A 20-year-old assistant football coach has been arrested and charged with unlawful sex with a minor. According to an ESPN news report, the Hart High School coach was arrested in Santa Clarita. Officials say the 20-year-old coach had sex with a 15-year-old student in a vehicle. The authorities believe this is an isolated incident and no other victims are expected to come forward. The coach now faces felony charges, including lewd acts with a child and unlawful sexual intercourse.
California Penal Code Section 261.5 defines unlawful sexual intercourse as “an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of the perpetrator, if the person is a minor.” This crime is a misdemeanor when the victim is within three years of age with the suspect. The law states that “any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.”
Allegations of unlawful sex with a minor can have long lasting social and professional ramifications for defendants. This type of allegation can be particularly damaging to someone who works with children, such as a teacher, coach, mentor, or tutor. Some common consequences of a sex crime conviction include prison time, hefty fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
The experienced Los Angeles sex crime defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have a long history of handling sex crime cases. If you or a loved one is facing sex crime charges involving minors, please contact our offices at (866) 430-8383 to better understand your legal rights and options.