Articles Posted in Sex Crimes

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.

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →