A 48-year-old man currently stands accused of having sexually attacked and sodomized a young boy, 10 years of age. Apparently, the young boy was walking alone near the 1100 block of 98th Avenue when a strange man lured him away from his route. The boy described his assailant as dirty, having facial hair, and wearing a ball cap. After the assault, the boy managed to get away and back to his parents, who he immediately informed of the incident. A composite sketch was instrumental in the arrest and charge of statutory rape.
One of the most serious offenses that a person can commit in the state of California is having sex with a child. It is considered among the most heinous crimes that individuals commit and is, therefore, not taken lightly. Better known as ‘statutory rape’ law, California Penal Code 261.5 is violated if intercourse is had with anyone under the age of 18. If the child is under the age of 10, different, and more severe, penalties apply. Even if the victim is a willing participant in the intercourse, statutory rape laws will still apply.
In the above case, it is clear that the child in question was on the cusp of two different sets of penalties, as he is exactly 10 years of age. Though technically a ‘wobbler’ (meaning that it could be treated either as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the choice of the particular prosecutor and the facts of the specific case), cases involving children this young are usually treated as felonies. It also means being subject to CA Penal Code 288 (Lewd Acts with a Child), which carries its own penalties, including registration as a sex offender. All in all, the perpetrator of the above crime will likely spend up to 8 years in state prison and pay hefty fines.