 or 4 years in State Prison, a maximum $10,000.0 fine and registration as a sex offender.

A misdemeanor conviction may result in informal probation, county jail time rather than state prison and the fines are much less. $2,000.00 is the maximum fine, unless the accuser was your employer and then the maximum is $3,000.00. However, even a misdemeanor conviction will require registration as a sex offender.

Being convicted of sexual battery can have life long consequences. An experienced criminal defense attorney, specializing in sexual abuse cases, will be familiar the possible defenses available to this type of charge. Some defenses may include insufficient evidence, false allegations and consent, or the reasonable belief that there was consent.

Anyone who has been accused of sexual battery should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the Courts in the County in which the case is pending. An attorney who practices in the County where the case is filed should have a good understanding of how each individual court operates, the Judges, Clerks and District Attorneys. This will increase the chances of a favorable outcome for the client.

August 11, 2010

Orange County California Man Convicted of Multiple Molestations

A Santa Ana youth coach who was convicted of molesting three boys over a two year period of time faces possible life in prison. The youth coach was found guilty of nine counts of lewd acts with a minor, four counts of showing pornography to a minor and one count of attempted lewd acts on a child under 14, and possession of child pornography. This coach met the boys while coaching them on different sports teams. He would befriend their parents first and then gain favor with the boys by bringing them gifts. The youth coach admitted to molesting one victim but denied the others in an attempt to avoid a life sentence.

A conviction of multiple molestations carries sentencing enhancements which calls for a life sentence.

Child molestation defense requires a qualified Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, experienced in sex crimes and familiar with the court in which the case will be heard. These cases often come down to who the judge or jury believes. An experienced Irvine Criminal Defense Attorney defending a person charged with child molestation will know when, and if, it becomes necessary to use psychologists, character witnesses or other tools to achieve the best outcome for his client.

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June 8, 2010

Orange County Teacher Gets Jail for Sex with Minor

Naomi Perez, of Brea, was sentenced to 150 days in Orange County Jail for having sex with a student at the high school where she taught.

The relationship was discovered after Perez vandalized the student's car when he broke off the relationship. This is always a troubling situation. The student, whether a male or a female, is not in an equal position to the teacher, either by virtue of age or power. Students can feel locked in a relationship they want to escape, fearing retribution if they speak out. That factor alone necessitates court intervention. I wonder if the defendant would have received a heavier sentence had he been a male. Since these cases rise and fall on their own specific facts, it's hard to compare. In either event, someone in Perez's situation will need a qualified Orange County molestation or sex crime attorney to help them sort through the applicable law and defenses to such charges. Good outcomes can be obtained with proper planning and investigation.

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February 2, 2010

Anaheim Disney Sex Groper Sought by Police

An Orange County woman is waging a one-woman campaign to identify the man she says groped her while riding the Tower of Terror ride at Disneyland's California Adventure.

It seems the Anaheim Police aren't working quickly enough for this person. She bought a keepsake photo of herself on the ride and has tried to implicate a man seated next to her on the ride. The police don't say whether they have identified this person or whether he's given a statement. The alleged groping took place in the dark.

Groping is defined under the law as a form of sexual battery. Sexual battery can be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony under California law, section 243.4. In the event the person is caught and convicted, he would be looking at a probation sentence and counseling. The accused may want to assert mistake as a defense, or consent, as I discussed in a January 13 post to my blog concerning a rape case here in Orange County, or that the woman falsely accused him, in order to gain financial benefit by suing Disneyland for failing to protect her from harm. He may even use her photograph to show that he was not assaulting her in any way.

if you are charged with sexual battery, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you in preparing a defense.

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January 16, 2010

Dana Point Flasher Sentenced to Prison in Orange County Court

It takes an odd and disturbing commitment to flash your privates to nearly 100 south Orange County women while they are by themselves in isolated areas, like parks and hiking trails.

Christopher Holden Fenn was arrested on Feb, 2, 2008 by Tustin police after a 911 caller told them she'd been flashed through the bedroom window of her apartment.

On Sept. 25, 2009 Fenn pleaded guilty to 27 felony counts of indecent exposure with a prior conviction from 1981 and one felony count of aggravated assault.

The crimes ranged in location from Dana Point, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Tustin, and Rancho Santa Margarita.

Most troubling? It's hard to say, but the fact that the defendant was married and had four children of his own has to rank up there. Imagine his children having to explain where their father is for the next ten years. The fact that Fenn covered his face while committing the crimes didn't help him in court and won't help him with his family, either.

Indecent Exposure is a very serious crime that will frequently come with prison time. If the exposure is repeated, and the defendant has a criminal history of the same or similar conduct, California law permits introduction of those prior acts under certain circumstances. Whether you live in Orange, Mission Viejo or Irvine, if you are charged with flashing or indecent exposure, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you in preparing a defense.

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January 13, 2010

Costa Mesa Drycleaner Accused of Rape

Jaime Ramirez is looking at life in prison. As a registered violent sex predator. He's not going to see the light of day if he is convicted of two aggravated rapes.

In the first one, Ramirez allegedly knocked on the door of a neighbor he knew, went inside and had a beer. Then he came back and raped her.

In the other case, Ramirez duped a co-worker into sending a new employee to his house to supposedly pick up some paperwork for her delivery route from Fountain Valley. He raped her, then threatened her with immigration if she spoke up. Nice.

