Los Angeles, Our Client Age 13, Felony Lewd Act, Probation

Our client, a male age 13, was charged with a violation of Penal Code § 288 (Felony Lewd or Lascivious Acts) for allegedly masturbating to ejaculation while touching the vagina of a three year old girl that he was baby-sitting.
Summary:  Los Angeles, our client 13 years old confesses in writing to felony lewd act with a child age three, case resolved for probation with a GPS anklet.
Evidence of semen from our client was gathered from a trash can in the young girl’s home.  There was no penetration.  The girl was not physically injured.

The case came to the attention of the police because the young girl’s older sister, age nine, described what had happened.  She had apparently walked in on the client with the three year old. 

Without his mom being allowed to sit in on the police talking to our client, the young teenager wrote a detailed confession to the police almost immediately after being arrested.  He did so because police suggested he might be able to go home if he did so (he was not released to go home).

When the client confesses in writing, it obviously shows guilt, as well as cooperation.  However, it is a common mistake to believe that a confession will erase the charges.  In our experience, the charges only become stronger and the exposure to the client only increases. 

In this case, the letter aggravated the severity of his conduct, as he graphically described what he had done, even describing how he used moderate force to the victim to complete his act.

In mitigation, our client had no prior record of any sort and was a good student, so the charges were deeply confusing to our client’s parents, especially because the maximum sentence facing our client (if tried as an adult, which was unlikely) was eight years and registration as a sexual offender under Penal Code § 290, which would follow him the rest of his life.

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Inglewood Juvenile Courthouse

The case was filed in the Inglewood Juvenile Court.  The District Attorney viewed the case as extremely serious, commenting that the victim was vulnerable and he was in a position of trust, but the judge agreed with our office that a psychological evaluation was appropriate first and foremost.   We asked the judge to appoint an expert we recommended.  The prosecutor objected to this, reading parts of our client’s letter to the judge and commenting that our client knew full well what he was doing.  This show of bravado, however, clearly backfired, as the client’s parents heard the letter being read and were visibly shaken, which the judge saw.

Indeed, sometimes a prosecutor does not appreciate the very powerful role he or she has in our system.

Such an expert examination was then conducted, the results of which recommended leniency in punishment as appropriate.

Our client’s family was extremely relieved when he was released home on probation, sentence stayed, to house arrest, but required to wear an anklet GPS to track his movement.  Our client was also reassigned to a different school while on probation and required to undergo psychological counseling for the indefinite future to improve impulse control issues.

For more information about sex offenses in general, click on the following articles:
  1. Expungement Is Available for Attempted Sex Offense under Penal Code § 288 When Defendant Successfully Completes Probation
  2. Conviction Overturned for Lewd Acts upon a Child
  3. Thirty Years to Life Sentence for Juvenile Sex Crime Defendant Not Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Watch our video about sex offenses by clicking here.

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