40-year-old (name withheld for privacy) has been accused of 7 felony counts of child sexual abuse, including such charges as forced oral copulation and forcible penetration with a foreign object. He has also been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child. The Gilroy man, on paid administrative leave from the San Mateo Sheriff’s Department where he has been a deputy for the past 8 years, was arrested in conjunction with allegations from a young female family member who claims that he molested her on several different occasions at two different locales.
In the state of California, (CA Penal Code 288.5) covers the continuous sexual abuse of a child, while (CA Penal Code 288) addresses oral copulation of a minor child. In any case of alleged child molestation or sexual crime against a child, if the child is under the age of 14, the charge is automatically considered a felony. The use of force, violence, or threats may increase a person’s sentence significantly. For example, if the child in this case was under the age of 14 and he is 10 or more years older than that child and only the oral copulation charge can be proven, then instead of facing 8 years in state prison, he would be looking at up to 12 years in state prison if the use of force can also be proven. As you can see, cases in which children and sexual contact are involved, both the determination of felony charges and the penalties are quite complex.