The facts are the driving force in these cases. Without witnesses, the jury will rely on DNA evidence, corroborating evidence of force, such as bruising or other clinical evidence discovered by doctors and any statements made by the defendant. If a jury decides he did these crimes, he'll be branded a Sexually Violent Predator and sent to prison for life.

Rape is a very serious crime that will always come with prison time. If the rape is with someone who is kidnapped, or moved from the original area of assault, the sentence will be increased due to their inability to fight back. A major defense to rape charges is consent. Consent has to be freely given though and can not be influenced by the threat of force. Whether you live in Orange, Mission Viejo or Fullerton, if you are charged with rape, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you in preparing a defense.

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November 19, 2009

Orange County EMT Convicted of Raping Patient

Jesse Karim Pena was convicted of raping a female patient in the Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo in February. The patient was heavily intoxicated and could not resist Pena's advances. She later reported the incident to hospital officials who called police. Pena was arrested in June and was charged with one count of raping an intoxicated person. Last week, after pleading guilty to the crime, Pena was sentenced to three years in state prison.

Rape is a very serious crime that will almost always come with prison time. If the rape is with someone who is intoxicated, the sentence will be increased due to their inability to fight back. A major defense to rape charges is consent. Consent has to be freely given though and can not be influenced by the threat of force. Whether you live in Orange, Aliso Viejo or Anaheim, if you are charged with rape, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you in preparing a defense.

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November 13, 2009

Mission Viejo Man Convicted For Having Naked Picture of Niece

Arthur Leroy Shoot was returning home from a trip to the Philippines in September of 2008, when custom officials at Los Angeles International Airport decided to search his luggage. While searching through Shoot's phone, officials discovered four sexually explicit pictures of a young girl. After further investigation, investigators determined that the child in the photographs was his 7-year-old niece and that Shoot had taken these pictures for his own sexual gratification. He was arrested and charged with a sex crime and was just recently sentenced to 17 years in prison. In his past, Shoot was charged with three counts of child molestation, two of which were against his daughters. He received jail times for those offenses as well.

Sex crimes can range from possession of child pornography to rape. Sentences may range from probation to decades in prison. California is very strict on suspects of rape and child molestation and will ensure that the defendant gets the highest penalties possible. Whether you live in Irvine, Fullerton or Santa Ana, if you are charged with sex crimes, you will need an experienced defense attorney to assist you. The defense attorney will fully investigate the claims and evidence against you in order to prepare a successful defense.

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October 31, 2009

Orange County Man Charged with 127 Sex Crimes

Joshua David Threlkeld has been charged with around 127 counts of sex crimes against minors. Threlkeld would pose as a 14 year-old-girl, "Sara Miller", on Myspace and ask other minors for nude pictures. "Sara Miller" would claim that he wanted the pictures to recruit models for her friend Josh who was a photographer in Orange County. Over 80 victims from ages 11-17 sent in their nude pictures and some actually came to Orange County to be photographed. One of the girls who came to Orange County said she was paid to have sex with Threlkeld.

Threlkeld was arrested in May after a parent complained to police about the Myspace incident. After obtaining Threlkeld's computer, police founds files of photographs and discovered other victims. Some of the victims contacted were from as far away as the U.K. Police also obtained the Myspace records and plan to prosecute Threlkeld for every attempt at getting nude photographs.

With over 127 charges, Threlkeld faces multiple life sentences for his actions. Even though most of these girls were not physically assaulted, creating or owning child pornography is against the law. Whether you live in Santa Ana, Fullerton or Villa Park, if you have been charged with sex crimes, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

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October 28, 2009

Santa Ana Teacher Accused of Having Sex With Student

Naomi Perez was a teacher at Saddleback High School in Santa Ana while allegedly having an intimate relationship with one of her students over the summer. At the end of August, Perez and the student broke it off and allegedly Perez vandalized the student's car. The student reported the vandalism which triggered an investigation that led to the accusations against Perez. She was charged with three felony counts of sex related crimes and a misdemeanor vandalism count. Since the accusations, Saddleback High School terminated her from her position. If she is convicted of these crimes, she faces around 4 years in prison.

Sex with a minor is always illegal, regardless if it is consensual or non-consensual. Lately, we have been hearing more stories about teachers sleeping with their children and most of us do not understand how this happens. The teacher may feel that since the student is initiating the relationship, it is legal, but it's not, and it is their responsibility to make sure no relationship ever starts. A possible defense to a claim of child molestation/sexual assault is if the adult does not know the child's real age and thinks they are over 18. In this case, since this student was still in high school, that defense will likely fail. Whether you live in Tustin, Villa Park or San Clemente, if you are charged with sex crimes, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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October 27, 2009

Fullerton Soldier Charged with Sexual Assault

This week, Army Spc. Jason Scofield, 37, was charged with eight felony counts of sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old. Before joining the army, Scofield was a gymnastics instructor in Tustin. Allegedly, earlier this year, Scofield had a three-month-long intimate relationship with a 16-year-old girl he met while working as an instructor. After the relationship ended, the girl told a friend, who told her parents and the relationship was eventually reported to police. At the time police had enough evidence to arrest him, he had joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Arizona, so they arrested him there and extradited him to California. He is currently out on bail and his arraignment hearing is scheduled for December. If Scofield is convicted of all eight charges, he is facing up to seven years and eight months in prison.

