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Learn Why Prosecutors Are So Tough On Sex Crimes In Los Angeles

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Sep 07, 2017

Any sex crimes involving children and violence are prosecutors are looking to punish the harshest.  If there is a situation where there is continuous sexual contact with a minor, the person who is responsible for this will be facing life in prison.

Also, any sexual offenses involving young children or a difference in age of at least ten years between the alleged victim and the defendant will cause extra penalties for the defendant that could mean years in prison.

The most vulnerable victims in sex crime prosecutions will be those the prosecutors will prosecute the defendants the harshest for and put roadblocks in place that block the defendant from ever doing it again.

The reason prosecutors are so tough on sex crimes is because someone's most intimate body parts are being touched inappropriately and unnaturally.

Also, society and the legislature have placed such a stigma on sex crimes that the prosecutors in Los Angeles have put together special units to deal will all sex crimes in Los Angeles.

The more serious the sex crime case, the more sophisticated the law enforcement agencies investigate them. The more likely the criminal defense attorney will have to jump through some serious hoops to resolve the case fairly.

Another big thing I have noticed in 25 years of defending sex crimes is that the Los Angeles Superior Court judges are the most careful with sex crimes and the sentences they dole out and whether they will give someone a break.

It is political, and the prosecutors and judges decide based on how they will be perceived versus the fair and just way to handle the case.  This makes things very difficult when trying to resolve a sex crime in Los Angeles County.

Also, juries come into trials with a chip on their shoulders when it comes to sex crimes, and it takes a massive effort to convince them to at least treat the defendant fairly.

I can not tell you how many times I have asked jurors if they believe my client is guilty before hearing any evidence in the case, and more than half of them raise their hands.

This is where the jury needs to be reminded that our constitution guarantees those persons charged with crimes presumed innocent. They must be found innocent unless the prosecutors can prove otherwise.


The way sex crimes should be dealt with is with an even balanced hand and an eye towards achieving a just a fair result.  Unfortunately, I have seen the opposite approach by prosecutors and judges in Los Angeles courts every day.

The reason for their challenging position on sex offenses relates to their fear that if they are perceived to be taking lenient classes on sex cases, they will lose respect in the legal community and even lose their status as a judge or prosecutor.

When fear drives decision-making policies on crimes, there tends to be a lopsided view of what is fair and what injustice results. This is where the top sex crime defense attorneys excel and fight for their clients and rights.  And the top defense attorneys must not be afraid to stand up for their clients and their ownership.

I have learned from years of experience that my defense of sex crime cases must be focused on showing the prosecutor and the judge that my client is not a threat to society, and if they give them a break, they will not be sorry later.

If they give my client a chance not to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life, it will not come back to haunt them, and the client's actions in the current case were an aberration is highly unlikely to repeat itself.  This is where character letters from people who know the accused come in, and evidence that tells the client's side of the story is essential for a successful result in a sex crime case.


A mob mentality can bring about unjust results related to sex crimes.  People in society are so scared of the possibility that a sex offender will harm them or someone they love, they vote for candidates who are tough on sex crimes, and they ridicule and attack any politician who is weak when it comes to their stance on sex crime prosecution.

However, not all sex crimes are the same, and not all persons charged with a sex crime should receive the same punishment.  This temptation to lump everyone together and not take a close look at what happened is dangerous for individuals' rights and society as a whole.

It is not easy to try and negotiate with prosecutors or judges when they have an eye on what decisions in the defendant's favor will do to their reputation or standing in the legal community.

Also, when jurors come to decide on a criminal sex crime case, it takes a lot of work and skill to convince them to give your client a fair shake when it comes to deciding whether they are innocent or guilty of the charges.

I can not tell you how often I have asked jurors if voir dire (this is the questioning by attorneys during jury selection) if they already thought my client was guilty just because he was charged with a sex crime. A good portion of the jurors will raise their hands.

Then I have to explain that this is the exact opposite of what our constitution tells them to do.  People are presumed innocent unless the government can prove otherwise.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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