A 36-year-old woman has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old boy. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the arrest occurred on January 7, 2011 in Lake Forest. Police believe the woman cultivated a relationship with the teenager online. According to the report, the woman drove to the boy’s home in Maryland and engaged in sexual activity. She has been arrested for rape, child molestation, and sexual solicitation of a minor.
California Penal Code Section 261.5 deals with a person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18. Depending on the age of the victim and the alleged offender, statutory rape could be a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction of statutory rape could result in one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A felony statutory rape conviction could result in 16 months to four years in a California state prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Defending a case involving statutory rape can be a complicated process. There are many questions a skilled criminal defense attorney may ask during the proceedings. Did the accused reasonably believe the alleged victim was of age? Did the minor make statements regarding their age that led to a misunderstanding? Whether or not consent was given is not a valid defense when the victim is underage. A criminal defense lawyer will instead have to prove that the offense did not occur or that the defendant could not have reasonably known the age of the victim.
The Orange County sex crime defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have successfully defended many who have been accused of serious sex crimes in Southern California. If you or a loved one has been charged with a sex crime, please contact our lawyers at 866-430-8383 to obtain the help you need. We always offer free consultations.