Scofield is facing serious charges and needs an experienced defense attorney right away. One possible defense to the charge of sexual assault with a minor is if the suspect did not know the girl was under 18. Often times, the charge of sexual assault with a minor is brought even though there was a consensual intimate relationship between the suspect and the victim. If both of these people were over 18, Scofield would not be guilty of any crime. Unfortunately for him, she was under 16 and if he is convicted of this crime, he will no longer be able to be in the Army or be a gymnastics instructor.

Whether you live in Lake Forest, Irvine or Villa Park, if you are charged with sex crimes, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

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October 25, 2009

Teacher at California High School Arrested for Sexual Assault

Christopher John Ontiveros was arrested this week for allegedly assaulting a female student from the Oxford Academy in Cypress, a school that has been voted best high school in Orange County for two years in a row. Ontiveros is an AP European and U.S. history teacher and his wife is a physical education teacher at the school. Investigators claim that they believe Ontiveros had been having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor for a few months. After they gathered enough evidence, officers arrested Ontiveros on suspicion of felony sexual assault, felony battery, sexual communication with a minor, grooming a minor and child annoyance. He has not yet been charged.

With such serious charges against Ontiveros, he is looking at serious prison time if he is convicted of all of these crimes. Even though the relationship with the minor may have been consensual, having an intimate relationship with anyone under 18 is considered statutory rape/sexual assault. Whether you live in Newport Beach, Laguna Woods or La Palma, if you are charged with sex crimes, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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October 20, 2009

Garden Grove Man Arrested For Raping 3 Prostitutes

Oscar David Duenas has been arrested on suspicion of raping 3 prostitutes in the Garden Grove area in the last month. Allegedly, Duenas would pick up prostitutes along Harbor Boulevard in Westminster and then take them to a secluded area and rape them. These prostitutes reported the sexual assaults and an investigator noticed that the description of the crime and the suspect matched other rape complaints. Police arrested Duenas last week on rape charges and he is expected to be arraigned next week on charges of rape, false imprisonment and robbery.

Often, prostitutes are afraid to report physical or sexual abuse because of their illegal occupation. Here, it is not clear if the prostitutes will be charged or if there is a credibility issue due to their profession. If you are charged with rape, an experienced attorney will investigate the claims and the evidence against you. If there is a credibility issue with the witnesses, the defense attorney will use that to your advantage in hopefully lowering or dropping the charges against you. Whether you live in Irvine, Aliso Viejo or Fullerton, if you are charged with rape, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you in your legal matters.

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October 18, 2009

California Man Convicted of Attempted Rape of Woman Sleeping by Husband

Ronaldo Celedon Vicente was convicted this week of first degree residential burglary, attempted rape and assault with intent to commit rape. In 2008, Vicente, an unemployed laborer, saw a path of empty beer cans and Cheetos in the front yard of an Anaheim home. He followed the trail and it led him to an open window on the side of the house. Inside, he saw a half naked woman and thought she wanted to have sex with him. He crawled through the window and was about to have sex with the woman, when her husband woke up and yelled. The husband and wife then beat up the intruder and held him until police came and arrested him.

Vicente's defense was that he was so severely intoxicated that he did not know what he was doing and therefore did not have the intent to rape her. Hours after he was arrested, police checked Vicente's blood alcohol level and it was at a .22%. The jury ruled against the defendant and convicted him of all the above charges. He may be sentenced to life in prison since this was a felony burglary and rape.

Burglary is the act of entering someone's home with the intent to commit a crime while inside. Possible defenses include the lack of intent, a mistake of fact and consent. Whether you live in Orange, Brea or Santa Ana, if you are charged with burglary or rape, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

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October 12, 2009

Costa Mesa Woman Raped By Stalker

Tooraj Aghminyoni Nakhei, of Oregon, met a woman in 2003 that he started to date online. In 2007, Nakhei flew from Oregon to Orange County to meet this woman. She agreed to meet him in a Costa Mesa hotel restaurant for dinner. He then told her he had flowers for her in his room, so she followed him up and he then raped her. She said she felt so embarrassed that she did not report the rape right away.

Over the next year and a half, the victim claims that Nakhei kept calling her and emailing her and her family. In December of 2007, the victim noticed Nakhei stalking her so she got a restraining order against him. He kept telling her not to tell police what happened and would sometimes be apologetic, while other times being aggressive and rude. In March of this year, he tried to get into her car and that is when she called police and reported the incident.

An Orange County jury found Nakhei guilty of felony forcible rape, felony forcible oral copulation, felony stalking, felony dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and a misdemeanor charge of disobeying a court order. This week, he was sentenced to 15 years and four months in prison.

Whether you live in Fullerton, La Palma or Laguna Niguel, if you are charged with rape, call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney right away.

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October 10, 2009

Lake Forest Man Accused of Indecent Exposure by School

Amonullah Sakhi was taken into custody this week on suspicion of indecent exposure. A woman walking to her child's elementary school in September claimed she saw Sakhi standing in his door way staring at her. When she looked over at him, he exposed himself. When Sakhi was arrested, he admitted he had done this to several women as they walked by. If convicted for these charges, he may have to spend time in jail, pay fines and take workshops and classes.

