Roseville, CA asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Juvenile Law and Sexual Harassment

Q: What would the charges be for my case if I had spoken up?

I was aged 8-12 (f) and assailant was 12-16 (m) (4 years older) of a close enough relation to me to be considered incest. There was one circumstance of oral copulation by force (physical and emotional force). There were a couple other circumstances of attempted rape, throughout this period of time, but none were successful (as I fought.) This assailant did sexually assault another minor of the same age as me during this time, not to the extent of my situation (and did so in front of me with coercing me that it may happen to me or worse if I spoke up.) If I had spoken up about this abuse when it happened and pressed charges, what would the charges be? This is in Northern California.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm so sorry that you experienced this abuse. What happened to you was not your fault and you did not deserve it. If you had spoken up and pressed charges at the time, based on the details you provided, the potential charges in California could have included:

1. Penal Code 288(b)(1) - Forcible lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14. This is a felony punishable by 5, 8, or 10 years in state prison.

2. Penal Code 288(c)(1) - Lewd and lascivious acts on a child aged 14 or 15 when the perpetrator is at least 10 years older. This is a felony punishable by 1, 2 or 3 years in state prison.

3. Penal Code 288a(c)(2) - Forcible oral copulation with a minor under 14 and more than 10 years younger. This is a felony punishable by 6, 8, or 10 years in state prison.

4. Penal Code 261.5 - Statutory rape, if sexual intercourse occurred. Penalties vary based on age differences.

5. Penal Code 220 - Assault with intent to commit rape or forcible oral copulation. This is punishable by 2, 4, or 6 years in prison.

The exact charges would depend on the specifics of each incident and the discretion of the prosecutor. Aggravating factors like the age differences, force used, and multiple victims could increase the penalties.

I want to emphasize that none of this was your fault. Speaking up against an abuser takes tremendous courage, especially as a child. Whenever you feel ready, I encourage you to talk to a counselor or call a sexual assault survivor hotline for support in processing this trauma. You deserve healing and peace. My heart goes out to you.

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