Continuous sexual abuse of a minor
Information on the crime of continuous sexual abuse of a minor is found at California penal code section 288.5(a).
PC 288.5(a) Law (Abbr.)
PC 288.5(a) Any person who either resides in the same home with the minor child or has recurring access to the child, who over a period of time, not less than three months in duration, engages in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the commission of the offense, or three or more acts of lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the commission of the offense is guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child (PC 288.5(a) Abbr.).
Substantial sexual conduct means penetration of the vagina or rectum of either the victim or the offender by the penis of the other or by any foreign object, oral copulation, or masturbation of either the victim or the offender (PC 1203.066(8)).
Lewd and lascivious conduct means inappropriate sexual touching anywhere on the body of the defendant or the minor. The touching can be either when the minor is touched by the defendant or when the defendant is touched by the minor if the touching is directed or forced by the defendant. The touching does not have to be skin to skin contact or on the genitals of either the defendant or the victim.
If the defendant personally inflicted bodily harm upon the victim the defendant shall be imprisoned in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole. “Bodily harm” means any substantial physical injury resulting from the use of force that is more than the force necessary to commit the offense (PC 288(i)(1)) .
Touching a minor, even in a minor's sexual areas, is not a lewd and lascivious act, unless the touching is made by the defendant with the specific intent to sexually arouse the defendant or the minor. On the other hand, if the defendant touches a minor, or causes a minor to touch the defendant, for the purpose of sexually arousing the defendant or the minor, then the touching is a lewd and lascivious act no matter where on the body of either the defendant or the minor that the touching occurred.
PC 288.5(a) Sentence & Punishment
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is period of supervision instead of a prison sentence. Probation sentences carry conditions of probation, or terms of probation, that must be followed in order to avoid further punishment, including an actual prison sentence. A probation sentence for PC 288.5(a) is called felony probation and is supervised and monitored by a felony probation officer. Probation sentences are allowed for PC 288.5(a) crimes but only in special circumstances. Whether or not a probation sentence is available in any particular PC 288.5(a) case depends largely on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history.
Sex Offender Registration: If found guilty of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor under 14 (PC 288(a)), the defendant will be ordered to register as a sex offender pursuant to PC 290. For more information please see sex offender registration requirements.
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PC 288.5(a): Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Minor
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