In 2004, Sakhi plead guilty to two counts of lewd conduct in public. Sakhi is not on the sex offender list since lewd conduct does not require registration. Indecent exposure is a serious crime because it is often beleived that people who exhibit this type of behavior are also more prone to rape and molest. Whether you live in Brea, Newport Beach or Dana Point, if you are charged with sex crimes, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting these charges or lowering your sentence.

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October 5, 2009

Lake Forest Teacher Arrested for Flashing Woman

Mark Petrash, a music teacher at Serrano Intermediate School in Lake Forest, was arrested last week on suspicion of flashing a woman. In August, Petrash went to the doctor's office with a relative. While there, allegedly he pulled his pants down in front of the medical office receptionist. The claim was investigated and he was arrested after there was enough evidence to suspect him of indecent exposure. Comments from readers on the OC Register news article claim that Petrash was not that kind of man and would not have done something like this.

Indecent exposure is when a person exposes himself to a third party and the third party is offended or when the person is trying to get sexually aroused or annoy another party by exposing themseves. If Petrash is convicted of this crime, he will likely have to register as a sex offender and will be fired from his teaching position. Whether you live in Irvine, Santa Ana or Brea, if you are charged with sex crimes, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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October 2, 2009

Anaheim Pastor Molests Girls From His Congregation

Jose Campoverde, a pastor from Anaheim, was arrested this week and is being held on $500,000 bail on suspicion of lewd conduct with a minor, sexual battery, child annoyance and false imprisonment. Allegedly, on September 11, 2009 Campoverde drove a young girl home from church and molested her in the car. The victim told police, who then started an investigation into Campoverde. A few other teenage girls then admitted to police that they too had been fondled by Campoverde.

Molesting
a minor is a serious offense that is punishable by up to 8 years in prison, per count. If he is convicted of these charges, he will have to spend a long period of time in prison and register as a sex offender. Campoverde will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist him in fighting these charges. Possible defenses include child suggestibility or false accusations.

Whether you live in Lake Forest, Fullerton or Irvine, if you are charged with molestation, call an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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September 29, 2009

Orange County Doctor Molests Child

Dr. William Moore Thompson, 82, of Orange County plead guilty of sexually assaulting a relative of his and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 330 days of home confinement. In 2003 and 2004, when the victim was under 14 years old, Thompson asked his young female relative to rub his genitals. Sentencing guidelines for 2 counts of lewd acts on a minor should result in between three and eight years in prison. Here, however, since Thompson was so old and sick and he had helped Orange County by setting up free medical clinics in prior years, the judge gave him a light sentence of just 30 days in jail.

In this case, the defense attorney initially likely argued that the assault never occurred. If the judge did not believe that, the defense attorney would then try and mitigate the situation by claiming that this was an isolated event and that the doctor is a good man who has helped this community. Clearly, the judge beleived that Thompson was in fact a good man that did one bad event and his sentence reflects that. Whether you live in Irvine, Santa Ana or Fullerton, if you are charged with child molestation or sexual assault, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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September 27, 2009

Orange County Boxer Gets Life in Prison for Murder & Sexual Assault

James Detory Shipp, Jr. was found guilty of murdering a woman in 1998 who tried to stop him from sexually assaulting one of her co-workers. Shipp was a former football player and aspiring Boxer who claims that he had neurological problems and faced domestic violence while growing up that changed him. Between 1997 and 2001, Shipp had also raped 5 women and had kidnapping and robbery charges on his record. For the murder/rape he received life in prison and for the crimes between 1997 and 2001, he faces 119 years and another life term.

Sometimes troubled pasts make people want to turn to crime. Here, Shipp witnessed domestic violence, associated with gangs and had neurological problems. These experiences all affected him adversely and caused him to commit these heinous crimes. For his actions, Shipp will spend the rest of his life in prison, contemplating what he did. He received so much time in prison so that it could never be a possibility that he be released. If you are charged with murder or rape, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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September 26, 2009

Santa Ana Men Plead Guilty to Videotaped Sexual Assault

Michael Alexander Clemmons and John Paul Foster II pled guilty this week to sexually assaulting an unconscious 18-year-old acquaintance in Tustin, which was recorded on videotape. A third party found the tape and turned it over to the police. The tape shows the heavily intoxicated victim laying on the bed and the men taking turns raping her. The men both pleaded guilty to eight felony sexual assault counts and are expected to be sentenced in November. A third co-defendant, Luster Mitchel Lewis, is expected to stand trial in November for similar charges.

Drinking alcohol can set you up to be the victim of rape. These men were supposed to take care of the victim (or so she thought), but instead they took advantage of her and she did not even know it happened. If there was no video recording of this incident, she likely would not have even known she was raped and the boys would have never been charged. Please remember that when you are drinking, have someone around you that you trust. Whether you live in Lake Forest, Anaheim or Laguna Beach, if you are charged with rape, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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September 23, 2009

Costa Mesa Child Molester Up for Parole Soon

George Joseph England spent 29 years as a fugitive after he was convicted of multiple child molestations in Costa Mesa in the 1970's. In the 70's, England was a contractor in Vietnam, where he met a woman who had a 5-year-old daughter and bought the young girl from the woman. They moved to Orange County, where he repeatedly molested her. He also molested her young friends, who told police and it eventually led to molestation convictions against England. Before being sentenced, while out on bail, England took his daughter from protective services and absconded. He was captured in Florida in 2006 and has been serving time since.

