Los Angeles, CA asked in Sexual Harassment and Criminal Law for California

Q: Can you be penalized as an adult for being affiliated and supervising mild intimacy between minors?

26-year old filming a social experiment for a 17-year old friend who goes up to strangers and gets consent to kiss them. The strangers kissed were under the age of 18 and the minimum age kissed was 15.

Edit: This social experiment was initially made for fun and has not been shared publically. He understands this entire situation was a mistake and plans to do nothing with this footage. There was no tongue action or intention to sexually arouse.

1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Minors cannot give consent to the release of their images in still or video photography. I assume that you do not have their parents' consent, either. As a result, I don't believe that you have an enforceable right to use your filming and are open to potential lawsuits from the guardians of these minors.

Two, what "social experiment"? For a school/academic project? For your viral YouTube/ SnapChat/ Instagram channel? Frankly, your description sounds sketchy.

Under the California Penal Code section 647.6, it is a crime for any person to annoy or molest any child under 18 years of age. Kissing with the intent to arouse sexual feelings falls under this section. A short kiss without tongue action does not fall under this section. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail, and/or a fine not exceeding $5,000. Each subsequent conviction under this section is punishable as a felony. This offense is a registerable offense under Penal Code section 290, if you are convicted of the offense the court can require that you register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

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