A 38-year-old Ventura County man has pleaded not guilty to sex crimes involving a child under the age of 14. According to a news report in The Ventura County Star, the man pleaded not guilty to all charges including committing a lewd act on a child and copulation of a person under 14. He was booked at the Ventura County jail for the incident that allegedly occurred on June 1, 2011.
Lewd conduct in Los Angeles, according to California Penal Code section 288, includes “any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act … 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.”
It is important for the authorities to protect the youths of California, but it is also important that suspects in sex crime cases are offered a fair opportunity to defend themselves. It is common in cases involving children for false allegations to be made and for an individual’s reputation to be tarnished simply by of the accusation of a sex crime. Those convicted of sex crimes are also required to register as a sex offender and their information can be viewed by the public through the Department of Justice’s Megan’s Law database.
The skilled Ventura sex crime defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan help our clients fight wrongful charges and avoid harsh penalties. If you are facing lewd act charges in southern California, call our offices today at (866) 430-8383 to begin building your defense.