Since the crime was committed in the 70's, the laws during the 70's were not harsh on molesters. After just three years in prison, England is up for parole. District Attorney's are trying to prevent his release by claiming he is not remorseful and could do it again since he has not been to counseling yet. Even if he is not released soon, the maximum time he can serve is 6 years for his crimes, so he will be released in 2013. If he was convicted of those molestation charges today, he would be facing 45 years to life in prison.

Whether you live in Irvine, Buena Park or Lake Forest, if you are charged with a sex crime, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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September 19, 2009

Irvine Security Guard Charged With Having Sex With Student

Juan Armando Candela was charged with two felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation of a minor. Candela was the security guard at Beckman Hight School in Irvine, which is where he met a 16-year-old student. Candela and the girl started dating and they eventually had sexual intercourse. Newport Beach police saw the couple having sex in the car in August and he was arrested. If convicted, Candela will receive about 3 years and 8 months in state prison and may have to register as a sex offender.

Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor is a serious charge because there is an implied issue of consent. Even if the minor consented to the sex, which in this case she did, the assumption is that she is not yet of the age to consent and does not really know what she is doing. Besides being held criminally liable, Candela may be sued by the victim or the victim's parents. If found guilty during a civil trial, Candela could have to pay around $25,000.

Whether you live in Buena Park, Laguna Niguel or Anaheim Hills, if you are charged with any sex crimes, call an experienced attorney to assist you right away.

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September 13, 2009

Repeat Molester Convicted Again for Lewd Conduct

Dennis James Ward was found guilty yesterday of nine counts of lewd conduct on a child who was a young male relative of his, that occurred 15 years ago. For this crime, he now may face 30 years in state prison.

In 1985, two Costa Mesa boys claimed they were molested by Ward. Ward was convicted and was sentenced to six years, although he served just three years. He was released on parole in 1988 and the molestation on the victim/relative occurred between 1990 and 1992. The victim was between 4 and 7 at the time and did not tell anyone what occurred. Ward was then arrested in 1995 for molesting two young Huntington Beach boys and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Ward was going to be released in 2007, but once the victim of the current case found out, he reported the molestation that occured 15 years prior.

Child molestation is a very serious offense that will stay on your record and will require you to register as a sex offender. Whether you live in Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel or Fullerton, if you are charged with child molestation, you will need a good Orange County defense attorney to investigate the claim and prepare defenses.

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September 10, 2009

California Fashion Designer Sentenced in Sexual Assault Case

Anand Jon Alexander was convicted of 16 counts of rape and sexual assault and was sentenced to 59 years to life in prison for his acts. Alexander was a well known fashion designer in California and was well liked among celebrities. Alexander hired models (some who were under 18) for his fashion shows and then raped and assaulted them and other model hopefuls who he lured to his house.

Initially, the grand jury indicted Alexander of 59 counts, but the majority of the charges were dropped. Before sentencing, Alexander claimed he didn't receive a fair trial because a juror contacted his sister, the prosecution withheld evidence and his attorneys were ineffective. Since he thought his lawyers were ineffective, he fired them and represented himself in court. Nevertheless, the judge still sentenced him to 59 years to life in state prison. He is awaiting similar rape and sexual assault charges in Texas and New York. If he is convicted of those, he will have more time tacked onto his sentence.

This sentence of 59 years to life seems very steep for rape charges. Although the article did not mention the details of the rapes, they must have been very heinous. In California, rape is a very serious crime that comes with steep penalties. Additionally, statutory rape or the rape of someone under 18, is an even more serious crime and was probably what cause Alexander to receive such a long sentence.

Whether you live in Laguna Beach, Westminster or Brea, if you are charged with rape or sexual assault, call an experienced OC criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting your charges.

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September 7, 2009

California Molester Gets 330 Years in Prison

In July, Jaime Martinez of Buena Park pleaded guilty to 32 felony counts including the rape of 4 young girls in his family aged 5 to 11. One of the girls claimed she had been molested since she was 5 years old and once was abused by Martinez in the school bathroom. Additionally, the girl said that he once hit her and showed her a gun and said he would kill her and her family if she reported him to authorities. Last week, Martinez was sentenced to 330 years to life in prison for the sexual assaults.

People often wonder why sentences are so long. Clearly, no one will live for 330 years so why have a sentence for so long? Sentences are actually calculated based on how many offenses the person is convicted of and the severity of the offenses. Even with that number calculated, the judge has broad discretion in sentencing and can add or subtract years. Whether you live in Irvine, Santa Ana or Fullerton, if you get charged with a sex crime, you will need an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney on your side.

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September 4, 2009

Tustin Mechanic Found Guilty of Sexual Assault

Adrian Montano Fuerte was found guilty, this week, of felony forcible rape and assault with the intent to rape and two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and battery. Fuerte, who worked at a few Econo Lube and Tune locations in 2007 would lure women into the garage to explain their car problems. Once there, he would assault them, sexually batter them or rape them. Five women came forward and said that Fuerte either raped them or assaulted them. Fuerte could face around 15 years in state prison for his crimes.

