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Sex with a Child Under 10 - Penal Code 288.7 PC

Review of PC 288.7 Sex With a Minor Under 10 Years Old and Defenses

California Penal Code 288.7 PC defines the felony sex crime of an adult engaging in specific sexual acts with a child who is under the age of 10 years old.

This statute is one of the most severely punished crimes and includes anyone 18 or older engaging in sexual intercourse, oral copulation, sodomy, and any type of sexual penetration with a minor under 10.

In order to convict someone of a PC 288.7, sex with a child 10 years or younger offense, the prosecutor doesn't have to prove defendant had a malicious intent when the sexual act occurred, but only that they committed the act.

Further, this statute applies both to over 18 adults who committed illegal sexual acts on the child, or for causing the child to engage in in sexual activity with the defendant, or even another person.

Any conviction for a sexual related crime will carry severe punishments. A PC 288.7 conviction can result in a sentence of up to life in a California state prison.

For further information, our California sex crime defense lawyers are reviewing the law below.

Prosecuting Sex with a Child Cases

In order for someone to be convicted of violating Penal Code 288.7 PC, the prosecutor has to be able to prove all the elements of the crime:

  • defendant engaged in sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual penetration with the child;
  • when the act occurred, the child was 10 years old or younger; and
  • defendant was at least 18 years old.

Let's review some important terms in the context of violations of PC 288.7.

Sex with a Child Under 10 Years Old – Penal Code 288.7 PC

Sexual intercourse is the penetration of the child's vagina and it' not required for the defendant to ejaculate.

Sodomy is the penetration of the child's anus. Oral copulation is contact between the mouth of someone and the sexual organ another person.

Finally, sexual penetration means any type of penetration of the minor, even slight. It also includes the child sexually penetrating someone else or causing them to penetrate themselves.

As noted, the prosecutor does not have to prove the defendant acted with criminal intent when they sexually engaged the child, but only that any of the sexual acts occurred, even if they are a member of victim's family.

Additionally, the defendant can be arrested, charged, and convicted under this statute if the sexual activity with the child was consensual. In the state of California, minors under 18 years old can't legally give someone consent to engage in sex.

Pretext phone call 

While investigating sex PC 288.7 sex with a minor case, police will often use a pretext phone call where they the victim of child's parents call the suspect while they listen to the conservation.

They will typically accuse the suspect of committing the crime in hope of getting them to make incriminating statements a prosecutor can use to file formal criminal charges.

Potential Punishments

Penal Code 288.7 sex with a minor under 10 is a felony crime and usually includes time in a California state prison if convicted.

The specific amount of time will depend on the sexual act that was committed on the victims, for example:

  • If defendant engaged in sexual intercourse or sodomy of the minor under PC 288.7(a), they could be sentenced to 25 years to life in a state prison.
  • If defendant engaged in oral copulation or sexual penetration with minor under PC 288.7(b), then they could receive 15 years to life in prison.

Readers should note the defendant will be required to serve a minimum amount of time in prison and can only obtain a release after a parole board hearing.

Also, a conviction under Penal Code 288.7 will require mandatory sex offender registration under PC 290 and they will be prohibited from contacting the victim.

What are the Related California Crimes?

  • Penal Code 288 PC – lewd acts on a child,
  • Penal Code 288a PC – oral copulation with a minor,
  • Penal Code 288.2 PC – sending harmful matter to minor,
  • Penal Code 288.3 PC – contact minor to commit a felony,
  • Penal Code 288.4 PC – arrange a meeting with a minor,
  • Penal Code 288.5 PC – continuous sexual abuse of a child,
  • Penal Code 311 PC – child pornography,
  • Penal Code 647.6 PC – child molestation.

Defense of PC 288.7 Sex with a Child Under the Age of 10

If you're charged with this offense, you're probably a family member calling for somebody who's been charged with Penal Code Section 288.7. 

The reason I say that is because the bail is probably north of a million dollars. This is an extremely serious sex crime. The person who is charged with this is facing life imprisonment. 

Obviously, the legislature, the police, prosecutors and judges protect children.  So, if you're charged under this statute, the person is going to be treated very harshly, and obviously, you're going to need some sort of an advocate on your side. 

Our criminal defense lawyers can use a variety of strategies in an attempt to obtain the best possible outcome. Some common defenses include false allegation, mistaken identity, no sexual contact.

Perhaps the child was coached by a parent to make false accusations out of jealously or anger. Put simply, they were manipulated to falsely accuse you.

The two ways that you would deal with a case like sex with a child under the age of 10 is:

  • you're going to fight it and take it to trial if they don't have enough evidence and you're indicating that you're innocent of the crime; or
  • the other way is through mitigation -- putting together a mitigation package with what I would call a 288.1 report.

This is a Code Section which relates to reports that assess the person as a sex offender, as a sexual predator, and basically, what the report is doing is determining:

  • why the individual committed the particular crime; and
  • if it's likely that person is going to be a recidivist when they get out of custody.

It's going to evaluate the person overall -- what happened; the facts and circumstances.

They'll be some testing done and then a psychiatrist is going to write a report for the court giving them their impression of the situation and even maybe a plan on how the person can be treated. 

Strategy Meeting to Review All the Details

Also, we'd get character letters and whatever else made sense related to the case. Typically, what I do is, the family comes in. We sit down and we go over everything. 

We talk about it and we get a game plan together on how we're going to deal with it.  Once I am retained on the case, I will get the paperwork, which is called discovery, which is all the details associated with the case -- arrest report, videos, whatever they've got.

Defense of PC 288.7 Sex with a Child Under the Age of 10

Then, I will sit down with the person that is charged with having sex with someone under the age of 10 and we will talk about what happened. 

I'll let them know what evidence the prosecutors and police claim they have against them and then we're going to start to formulate a plan on how we're going to deal with the case.

So, if you or a loved one needs help, I've been doing this 27 hears and have prior experience in the District Attorney's office and working for a superior court judge.

In 1994, I started handling these types of cases as a criminal defense attorney. 

Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you.

Hedding law firm is based in LA County with two office locations, including 2049 Century Park E #2525 Los Angeles, CA 90067.

We offer a free confidential consultation by calling our office at (213) 542-0979, or you can fill out the contact form.

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