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Continuous Sexual Abuse

Penal Code 288.5 PC – Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child

When it comes to Penal Code Section 288.5, you're talking about someone who is having sex with a minor under the age of 14.  That sex has to being had longer than three months.

If this is proved by the prosecution, there also has to be three or more instances for the prosecution to be able to seek a sentence for 16 years in prison. This is obviously, a very serious sex crime with very serious repercussions.

So, if you or a loved one is charged with Penal Code Section 288.5 and the case is in downtown Los Angele, 210 West Temple, which is the main downtown courthouse — which is where most of these cases are prosecuted because the main sex crime prosecutor's office sits across the street at the Hall of Justice, so it makes it a lot easier.

Negotiating with the Prosecutor to Resolve Case

Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child | California Penal Code 288.5 PC
PC 288.5 describes the crime of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, when there are at least 3 instances of sexual abuse over 3 months or longer.

They have the Assistant Head Deputy that will handle offers on these cases while the case is at the preliminary hearing level, and then once the case gets past the preliminary hearing level, the head sex crime prosecutor in downtown LA will be the one who makes the offer to settle the case.

Most of the time, because the victim is young in these cases, the prosecutors in downtown LA will take the approach that the will make their best offer before to the preliminary hearing.

For example, a person is charged with this type of charge and the prosecutors offer 10 years to settle the case.  The person says, I don't want to go to prison for 10 years, and he does the preliminary hearing which forces the alleged victim to testify.

So, now the young victim has to come and testify and give their story — which is obviously very nerve-wracking and concerning.

What will end up happening is that the prosecutors will say that because you took us to the preliminary hearing and made the victim get on the witness stand, now we're going to offer you 15 years to settle the case.

Reviewing Strengths and Weaknesses of a Sex Crime Case

Preliminary Hearing in a LOs Angeles Sex Crime Cases
The preliminary hearing in a PC 288.5 case is crucial as our lawyers will be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of prosecutors case.

If you go to trial and lose, you stand to get the maximum sentence of 16 years.  A lot of this also depends on the strengths and weaknesses of a case. I have done cases where we've done the preliminary hearing, and we ended up getting a better offer post-preliminary hearing.

This is because some weaknesses in the prosecution's case are pointed out during the preliminary hearing or maybe the prosecutors didn't have some information that was in the police report because the police didn't do a very thorough job of investigating the case.

That happens all the time.  You're now able to point out to the boss that you understand they made you a 10 year offer prior to the preliminary hearing, but now that we've done the preliminary hearing where witnesses have testified under penalty of perjury, now you can see that there's more than meets the eye here.

The police did not have all the case information, so the 10-year offer should not be that high.

Of course, you also have the defense of arguing that the person is innocent.  Maybe they said they didn't do what is being claimed relating to the continuous sexual abuse of a minor.

When they say that, it has to be over a three-month period; there must be at least three separate acts on three dates.

Sometimes, there are problems with that, and the police don't gather all the information properly, and therefore, they don't realize the problems associated with the case.

Contact the Hedding Law Firm If Charged with a Sex Crime

So, if you or a loved one is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a minor, you're facing 16 years in prison, pick up the phone.  Make the call.

Ask to have a face to face meeting with Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you. Make the call now.  We will get the case moving in the right direction.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.

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