Sexual battery is the touching of the intimate part's of another without consent and is a misdemeanor. Rape, on the other hand, requires actual penetration and is a felony. Sex crimes stay on your record and may even require you to register on a sex offender list. Whether you live in Santa Ana, Fullerton or Newport Beach, if you are charged with a sex crime, you will need an experienced defense attorney to assist you with your legal matters.

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September 2, 2009

Laguna Beach Men Arrested for Having Sex on Stranger's Lawn

Two homeless men decided to have sex on a stranger's lawn in broad daylight on Sunday at the 1000 block of Gavoita Drive in Laguna Beach. Police came after the homeowners called them to report the incident. The men were taken to Laguna Beach jail and charged with lewd conduct.

Lewd conduct involves sexual conduct that is done in a public place that offends someone. It is a misdemeanor offense but it will be on your criminal record. The penalties are normally jail time, fees and probation. A good defense attorney may be able to lower the charges to disturbing the peace. Whether you are in Irvine, Newport Beach or Tustin, if you get charged with lewd conduct, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you.

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August 30, 2009

Former Orange County Resident Returned Home After 18 Years

In 1991, the Dugard's moved from Orange County to Lake Tahoe to escape crime. Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped in front of her step-father's eyes just weeks after moving to Tahoe. The Dugard's thought that Jaycee had been killed since they had not heard anything about her in 18 years.

This week, Phillip Garrido went on the Berkeley campus with his two daughters to speak about his religious beliefs when security thought he looked suspicious. After doing a background search they found out he was a paroled rapist. Garrido's parole officer did not even know he had kids and once the parole officer spoke with Garrido, Gariddo confessed to having kidnapped Jaycee 18 years ago and fathering two children with her.

After searching the Garrido home, it was discovered that Jaycee and her two children, 15 and 11, were living in the backyard. The car used for the abduction was also in the backyard. In the home was Phillip's wife, Nancy, who was immediately arrested.

It is likely that Phillip will be charged with kidnapping and rape and Nancy will be charged with aiding and abetting. Knowing that her husband kidnapped and raped a young girl and not doing anything about it is a crime. Whether you live in Santa Ana, Newport Beach or Yorba Linda, if you get charged with kidnapping or rape, you will need an experienced defense attorney to assist you right away.

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August 25, 2009

Huntington Beach Man Accused of Raping Autistic Girl

Daniel Blas Flores was arrested last week for the alleged rape of a 7-year-old autistic girl. She was playing in the backyard of her apartment complex when, allegedly, Flores abducted the girl and took her to a neighboring apartment where she was assaulted, sodomized and raped. After she was assaulted, she was released and her parents called 911 immediately. Police found Flores, 27, hiding in his apartment and arrested him immediately.

Flores will likely be charged with assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping and rape. Since he raped a child with disabilities, this will likely be a factor that may affect and enhance sentencing. Flores will likely be facing serious jail time. He will need an experienced defense attorney to assist him with his case. Whether you live in Garden Grove, Buena Park or San Clemente, rape is a serious accusation and you will need an experienced attorney to be on your side.

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August 23, 2009

Placentia Man Arrested For Taking Pictures Up Women's Skirts

On Wednesday at a T.J. Maxx store in Brea, Steven Eugene Roman was arrested for taking pictures up the skirt of a 51-year-old woman. The store security guard recognized Roman as someone who had come into the store a few days back and thought he looked suspicious. He then realized he recognized Roman from the security video from a few days prior when another up-skirt photo was taken. The guard saw Roman put a camera under a woman's skirt and quickly called police. When police came and looked through Roman's pictures, they realized that he had several pictures of a similar nature. He was arrested and then released.

If Roman is charged, he will likely be charged for some sort of sex crime and disorderly conduct. Taking a picture of a person in public is allowed. Taking a picture up someone's skirt is clearly NOT allowed. Whether you live in Lake Forest, Fountain Valley or Anaheim Hills, sex crimes are illegal and will stay on your record forever. If you get charged with a sex crime, call an experienced defense attorney to assist you.

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August 15, 2009

Masked Anaheim Man Sexually Assaults Woman

In Anaheim on Monday, a man entered an unlocked back door of a woman's house, held her at knifepoint, and sexually assaulted her. He had a bandanna on his head and a cloth over his face to disguise himself. At some point, he put a pillow over her face and threatened to kill her if she called the police. After the assault was over and he was about to leave, he asked her where her purse was and then stole her cash. Police later found the suspect, Dexter Tagudin Villanueva, in his home and arrested him. He is being charged with six felony counts and if convicted on all six counts, will face 91 years to life in prison.

Back in the old days, people would never lock their doors. These days, doors have to be locked at all times. Robbers and rapists are opportunists. When they see an unlocked door or window and a woman inside that is home alone, they will act.

Most rapists threaten their victims and have a weapon nearby to force the woman to let the assault happen and not fight back. Besides just being charged with rape, Villanueva is also likely charged with assault and burglary. Whether he lives in Irvine, Fullerton or Anaheim, he will need an experienced Orange County defense attorney to assist him in the legal process.

