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Orange County Sexual Battery Attorney

California Penal Code §243.4 established the crime of sexual battery in California. §243.4 clarifies that the crime of sexual battery occurs when an individual touches an intimate body part of another person, without their consent, and for the purpose of becoming aroused, or for the purpose of abusing the victim. In California, a conviction under Penal Code §243.4 is a serious crime. The mere act of touching the intimate body part of another person without their consent could result in a conviction for this offense, and a conviction under California Penal Code §243.4 could carry a penalty of incarceration for up to four years. If you are involved with the victim in a sexual way is not a defense to the crime of sexual battery, if you touch an intimate body part on the other person without their consent, you may be charged with sexual battery; girlfriend or not.

EXAMPLE:

  • A man who is particularly intoxicated one night at the bar walks by an attractive woman and slaps her rear end.
  • Touching a strangers breasts on the bus.
  • A man riding his bicycle down the street sees an attractive woman and grabs her butt as he goes by.
  • A nurse who thinks it’s funny to grab the crotch of her patients that are in a coma.
  • Groping a woman’s breasts that is restrained in some fashion.

EXAMPLE:

It was clear that there was a mutual attraction, and after several drinks Clark invited Ashley back to his apartment. After a few minutes of heavy petting, Clark decided to make his move. By this time, Ashley was beginning to question her decision to go home with Clark, and told him she did not want to have sex with him, Clark continued to try despite Ashley’s repeated protests. After he grabbed her breasts, Ashley got up and left Clark’s apartment. Clark is guilty of sexual battery because he touched an intimate portion of Ashley’s body without her consent, for the purpose of arousal.

To be convicted of a sexual battery the Prosecution must prove two elements to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The Defendant caused physical contact with an intimate part of the victim’s body, without their consent; and
  • When the physical contact was made with an intimate part of the victim’s body, without their consent, the intention was either to become sexually aroused, or to abuse the victim.

Since the Prosecution must prove every element of sexual battery beyond a reasonable doubt, it is essential that there is a complete understanding of the various elements that make up the crime. The attorneys at Orange County Criminal Attorney have years of experience representing clients who have been charged with a variety of criminal activities; sexual battery is included. Utilizing their superior understanding of the law, and bringing their considerable experience with criminal law in Orange County, and OCCA attorney will effectively advocate for the best possible outcome to your case. Below is a detailed analysis of the elements involved in a sexual battery.

TOUCHING THE VICTIM'S INTIMATE PART WITHOUT CONSENT.

The first, and perhaps most important, element of sexual battery, is the conduct of “touching”. California has defined the act of sexual b battery as making physical contact, with an intimate body part of another person, for the purpose of sexual arousal/gratification, or to abuse the victim. Touching is further defined as making physical contact with the person of another. Much like general battery, any touching of an intimate part of the victim will be sufficient to maintain a conviction for sexual battery. Further, it should be noted that the contact can be made through indirect means, such as an object being held in the Defendant’s hand.
California has defined intimate body parts as either a female’s breasts, the anus, the sexual organ, or even the buttocks of another person.

LACK OF CONSENT

The next element the Prosecution will have to prove is that there was no consent to the physical contact with the victim’s intimate body parts. Sometimes, the consent of an individual is ineffective, and thus the touching o an intimate body part of another based on the purported consent of the victim is insufficient to prevent a criminal charge of sexual battery. Examples of ineffective consent could be the victim is unconscious, excessively drunk, high on drugs, insane, or mentally disabled that consent is wholly ineffective. Additionally, consent is defined as when there is affirmative act suggesting that they are cooperating in the process of the physical contact with their intimate body parts. The consent must be given voluntarily, and not under duress or threats of any kind. Sometimes voluntary consent is obtained through fraudulent means, if this is the case, the consent is ineffective as well, and you may face charges of sexual battery.

In the event that the Defendant reasonably believed that the victim had consented to the touching, they will probably not be convicted of sexual battery. The Prosecution bears the burden of proving that the Defendant’s belief that they had received voluntary consent to making physical contact with the intimate body part of the victim was objectively unreasonable.

