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Articles Posted in Sex Offenses

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Sex Offender RegistriesThere is almost no category of criminal offenses that is as universally despised as sexual offenses. At the mention of this category of crimes, most people’s minds go to rape, child molestation or child pornography. Those who commit these crimes earn very little sympathy from the public, so it is not surprising that the punishment for these crimes is extremely harsh.

One such punishment can potentially last for a lifetime, long after any prison sentence has been served and restitution has been paid. If you have been convicted of a sex crime, your punishment will likely include a lifetime with your name on the sex offender registry, and you will be required to register at least once per year with a local law enforcement agency.

However, in recent years, many groups have begun to question the wisdom and effectiveness of these registries. Notably, groups that advocate for sexual assault victims are among the loudest critics of the sex offender registry.

Harsh Criticisms from Victim Advocates

Roughly 100,000 of the nearly 40 million people in California are on the sex offender registry. The overall purpose of the registry is to allow the public to identify persons in the area who could pose a potential danger to the community. However, the intended purpose of this law is no longer being accomplished because the registry sweeps the violent and non-violent offenders together without making a distinction between the truly dangerous and the relatively harmless. This means that those convicted of rape share the list with people who were convicted of minor sex offenses.

Moreover, because the sweep of registries is so broad, they tend to consume valuable law enforcement resources, spreading some agencies too thin to effectively prevent new crimes. Tyffani Dent, a clinical director at Cleveland’s Abraxas Counseling Center, is a psychologist who works with both sexual abuse victims and sex offenders. She points out that officers and deputies are charged not only with checking up on violent offenders but also teenagers who were convicted of “sexting” their girlfriends or boyfriends, and who pose little or no threat to their communities.

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Stranger RapeIn 2012, the U.S. Justice Department funded a research report that revealed some startling attitudes toward the crime of rape in the Los Angeles Police and Sheriff’s Departments.1 The study’s authors examined clearance statistics for sexual assaults in the City and County of Los Angeles, and interviewed several police officers, sheriff’s deputies, detectives, prosecutors, and victims, getting their views on the nature of this crime and how the victim’s own acts play a role in whether the alleged offender gets prosecuted.

A Look at the Numbers

Researchers found that of the 5,031 rapes and attempted rapes reported to the LAPD from 2005 through 2009, 43.4% remained open, and 10.9% were determined to be unfounded. The other 45.7% were cleared, meaning the case had reached a resolution by arrest (12.2%) or through “exceptional means” (33.5%). “Exceptional means” is when an arrest could have been made but the police were unable to do so for some reason outside of the hands of law enforcement, such as the suspect dying before an arrest could be made or the victim not cooperating with the investigation.

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A lawyer from Santa Maria is on a mission to curb restrictive laws passed in California communities affecting the daily lives of registered sex offenders that she says violate the California and U.S. Constitutions.

Janice Bellucci, a civil rights attorney and president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws (California RSOL), has filed complaints in the Central and Eastern U.S. District Courts of California challenging restrictions enacted in the cities of Pomona and South Lake Tahoe, respectively.Federal%20Crimes_2.jpg

According to attorney Bellucci, the ordinances currently in effect in these cities violate state and federal constitutional rights of citizens required to register under the California Sex Offender Registration Act (Penal Code Section 290) because they prohibit where law-abiding citizens may lawfully reside and/or physically be present.

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35-year-old actor James Franco, famous for his roles as the gay lover of Harvey Milk in the feature film “Milk” and the villain Harry Osborn in “Spiderman 2” and “Spiderman 3,” has gotten himself into a sticky situation. He may have just added “creepy old dude” to the long list of credits next to his name.

Recently, Franco met a 17-year-old teenager named Lucy, a Scottish girl on vacation with her parents visiting New York City. The girl took an Instagram video of the actor, who was signing autographs outside the theater of his Broadway show. Franco says in the video “you gotta tag me.” She did. james%20franco.jpg

Franco and the teenager went on to exchange messages on social media and text messages later that night, when the conversation turned flirtatious, perhaps solicitous. Was he thinking about having sex with the teenager?

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Attitudes toward any sexual behavior involving minors are very intolerant. However, minors account for 12% of all rape incidents and 19% of all other sex crimes are against minors, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency.1

California law has historically shown a similar attitude towards minors, especially those who engage in prostitution, by prosecuting them and considering them juvenile delinquents. In fact, between 2000 and 2010, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed 2,188 petitions against minors caught soliciting or loitering for solicitation.2 Until now, these children, many of whom are forced into prostitution by abusers and pimps, were given no legs in their fight against sex traffickers.

The First Step Diversion Program, which was recently announced by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, will provide vital social services to teen victims of sex trafficking while aiming to clear their criminal records within one year, if they complete the program. The goal is to recognize that child and teen prostitutes are often victims, not offenders, as they have been forced into this helpless situation and need to be rehabilitated instead of detained.

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For most crimes in California, the prosecutor must file a complaint against a defendant within a specified amount of time. This period, prescribed by the California Penal Code, is known as the “Statute of Limitations.” In order to be criminally prosecuted, the prosecutor must ensure that a complaint is filed against your for the criminal activity before this statutory period elapses. If the statutory period lapses, you cannot be convicted for that activity. As a general rule, the more serious your violation is, the longer the statute of limitations.

Statutory Rape is a Serious Offense in California

RO%20Violation.jpgUnder California Penal Code section 261.5, it is illegal for an adult (18 years or older) to have sex with a minor (younger than 18 years old). This crime is known as unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor or “Statutory Rape.” Under PC 261.5, it is irrelevant whether the sex was consensual because the law states that minors are not capable of giving informed consent to sexual activity.

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If you are convicted of a sex crime in California, you will likely be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life as part of your sentence. Even if you are not initially sentenced to lifetime sex offender registration, California may try to require you to register. In a recent case, the California Court of Appeal ruled adding registration requirements after a sentence was served is not unreasonable given state and federal laws.

Registering as a sex offender can have devastating consequences on you and your family. It could affect your employment, where you can live and your status within the community. That is why it is important to retain the services of an experienced California criminal defense attorney if you are facing charges of a sex crime. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients obtain relief from sex offender registration requirements.

Maciel v. Cate

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At a recent family party, you spent time “catching up” with your 17-year old niece. You considered your behavior to be completely appropriate, but are now being charged with annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 in violation of California Penal Code section 647.6.

You do not have to face this charge alone. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have an impressive record of successfully defending PC 647.6 cases and have the skill needed to help you win your case.

Annoying or Molesting a Child Under the Age of 18

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Introduction

According to California Penal Code 803(g), a “criminal complaint may be filed within one year of the date on which the identity of the suspect is conclusively established by DNA testing” for any sex crime listed under PC 290(c).

Sex%20Crimes%20Criminal%20Defense%20Lawyers%20888-280-6839.jpg So, what does this mean?

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An indecent exposure charge can have long-lasting severe consequences on your life. Not only is your freedom at stake but your reputation is also in harms way. If you face indecent exposure charges under PC 314, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced criminal defense law firm.

Prosecution of Indecent Exposure

California%20Indecent%20Exposure%20Defense%20Attorneys%20888-280-6839.jpg The prosecution must prove the following two elements in order to convict you of indecent exposure:

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.