January 1, 2008 By Wallin & Klarich

Your child is arrested for molesting another child? How can this be? It sounds wrong. Yet under California law, a juvenile may be prosecuted for child molest even if the victim is the same age. The law describes the minimum age for a victim. Often the laws don’t say how old or young the person committing the act has to be.

For example, say a 15 year old boy has a 13 year old girlfriend. Say they engage in some sexual sort of touching. California law says:

Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act,
including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1,
upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.
California Penal Code § 288(a)

This law says nothing about how old the person who commits the act must be. Its even possible for a juvenile to be sent to prison. If sent to prison or the Department of Juvenile Justice, (prison for juveniles) a juvenile could be forced to register as a sex offender for life.

These are some of the reasons why you need an experienced attorney if a juvenile is charged with child molestation. Call the experienced attorney’s at Wallin & Klarich at 1-888-280-6839.

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