Discreet Confidential Consultation (213) 374-3952


What Must Prosecutors Prove in a Child Molestation Case?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Jul 12, 2020

Sometimes these cases can get complicated and murky. Still, the common sense approach usually prevails and what the prosecutors have to prove is, number one, that there is a child involved with some sex crime.

Also, a sex crime is being perpetrated against the child by the defendant, and the sex crimes for child molestation, which I would consider kind of an umbrella/blanket term, can include all sorts of things.  It could consist of touching. California Penal Code 647.6 PC defines the crime of child molestation.

Touching a child in their genital areas with the intent to arouse yourself arouse a child would cover child molestation.  Having sex with a child and oral copulation with a child would be under the umbrella of child molestation.

Sexual Acts Against a Child

Do you have the general umbrella of child molestation, and then you have a specific crime that can also be attached to it.  I see a lot that in child molestation cases in Los Angeles, prosecutors are charging all sorts of different charges just depending on what happened in the case.

So, it would help if you had a child.  You need a defendant committing some sexual act against the child, and then you can charge that person with child molestation.

Of course, it's usually not as simple as that.  Sometimes defendants have defenses to these cases.  Sometimes maybe they touch a child inappropriately, but they don't do it intentionally.

Maybe they're bathing them, or perhaps they're picking them up, and there are some circumstances to cause that child to talk to some school officials or somebody else about it, and the person ends up getting charged with child molestation.

Sometimes I've even seen scenarios where there's a divorce going on or some dispute between parents. The next thing you know, the father gets charged with child molestation because the wife helps manufacture charges against that defendant.

Defending Against Child Molestation Allegations

So, these child molestation charges can manifest themselves in many different ways.  What I do to figure out how we're going to best handle it, I've got to talk to the defendant, and a lot of times, these defendants are in jail with huge bails, and their low-income family members are trying to look for an attorney to help them.

So, obviously, I talk to the family and find out what's going on, and then if I get retained on a case, I'll speak to the defendant and find out exactly what happened — why they got charged and kind of present to them what the police, the prosecutors and even the alleged victim — are claiming they did wrong and then try to get some feedback from them and see what they have to say about it.

Then we try to put ourselves in the best possible position to help the defendant.  We don't want to be in the place where we can't help the defendant, or we're kind of in a position where we're barking up the wrong tree, and we don't understand what our defense is going to be.

From the beginning, in a child molestation case, we have to establish what the defense will be.

The word defense can take many different meanings related to a sex crime in Los Angeles.  On the one hand, it could take the classic meaning, where the person says, I'm not guilty.

I did nothing wrong, and I want to fight this case to a jury trial, or I want to show the prosecutors that I'm innocent.  That's one way a defense can undoubtedly manifest itself.

Mitigation Package to Seek Lesser Charge

Another way a defense can manifest itself, though, is just the opposite — where the person says, I realize I did something wrong.  I'm guilty.  I don't want to go to prison for a long time, and I don't want some of these horrible ramifications that can come from a child molestation case, and we try to figure out what we can do to mitigate things.

What can we do to put that person in the best possible position based on the circumstances we face.  Then we sit down.  We get a mitigation package together.

I speak to the prosecutors and try to see where they're at.  Sometimes we'll even get a psyche involved — a doctor to evaluate the person to give recommendations as to number one.

What the punishment should be from their perspective, and two, what sort of steps could be taken with this particular defendant to ensure they won't be involved in this type of behavior in the future.

Those are some things that the prosecutors will listen to.  Those are some things the prosecutors will look and assess in deciding what type of punishment a particular person should get.  They're going to listen to what an expert has to say.

They may not wholly agree with the expert or the defense attorney's proposed resolution, but they'll at least consider it, and a lot of times, you can find some meeting in the middle.  It depends on a lot of factors.

When it comes to a child molestation case, it depends on whether the person has any prior record for this type of behavior — how old the child was at the time of the behavior — the depth of what happened — what impact it had on the child and will have in the future.

Call our Law Firm for Help

These are all things the prosecutors and judges look at in these child molestation cases.  So, we as a defense need to look at these things as well, so that we can make sure that whatever we're doing, whatever moves we're making are the right moves for this particular client and to make sure we do everything we can to protect them.

So, if you or a loved one is being charged or even investigated for child molestation, you should get somebody right away.  You've come to the right place.  I've been doing this for 26 years.  I have had a lot of success and defended many clients to a successful outcome.

Pick up the phone.  Make the call now.  Ask to speak to Ron Hedding, and we'll get the case moving in the right direction.

Hedding Law Firm is a top-rated criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our firm for a free case consultation at (213) 542-0979.

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.

Contact Us Today

Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about state or federal sex crime issues in California and throughout the United States.

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.