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Practices > Sex Crimes > Lewd/Lascivious Acts With a Minor

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The most common term used when people refer to lewd or lascivious acts with a child or minor is “child molestation.” There are however, different types of offenses of this nature. California Penal Code section 288 sets forth different potential penalties for the same offense depending on the age of a minor and/or the age difference between the minor and the accused offender.
Lewd and lascivious acts upon a minor is defined as any touching of the minor done with the intent to gratify the lust, passions or sexual desires of either the suspect or the minor. The touching can occur anywhere on the body and doesn’t necessarily have to be on a typical sexual area such as the breasts, vagina, penis, or anus. Likewise, it is also considered lewd and lascivious behavior when the suspect has the child touch the adult for the purpose of achieving sexual gratification.

Potential Defenses

There are many potential defenses to 288 crimes. These are often cases of he said, she said where a minor has told a story to their parent or friend that has then gotten someone arrested for child molesting. Often times, we will discover that the minor accuser has fabricated the story altogether. While children make up stories for their own reasons, it can also be an angry family member puts the idea in the minor’s head, or asks the minor to lie for them. Either way, it is our job at WILL & WILL, LLP to discover whether the minor’s story is real or fake. In this day and age, children are sexually sophisticated at a young age. Cases exist where a young child wants to engage in a sexual activity with an adult, and when rejected, may lie about the sexual activity having actually taken place. The result is innocent people being accused of, and sometimes wrongfully convicted of, lewd and lascivious acts with a child.

Cases that fall under Penal Code section 288 are also often sad situations where something went further than it should have. At WILL & WILL, LLP, we have had clients who come to us knowing they committed the sexual offense and want our help because they feel they suffer from an illness but meant the child no real harm. Often, sex offenders cannot help their actions and have great remorse. In those cases where the evidence is such that there is no question that the suspect committed the lewd or lascivious act with a child, our defense often revolves around getting the prosecutor and/or judge to believe that this was an isolated incident and that our client is not likely to re-offend. Typically, with cases such as these, we will send our client to one of several independent psychologists/ psychotherapist/ psychiatrists to evaluate him/her and write a report to the court on the likelihood that he/she will re-offend. If the report is favorable, the judge or prosecutor is likely to offer a more favorable plea agreement with lesser penalties.

At WILL & WILL, LLP, our lawyers and investigators have handled many cases falling under Penal Code section 288. We can guide you through the next steps and start gathering information to further your defense immediately. Often times, we are successful at uncovering a motive for an unsubstantiated accusation. And if not, we will work hard on preparing our defense in other areas of the case. This is a very serious offense that, if convicted of, can require you to remain a registered sex offender for the rest of your life. Call or contact us now to try and prevent this from happening to you.

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