Hayward law enforcement officials are currently on the lookout for a man, who looks to be in his twenties, who molested an 8-year-old girl in the 99 Cents Only Store in Hayward on Mission Boulevard while her mother was shopping in another aisle. The unknown man is accused of child molestation by having touched the young girl by placing his hands inside of her pants. Mother and child are reported to be incensed by the fact that this happened in broad daylight in what otherwise seemed to be a safe place of business.
Though this man’s actions may seem tame when compared to the horrifying situations that other children have gone through (like lifetime sexual abuse), it is certainly still considered to be child molestation (“Lewd Acts with a Child under 14” – CA Penal Code 288). In fact, any time that a minor child is touched by an adult with the intention of arousing that adult in a sexual manner, the aforementioned law covers that act or acts. A brief encounter such as this, as can be seen, has triggered a statewide hunt for the suspect in this case.
California law is exceptionally unforgiving when it comes to persons that are convicted of touching a child in a sexual way. In particular, if the child in question is under the age of 14, an individual could spend up to 8 years in state prison, 10 years if prosecutors can prove that threats or force were involved in the molestation. Additionally, lifetime registration as a sex offender is required in any conviction involving Penal Code 288.