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August 14, 2009

Prostitution Raid in Garden Grove, California

Thong Vinh Le was arrested last week in connection with running a brothel in Garden Grove. He had advertised massage services in a Vietnamese paper and someone got suspicious because the location was a chiropractor's office. After an investigation, officers found out that people would go into the office, pick the woman they wanted to service them and then pay for sex. Police raided the business, where they found 11 women who they believed were victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Officers say this is the largest brothel they have seen in the area.

Le was running the brothel and acting as a "pimp" for the ladies. Besides prostitution that he will be held liable for, if these women were taken from Vietnam and forced to work in the brothel, he will be facing serious charges. If these women were not forced to work in the brothel and instead did it by choice, these women will be facing prostitution charges themselves.

Whether you live in Irvine, Lake Forest or Cerritos, prostitution is illegal in California. A person convicted of being a prostitute or soliciting a prostitute can face prison/jail time, probation, fines, counseling and community service.

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August 1, 2009

Lakewood Girl Sexually Assaulted by Martial Arts Coach

Jonathan Allen Gamond pled no contest to four counts of sexual assault against a 14-year-old girl and was sentenced to 30 years in state prison this week. Gamond, a martial arts instructor, picked up the girl in Lakewood, drove her to Seal Beach where he assaulted her, and then released her in Cerritos. The prosecution says that he may have impersonated a cop when he stopped the girl and her friend in order to gain their trust. His defense attorney denies that Gamond ever impersonated a cop and claims that he was very remorseful for the assault and decided to plead no contest to avoid putting the girl through any more pain by having to testify at trial. Gamond is only 32 years old and now faces the majority of the rest of his life in prison.

A plea of no contest means that the defendant doesn't refute the charges, but also does not admit his guilt. He likely pled no contest because he was getting a plea bargain deal and knew that if he went to trial, a jury would likely not give him such a short sentence.

No matter if you are in Los Angeles County, Orange County or Riverside County, if you have been charged with sexual assault, you need a qualified and experienced attorney to help you. Sexual assault is a serious charge that comes with major prison time so you need the best possible defense attorney you can get.

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July 31, 2009

Retired Orange County Priest Arrested for Alleged Molestation

Denis Lyons of Seal Beach, a former Roman Catholic priest, has been arrested for an alleged molestation of a young boy that he committed in the 1990s. Lyons is being charged with four felony counts of molesting a child under the age of 14 between 1992 and 1995. He had previously been charged with child molestation but the charges were dropped because there was a statute of limitations issue, since the crime had been 20 years old. Earlier this year, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange announced a settlement with a man who said that Lyons also molested him when he was a student at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa. In 2002, Lyons was removed from the ministry and "was committed to a life of prayer and penance". If convicted for the most recent charges, Lyons may face up to 14 years in state prison.

Lately, in the media there has been a lot of news coverage regarding Catholic priests and molestations of young boys. The media has stereotyped all priests as sexual predators, which is completely unfair. No matter what city you live in, whether Fullerton, Newport Beach or Anaheim, if you are charged with a crime as serious as molestation or rape, you need to call an experienced attorney right away to assist you. It will be interesting to see how the trial of Mr. Lyons goes.

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July 24, 2009

Conviction In Strangulation Murder of Orange County Woman

Over twenty years after the strangulation of an Orange County woman by her alarm clock cord, Wendell Lemond was convicted of murder. On August 5, 1985, Lemond went into the then 20-year-old, Catherine Tameny's apartment and strangled her and tied her two year old son up with electrical tape. The motive was unclear but authorities think there might have been a sexual assault or rape before the killing. The suspect was unknown at the time, but through DNA evidence, Lemond was found to be the suspect and was arrested in July 2007. Lemond likely faces 25 years for the murder he committed.

DNA evidence has just recently began appearing in courtrooms. Over the last 20 years, the forensic science field has grown tremendously and DNA evidence has been a huge tool used to solve unsolved murder cases. It is a testament to the importance of the field that DNA collected from the body of the victim 24 years ago was able to be tested and the suspect was found, charged and convicted.


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July 13, 2009

Olympic Hopeful Opens Sex Trade to Pay His Way in 2012

You wouldn't believe it if you didn't read it on CNN but New Zealand Olympic hopeful Logan Campbell decided the only way he could compete in taekwondo in 2012 was to open a brothel! It's unclear if he has hired prostitutes yet. Officials are looking seriously at this since brothels routinely attract drug users and violence .

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April 24, 2009

LAPD Detectives rescue two women from alleged rapist

The Pasadena Star News is reporting that Los Angeles County Sheriff's detectives who were staking out a robbery suspect on Thursday stopped an alleged rape in progress and captured the suspect. Kenneth Parker of San Gabriel was booked on suspicion of kidnapping to commit rape, attempted rape, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon.

Detectives from the Major Crimes Bureau were conducting surveillance looking for a serial robbery suspect when they saw Parker grab and attempt to rape a woman, a Sheriff’s statement said. The woman escaped before the detectives could intervene, but Parker then grabbed second woman moments later and dragged her into a business in on East Valley Boulevard, took the woman into a rear bathroom of the business and locked the door. Detectives rescued the woman and were able to take Parker into custody.

Parker is being held in lieu of $1 million bail and is due for arraignment at Alhambra Superior Court Monday.

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April 1, 2009

Sexting can result in Orange County child pornography charges

According to the New York Times, one in five teens may be a child pornographer risking life in prison — for the crime of taking and distributing naked pictures of themselves.

