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Rape in Concert

Penal Code 264.1 PC - Rape in Concert 

California Penal Code 264.1 PC makes it a crime to act in concert with another person to commit the crime of rape, often called “gang rape.” 

Simply put, this law applies when multiple defendants engage in raping a woman simultaneously or in agreement. It means two or more people working together to engage a victim in non-consensual sexual intercourse.  

This specific law deals with a situation where people cooperate, called “acting in concert,” to commit the serious felony crime of rape. In other words, to rape in concert means to act voluntarily with at least one other person to commit rape against a woman. 

Further, to commit rape does not mean that the defendant had sexual intercourse with the victim, but rather that at least one defendant had vaginal or anal intercourse with the victim while the other helped them in some manner, known as aiding and abetting.

Penal Code 261 PC rape is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse by a man with a woman, accomplished without consent and through force or fear, or perpetrated on a woman who is unable to consent due to intoxication or disability

Sexual penetration means a defendant's penis penetrates the woman's vagina; even slight penetration will be sufficient to be convicted of rape. 

PC 264.1 says, “(a) The provisions of Section 264 notwithstanding, when the defendant, voluntarily acting in concert with another person, by force or violence and against the will of the victim, committed an act described in Section 261or 289, either personally or by aiding and abetting the other person, that fact shall be charged in the indictment or information and if found to be true by the jury, upon a jury trial, or if found to be true by the court, upon a court trial, or if admitted by the defendant, the defendant shall suffer confinement in the state prison for five, seven, or nine years.

(b)(1) If the victim of an offense described in subdivision (a) is a child under 14, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 10, 12, or 14 years.

(2) If the victim of an offense described in subdivision (a) is a minor who is 14 years of age or older, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 7, 9, or 11 years. (3) This subdivision does not preclude prosecution under Section 269, Section 288.7, or any other law.”

Gang Rape – Quick Facts

There are some essential facts you should know about California Penal Code 264.1 PC rape in concert law, such as the following:

•    Rape in concert law is violated when forcible rape occurs while cooperating with someone or aiding and abetting the commission of a rape. 
•    To convict, a prosecution must prove the victim was forcibly raped and the defendant was criminally liable for committing the rape or aided and abetted the rape. 
•    Rape in concert is commonly known as “gang rape” and applies when two or more people two or more people act in concert to commit an act of non-consensual sex
•    This statute is violated when you commit an act of rape with somebody's assistance or aid and abet someone to commit an act of rape. 
•    PC 264.1 only applies to felony sex crimes such as Penal Code 261 rape and Penal Code 289 PC forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object.

What is “Aiding and Abetting” Rape?

Notably, PC 264.1 does not differentiate between the person committing the rape and anyone assisting them. In other words, everyone involved will be charged with the same crime and exposed to the same penalties as though they all committed rape, regardless of their role, even if it was minor assistance.

The person who “aids and abets” another person in the act of rape can also be charged with an in-concert act of rape. The term “aiding and abetting” means:

  • Defendant knew of the perpetrator's intent before the act of rape.
  • Defendant had the specific intent to help them commit the rape and
  • Defendant assisted or facilitated the rape by their words or deeds.

Notably, this means a defendant does not have to be physically present to aid and abet a rape if they did something material contributing to the commission of the rape, such as playing a part in the planning.

What Are the Penalties for PC 264.1? 

The felony penalties for Penal Code 264.1 rape in concert are severe.  The penalties listed below are in addition to the sentence for the underlying rape conviction, such as the following:

  • If the victim is 18 or older, PC 264.1(a) rape in concert penalties are up to 9 years in state prison with eligibility to earn up to 15% credit off the sentence for good behavior while incarcerated.
  • If the victim is under 14, PC 264.1(b)(1) rape in concert penalties are up to 14 years in state prison and with eligibility to earn up to 15% credit off that prison sentence for good behavior.
  • If the victim is a minor 14 or older, PC 264.1(b)(2) rape in concert penalties are up to 11 years in state prison with eligibility to earn up to 15% credit off that prison sentence for good behavior.
  • Sex offender registration under Penal Code 290 PC is required for anyone convicted of rape in concert. This means you must register and update your name and address with the local police where you live. Failure to register or update information as a sex offender is a separate crime.
  • Rape in concert is a strike crime under California's three strikes sentencing law as it's considered a violent and severe offense. 

Notably, in addition to any prison sentence listed above, if convicted of the PC 264.1 rape in concert, you are also facing other penalties, such as paying victim restitution, civil lawsuit, fines, criminal protective orders, loss of gun rights, and immigration consequences.  

Further, PC 264.1 is considered a crime involving moral turpitude, morally and inherently wrong, which can lead to consequences for non-US citizens who can be deported or denied entry into the United States.

Also, professional licensing boards can deny, revoke, or suspend a professional's license to practice within their profession, such as a doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc. 

If you are found guilty of PC 264.1 rape in concert, you must serve a prison sentence, as opposed to county jail, and no part of that prison sentence can be split, meaning partially out of custody, or suspended. 

What Are Related Sex Crimes?

Penal Code 264.1 PC gang rape is often charged along with other sex crimes, such as the following:  

  • Penal Code 261 PC rape, which is described as non-consensual sexual intercourse using force, fear, or threats.
  • Penal Code 261.5 PC statutory rape means to have sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 18, even with sexual consent.
  • Penal Code 220 PC assaulting someone with intent to commit a sex offense is a separate crime often charged along with rape or gang rape.
  • Penal Code 287 PC oral copulation by force or fear is the non-consensual contact between someone's mouth and another person's genitals.
  • Penal Code 243.4 PC sexual battery means touching the intimate parts of someone's body for sexual gratification.
  • Penal Code 288 PC lewd acts with a minor involve lewd and lascivious acts with a minor child under 14 years old for sexual purposes.
  • Penal Code 286 PC sodomy is the unlawful contact between the penis and anus of another person by use of force, fear, or threats without consent.

What Are the Defenses for PC 264.1?

Suppose you have been charged with Penal Code 264.1 rape in concert. In that case, our California sex crime attorneys can use different strategies to obtain the best outcome, such as the following:

  • Victim gave consent,
  • Insufficient evidence,
  • Police misconduct,
  • Statute of limitations
  • Mistaken identity,
  • False allegation.

Perhaps we can argue that you can establish an alibi and are not guilty of committing rape in concert. Maybe we can say the victim gave consent and only later decided the act was against their will.

Penal Code 264.1 PC - Rape in Concert
PC 264.1 PC makes it a crime to act in concert with another person to commit the crime of rape.

Perhaps we can argue that you did not aid and abet the rape. Maybe you were unaware of the perpetrator's intent and were not present when the rape occurred. Maybe we can prove you withdrew your intent to aid or abet. Perhaps you had the initial intent to participate in the rape, but you changed your mind. 

Perhaps we have witness testimony that you clarified your intentions and attempted to prevent the crime.

Maybe we can prove the accusations are false and that you were wrongfully arrested after the alleged victim regretted giving consent to sexual intercourse with multiple people. Perhaps you are the victim of misidentification by the alleged victim.

Perhaps we can argue police misconduct, such as an illegal search or a coerced confession.  Prosecutors have a high burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, perhaps we can negotiate for reduced charges or a case dismissal.

Perhaps we can negotiate prefiling with the District Attorney not to file formal criminal charges, called a “DA reject.” Contact us for a free case evaluation. The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles, CA.

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