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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 under ten 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 sexual penetration with a minor under 10.

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

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

Any conviction for a sexually 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. Our California sex crime defense lawyers review the law below for further information.

Prosecuting Sex with a Child Cases

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 ten years old or younger; and
  • defendant was at least 18 years old.

Let's review some essential terms in the context of violations of PC 288.7. Sexual intercourse is the penetration of the child's vagina, and it's not required for the defendant to ejaculate.

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

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

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

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 the 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 California, minors under 18 years old can't legally give someone consent to sex.

Pretext phone call 

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

They will typically accuse the suspect of committing the crime in the 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 by the victims, for example:

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

Readers should note that the defendant will be required to serve a minimum of time in prison and 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 charged with Penal Code Section 288.7. 

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

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

Our criminal defense lawyers can use various strategies to obtain the best possible outcome. Common defenses include false allegations, mistaken identity, and no good sexual contact. Perhaps a parent coached the child to make false accusations out of jealousy or anger. Put simply; they were manipulated to accuse you falsely.

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

  • 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 that 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 will be a recidivist when they get out of custody.

It will evaluate the person overall -- what happened, the facts, and the circumstances. There'll be some testing done, and then a psychiatrist will write a report for the court giving them their impression of the situation and maybe a plan for treating the person. 

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 on how we're going to deal with it.  Once I am retained on the case, I will get the discovery paperwork, 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 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'll 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 for 27 years and have prior experience in the District Attorney's office and working for a superior court judge.

In 1994, I started handling these 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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