Articles Posted in Sex Crime

A man accused of an attempted rape of a 77 year old South Bay woman entered a not guilty plea at Torrance Court on Wednesday. Duncan Aaron Walton is accused of attempting to sexually assault the elderly woman at her Redondo Beach apartment complex before she was able to escape. Police arrested Walton shortly after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor who overheard the struggle. According to the criminal complaint filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Walton is charged with 3 felony charges of kidnapping to commit rape, assault with intent to commit rape, and elder abuse.

Walton’s sentencing exposure will be significant if he is convicted as he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole on the kidnapping to commit rape allegation under California Penal Code 209, and/or lifetime sex offender registration if his criminal defense attorney is able to secure a sentence of probation.

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A 67 year old doctor was recently arrested following sexual assault allegations made by multiple female patients. Dr. Michael Popkin, who has been licensed to practice medicine in California since 1977, was alleged to have committed the assaults at his Encino office during medical exams between 2001 and 2016. Given Dr. Popkin’s 4 decades of medical practice, detectives within LAPD’s sex crimes unit are continuing their investigation hoping to locate additional victims. As it stands, Dr. Popkin is currently facing 4 sex crime charges ranging from sexual exploitation of a patient and sexual battery. If convicted Dr. Popkin could face imprisonment in county jail or state prison and lifetime sex offender registration.

Criminal Arrests Involving Licensed Professionals

Dr. Popkin’s case exemplifies the heightened consequences licensed professionals face when charged with criminal offenses. In addition to the criminal case, the Medical Board of California (MBC) will likely launch their own independent investigation into Dr. Popkin’s medical licensing. As a California state licensing agency, the MBC has the authority to conduct its own administrative investigations and independently dispense its own punishments for acts which violate the board’s code of ethics. Similar to the California DMV’s authority to suspend one’s driving privilege even without a DUI conviction in court, the MBC and other professional licensing can impose administrative sanctions upon licensees without a criminal conviction.

A 49-year-old teacher has been arrested after meeting an undercover federal agent with whom he allegedly agreed to watch child pornography. According to a KTLA news report, the Covina teacher was arrested in his Royal Oak Middle School classroom. Officials say he engaged in online chats with an agent about young boys and agreed to a meeting to watch child pornography together. Investigators then allegedly found videos depicting child pornography on his computer. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography online.

It is illegal to distribute, employ minors to participate in, advertise, develop, exchange or possess child pornography. Under California law, child pornography is defined as any material that depicts minors simulating or engaging in sexual conduct. This means that any material featuring children engaged in penetration, sadomasochistic abuse, masturbation, defecation, or exhibition of genitals is illegal…
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Some sex offenders are required as part of their probation to wear GPS tracking devices. It is against the law to tamper with a GPS tracker and a new bill that is currently under consideration will send offenders who remove their devices to state prison. According to a news report in The Los Angeles Times, the bill passed its first legislative committee on April 30. If it becomes law, a first offense would result in a mandatory 180 days in county jail. A second offense would result in up to one year in county jail and a third offense would be punishable by a prison sentence. If it passes, this new bill would affect about 8,000 paroled sex offenders who are currently required to wear electronic monitors.

As the law stands now, the maximum penalty you can face for removing a GPS device is 180 days in county jail. This new bill substantially increases the penalties, but it is not the toughest bill that has recently come up for debate. At least one measure backed by Republican leaders called for prison sentences for first-time offenders.
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When a convicted sex offender is released from prison, he or she may be required to wear an electronic monitoring device at all times. Before October of 2011, the penalty for removing a GPS monitoring device was up to a year in state prison. Now, the maximum penalty for tampering with a device while on parole is up to 180 days in a county jail. Officials say that it is allegedly common for paroled sex offenders to only serve a few days for this offense before being released due to budget cuts and overcrowding in jails. Some believe that there is a correlation between this reduction in punishment and the increase in GPS tampering offenses.