THE PURPOSE OF TOUCHING WAS FOR SEXUAL GRATIFICATION, AROUSAL OR ABUSE.

The final element of the crime of sexual battery is the intent the Defendant had at the time he initiated the physical contact with an intimate body part of the victim. If at the time the contact was initiated there was no intention to gain sexual gratification, or arousal, or to abuse the victim, the Defendant cannot be convicted of a sexual battery. California defines sexual abuse as the intention to humiliate, intimidate, hurt, or injure the victim, o to cause pain in the victim’s intimate body part.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES I MAY FACE IF I AM CONVICTED OF SEXUAL BATTERY?

If you are convicted of sexual battery, as a misdemeanor charge, you may face a fine of up to $2,000 dollars, or $3,000 if the victim of the sexual battery was someone employed by you at the time, incarceration for up to 6 months, or by a combination of both. Additionally, the Defendant may have to serve 5 years on misdemeanor probation with certain conditions that they must meet. These conditions could include the completion of a battery education program, completion of a program designed to aid individuals with sexual compulsions, community service, or even register as a sex offender.
A sexual battery charge can be brought as a felony if the facts surrounding the incident warrant it. If you are charged with felony sexual batter, you could be incarcerated anywhere from two years to four years, or three to five years if the victim suffered serious bodily injury, you can be fined up to $10,000, you will be registered as a sex offender, or a combination of all those punishments. The determination of how to charge the Defendant is up to the Prosecutor, and is usually determined by how heinous the Defendant’s conduct was.

There are certain scenarios where the Prosecution can charge the Defendant with both a misdemeanor sexual battery and a felony sexual battery. The Prosecution can do this if there is an illegal restraint, or the victim is unconscious or disabled, or if the Defendant fraudulent obtained consent by convincing the victim that the physical contact with their intimate body parts was for a legitimate medical purpose.

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL DEFENSES MY OCCA ATTORNEY CAN RAISE IF I AM CHARGED WITH SEXUAL BATTERY?

Here at Orange County Criminal Attorney, we pride ourselves on advocating for our client’s best interests. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, or a felony, sexual battery, and convicted, the impact on your life could be substantial. First, the convictions will appear on your criminal background. Your criminal background is accessible by anyone who conducts a background check. Employers usually investigate the people they are considering hiring, and this is usually accomplished through a background check on the potential employee. Many employers are hesitant to hire individuals who have a criminal history, even if it is just a misdemeanor. Employers become increasingly hesitant if they see that there is felony conviction on the record of someone they are considering hiring. Further, since sexual battery is a sex offence, a conviction also carries the requirement that the Defendant enter into the sex offender registry, which can be observed by anybody with a computer. The social stigma associated with a sex offense conviction is substantial. If you have been charged with sexual battery contact an OCCA attorney immediately. In the event that you are charged with a misdemeanor sexual battery, your OCCA attorney will attempt to persuade the court that you it is not necessary for them to require your name to be put in the sex offender registry. Further your OCCA attorney will fight to have the charge against you brought as a misdemeanor charge, and not as a felony charge. Additionally, your OCCA attorney will effectively advocate for the lowest sentence you are able to receive. There are many defenses your OCCA attorney can raise. Some of these defenses include:

  • Wrongfully accused.
  • Consent.
  • Insufficient evidence.

The Prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, to the satisfaction of the jury, that you commixed the crime of sexual battery. This means first the Prosecutor must convince the jury that you caused physical contact with an intimate body part of the victim. Next the Prosecution must prove that you did so without the victim’s consent; this can be a very difficult element to prove if the victim and the Defendant have engaged in sexual conduct previously. Finally, the Prosecution must prove that the purpose behind the physical contact with the intimate body part of the victim was for the purpose of sexual gratification, sexual arousal, or sexual abuse. If the Prosecution does not meet the burden on any of these elements, your OCCA attorney will advocate for an acquittal based on insufficient evidence.

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