According to California Penal Code Section 269, the crime of aggravated sexual assault of a child is defined as a sexual act committed on a child under 14 years of age if the perpetrator is at least 7 years older than the child.
The law reads:
“269. (a) Any person who commits any of the following acts upon a child who is under 14 years of age and seven or more years younger than the person is guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child:
(1) Rape, in violation of paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261.
(2) Rape or sexual penetration, in concert, in violation of Section 264.1.
(3) Sodomy, in violation of paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (c), or subdivision (d), of Section 286.
(4) Oral copulation, in violation of paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (c), or subdivision (d), of Section 287 or former Section 288a.
(5) Sexual penetration, in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 289.
(b) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 15 years to life.
(c) The court shall impose a consecutive sentence for each offense that results in a conviction under this section if the crimes involve separate victims or involve the same victim on separate occasions as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 667.6.”
Under California law, Aggravated child sexual assault is considered a felony and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of 15 years to life in a California state prison. Additionally, anyone found guilty of this crime will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of their life.
Multiple prison terms
If multiple sentences are imposed to be served consecutively, the individual must complete the sentence for one violation of PC 269 prior to serving any other sentence for PC 269 offenses.
An individual found guilty of violating PC 269 may be required to serve multiple prison terms consecutively. This applies to those convicted of two or more counts of Aggravated sexual assault of a child, when there is more than one victim or when there is one victim but the assaults occurred on separate occasions.
When facing an accusation under PC 269, it may be possible for an individual to raise a legal defense in an effort to reduce or dismiss the charges of Aggravated sexual assault of a child.
It is important to note that obtaining consent from the child at the time of the offense is not a valid defense in cases involving child sexual charges.
Forced or pressured admission of guilt
If an individual can demonstrate that law enforcement officers used coercion to obtain a confession, the judge may choose to exclude that confession as evidence in the case. In some cases, if the individual was pressured into confessing to a crime they did not commit, it may result in the case being dismissed altogether.
This defense can be used when a defendant has been charged under PC 269 based on a confession. Under California law, it is prohibited for law enforcement to use excessive tactics to obtain a confession.
Absence of a child as the alleged victim
Under PC 269, a person can only be found guilty of the crime if the alleged offense is committed on a "child" which is defined as a person under the age of 14. Therefore, if the alleged victim is 14 years of age or older, the accused cannot be held guilty of this crime. Additionally, the code section states that the alleged victim must be 7 or more years younger than the accused, thus it could be a defense if the accused is only one to six years older than the alleged victim.
For an individual to be charged with Aggravated sexual assault of a child, they must have committed one of the offenses outlined in the statute, such as rape, sodomy, or sexual penetration. If the accused can demonstrate that they have not committed one of these listed offenses, it can be used as a defense against the charges. For instance, if the accused is falsely accused of rape but only committed a simple assault in violation of Penal Code 240, it would be a valid defense.
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