According to a KPCC news report, more than 2,276 paroled sex offenders reportedly removed their GPS monitoring devices last year. That is a 20 percent increase from two years ago when the new law took effect. Paroled offenders should be aware, however, that there is no guarantee that they will be released early and that law enforcement officers make every effort to track down individuals who have cut their GPS monitoring system.
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In a landslide vote on November 7, 2012, 81.1 percent of California voters approved Proposition 35, which increases prison sentences and fines for those convicted of human trafficking. According to a February 21 report by The Daily Titan, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation have jointly filed a suit claiming that Proposition 35 is unconstitutional.

Under Prop 35, those convicted of human trafficking since July 1, 1944 will have to register as sex offenders and report their Internet providers, identifiers, email, and user names to local law enforcement. They will even have to report comments and blogs they may have posted online.
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In 2006, Jessica’s Law went into effect in California preventing all registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks where children congregate. Since then, Orange County cities including Fullerton, Cypress and Seal Beach have passed ordinances that increase these types of restrictions. In Cypress, city ordinances prevent registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of private schools and day care centers. It also prevents sex offenders from answering the door for trick-or-treaters on Halloween or from living in a single residence with another sex offender who is not a spouse or related by blood.

According to a news report in The Orange County Register, there are two lawsuits that have currently been filed against the city of Cypress because of these residency restrictions. A man who could legally return to his own home because of the new restrictions was the first to file a lawsuit against the city. He has been forced to either violate his parole condition and risk returning to prison or become homeless. A man who is not allowed to live with his fiancé because he was convicted of a sex offense in 1987 filed the second lawsuit.
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Burbank police officers recently arrested a 69-year-old convicted sex offender for possessing images of underage girls in his car. According to The Los Angeles Times, police stopped the man for allegedly not wearing his seatbelt. During a search of his car, officers found clothing for young girls and 19 digital photos of underage girls involved in sex acts. He was being held in lieu of $380,000 bail.

California’s child pornography law is clearly defined in California Penal Code Section 311.3 (a): “A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a child if he or she knowingly develops, duplicates, prints, or exchanges any representation of information, data, or image … that depicts a person under the age of 18 years engaged in an act of sexual conduct.” An individual who is convicted of a child pornography offense could face heavy fines, jail or prison time, and possible registration as a sex offender.
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A 56-year-old Culver City man has been sentenced to four years in state prison for watching child pornography on a library computer. According to a news report in The Santa Monica Mirror, the incident occurred at the library on Main Street in Santa Monica in October. Officials say that the man is a registered sex offender and that they observed him watching child pornography by assigning a plainclothes officer to the case. The man pleaded guilty and was sentenced this month.

Possession of child pornography is a serious offense in California. According to California Penal Code 311.11: “Every person who knowingly possesses or controls any matter, representation of information, data, or image that depicts a person under the age of 18 years personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct is guilty of a felony.”

First-time sex offenders found in possession of child pornography will face felony charges in California punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for up to one year and a fine of $2,500. If the person who commits the violation has been previously convicted of child pornography possession, or is a registered sex offender, he or she will face felony charges punishable by imprisonment for two, four, or six years.
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Convicted sex offenders are not truly free to live their lives even after they are released from prison after serving time. Depending on the crime, a sex offense can result in restrictions on where someone can live or work. In some cases, sex offenders will also have to wear a GPS monitor that tracks their every move.

According to a CBS 47 news report, a 48-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly removed his ankle monitor and assaulted a student at Fresno State. The report states that a number of sex offenders are violating the terms of their probation. It is unclear how many parole violators have been able to avoid jail time. It is clear, however, that sex crime convictions can have a long lasting impact on personal freedoms.

There are a number of ways in which a sex crime can affect your rights. Many sex crime convictions in California have an impact on where an individual can live. If your home is near a school, for example, you will likely have to move if you are convicted of a sex crime. A conviction can also affect what type of job you have and will likely affect your ability to pursue a new job as well.
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