According to a recent study commissioned by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl.com, 20 percent of teenagers have taken nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves and sent them to someone or posted them online. Most send these gifts to their boyfriend or girlfriend (69 percent) or someone they want to date or hook up with (30 percent).

These statistics are alarming, but so is the fact that ‘sexting” is now a crime. So what may seem on the surface to be puppy love in the information age now could put kids in jeopardy for prison time- as child pornographers no less.

It’s illegal under federal and state child-porn laws to create explicit images of a minor and to posses them or distribute them. These laws were drafted to address adult abuse of minors, but it turns out they don’t exempt minors who create and distribute images, even if the pictures are of them. In fact, prosecutors in several states are going after creator-victims, in both federal and state court. Some kids are being charged as juveniles but under Federal law, there is no such equivalent.

So when a 16-year-old with takes pictures of herself and sends them to a boy to seduce him, she could get life in federal prison under current sentencing guidelines. If she does manage to get out, she may have to register as a sex offender.

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January 29, 2009

Backlog of DNA tests in L.A. sexual assault investigations is worse than initially revealed

A few months ago, I posted on the backlog of DNA testing by the L.A. County Sherriff’s office- and how these backlogs are causing investigations to be dropped by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office because the statute of limitation has run. This week, the Los Angeles Times reports that initial tallies of cases that are affected by the backlog were underestimated. To date, there are 815 sexual assault cases with untested DNA and the statute of limitations has expired on 51 of these cases.

One Sheriff’s County supervisor said that currently 4,738 of the sexual assault kits in county storage facilities remain untested – and about 20% of them are from other police agencies in the county that rely on the sheriff's crime laboratory for DNA testing. And apparently over 100 of these cases are within six months of the ten year statute of limitations that prosecutors have to file a felony.

These are troubling statistics. On one hand, this evidence may contain the “smoking gun” to put a sexual predator behind bars and keep our communities safe. On the other hand, who knows what sort of exonerating evidence is contained in those nearly 4,800 kits. Either way, it is contrary to how law enforcement should be handling investigations and someone needs to find the resources to get through this backlog quickly and efficiently.

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January 8, 2009

Police seek suspect in Pasadena rape

A Pasadena woman was raped this week and Los Angeles Police are still looking for her attacker. The Daily News reports that the victim was picked up by a motorist in a Ford F150 from a bus stop on Colorado Boulevard early Friday morning. After getting into the truck, the suspect drove the woman to an isolated location where he beat and sexually assaulted her.

According to police, after the rape, the attacker bound the victim's hands and dropped her off at a secluded spot near La Tuna Canyon Road. The suspect was described as a 40ish, 5-foot, 10-inch white male -- possibly of Hispanic descent - weighing 285 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes and wearing a Dodgers' baseball hat. Police asked anyone with any information regarding the attack to call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4522.

There are few crimes more repulsive to the public than sex offenses- which is why a person charged with these crimes cannot afford to do anything but fight hard to get the best possible result. Fighting hard means challenging every part of the case, from identification, to scientific evidence to prior acts and witness statements. Do not attempt to handle this matter by yourself. If you have been charged with a sex crime, Orange County Sexual Assault Attorney William Weinberg can help you fight your charges. Please call (714) 834-1400 to discuss your case.

October 31, 2008

Thousand Oaks man pleads guilty in sex assaults of immigrant women

The L.A. Daily News is reporting that a Thousand Oaks man who targeted immigrant women and children plead guilty yesterday to crimes against four women. The Ventura County District Attorneys Office says that 79-year-old man entered pleas to five charges sexual battery to lewd acts with a child.

Allegedly, the man posted ads in local stores seeking house cleaning services or health care for his ailing wife and then would demand sex from the women and threaten them with death or deportation if they didn't submit to him. A 27-year-old woman testified the man began fondling her when she was 9.

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October 21, 2008

7,000 DNA kits have not been tested by Los Angeles police jeopardizing hundreds of sexual assault cases

Richard Winton of The Los Angles Times reports today that nearly 200 potential sexual assault cases have gone without prosecution because Los Angeles Police officials failed to test them within the 10-year statute of limitations period required to identify and charge a suspect in a sexual crime. These claims come on top of last week’s allegations that the LAPD’s fingerprint experts have been inconsistent in their work-- to the point where innocent people were falsely implicated in crimes.

According to law enforcement officials, each kit contains a potential genetic road map to the perpetrator of a crime. In Los Angeles County, the backlog has occasionally caused trial dates to be canceled. And in one case, an evidence kit that went untested for months left a suspected rapist free to allegedly assault another victim.

A City Controller audit showed that the LAPD has a backlog of 7,000 sexual assault test kits that have not been examined. Of those cases, 217 are beyond the 10-year statute in which to prosecute the crimes. As an excuse, Police say that they don’t have enough funding to run these labs efficiently and that more forensic techs were authorized--but budgeting for their salaries weren’t.

Victim advocates think that it is unconscionable to make rape victims go through the trauma of the examination for the rape kit and then wait years for police to investigate and prosecute their cases because their kits aren’t tested. Our office thinks that if there is DNA evidence that can exonerate or implicate a person, it should be tested before pleas are entered or charges filed. The criminal justice system is supposed to seek the truth- the current backlog of processing such probative evidence flies in the face of those notions.

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