Solicitation of Prostitution
Prostitution is having sex in exchange for money or agreeing to have sex in exchange for money. Under California Penal Code Section 647(b), three forms of “prostitution” are prohibited: engaging in sex in exchange for money, offering sex in exchange for money (known as solicitation), and agreeing to receive sex in exchange for money. In other words, both the person who offered the sex in exchange formoney, and the person who accepted the sex in exchange for money, are considered culprits and can both be prosecuted. Under California Penal Code section 653.22, Loitering for prostitution—i.e., lingering in a public place with the intention of committing prostitution—is also prohibited. Penalties for prostitution and loitering vary from county jail to probation to jail enhancements for repeat offenders.
Prostitution arrests are commonly made by undercover police officers, who often target owners and operators of massage parlors and escort services. In these undercover sting operations, often a recording of the communications between the undercover police officer and the accused is used as proof of either solicitation on the part of the accused or an agreement on the part of the accused to engage in prostitution. If no such recording exists, then the prosecution’s case is not as strong, because without hearing or reading the conversations exchanged, jurors may be reluctant to convict. A myriad of other factors can shed doubt on the prosecution’s case, such as whether the accused had the intent to engage in sex in exchange for money, and whether or not the alleged “agreement” was simply the result of a misunderstanding—arising out of a language barrier, etc.—between the undercover officer and the accused. Whatever the circumstances, Attorney Negin Yamini will thoroughly examine and investigate the specific facts alleged against you, and devise the optimal defense strategy for your particular case.
Rape under Penal Code Section 261 is forced sexual intercourse—that is, sexual intercourse against the will of the victim or without the victim’s consent. Any penetration, no matter how slight, is sexual intercourse. Within the context of rape, “consent” means engaging in sex voluntarily and with full understanding of the nature of the act. The fact that the alleged victim and the accused are or previously had been in a dating relationship does not mean that the sexual act was consensual. More specifically, the fact that the alleged victim has had a history of consensual sexual intercourse with the accused does not mean that at any given moment he or she could not withdraw that consent. Neither does the alleged victim needed to have physically resisted the sexual intercourse for the government to proceed with a charge of rape.
To prove an allegation of rape, the prosecutor needs to establish more than just the fact that the alleged victim did not consent to sexual intercourse. The prosecutor also needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged offender actually and reasonably did not believe that the act was done with the alleged victim’s consent. The alleged victim’s words and demeanor immediately before and during the sexual act, and put within the context of the pair’s sexual history (if any), then become relevant to the issue of what the defendant could have reasonably and actually believed.
“Statutory Rape” under California Penal Code section 261.5 is unlawful sex with a minor. To prove you guilty of this offense, the prosecutor has to establish that 1) you engaged in an act of sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18; and 2) you did not actually and reasonably believe that the alleged victim was over 18 years old at the time of the act. The prosecutor need not prove that the sexual intercourse was without consent, as statutory rape can—and often does—take place in an otherwise caring and loving relationship.
Statutory rape is what is called a “wobbler,” meaning it could be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the age difference between the parties at the time of the alleged sexual act. Statutory rape is charged as misdemeanor if the offender is no more than three years older than the alleged victim. If the offender is more than three years older than the alleged victim, then statutory rape can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific facts of the case and the offender’s criminal history. Like all California sex crimes, an accusation of statutory rape can arise out of false allegations, or a myriad of factors that led the alleged offender to reasonably believe that he was having consensual sex with an adult. Attorney Negin Yamini, with her team of skilled and experienced investigators, will thoroughly explore the circumstances in which an allegation of statutory rape took place.
Lewd Acts On A Minor
Lewd Act on a Minor under Penal Code section 288 is unlawful touching of a child for sexual gratification. The child’s consent to the alleged activity is no defense whatsoever to this charge. The exact age of the child, however, is crucial in determining how severely the offense is prosecuted. Suppose that at the time of the alleged offense the child was under the age of 14. Then, the offense is charged as a felony, with an added, consecutive five-year prison sentence if the act involved force or violence. If, however, at the time of the alleged act the child was was 14 or 15 years old and at least ten years younger than the offender, then the offense is charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific facts of the case and the offender’s criminal history. Attorney Negin Yamini will thoroughly explore the circumstances giving rise to the alleged lewd act. If skillfully presented, those circumstances could result in a reduced charge, less severe penalties, or outright dismissal of the case.
If you have been accused of any of the sex crimes listed above please contact Negin Yamini for a free consultation.