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Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Jeff Voll

Sexual Battery

Actual Case #1

In People v. Farha S. - Case No. BAM039634, my client was a well to do liquor store owner who was charged with sexual battery out of the Banning Court. He hired a cleaning lady to clean his house and after about two weeks of working in his home with all the nice things that she cleaned daily she went to the local police one day and made up a story that my client had sexually battered her by touching her on her breasts and ass without her consent. The allegations she made were completely untrue. It was clear that she was going to try to extort money out of him. Nevertheless, the prosecutor filed a sexual battery case against my client which would mean if he was convicted he would have to register as a sex offender for life. I normally don't travel outside Los Angeles County but this case was clearly such bullshit that I had to go fight for this guy. Outcome: my client settled for a disturbing the peace misdemeanor with informal probation.

THE LAW

What Is Sexual Battery?

California Penal Code section 243.4 defines "sexual battery" as making offensive and/or harmful physical contact with another person's intimate parts for the purpose of sexual pleasure. This must have been done while he/she was physically restrained, unconscious, or confined in an institution such as a hospital or mental ward. As sexual assault is the attempt at sexual battery, it is an automatically included offense.

While sexual battery can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of injury and the defendant's past criminal record, it is always a serious allegation to face. Anyone accused of this crime would do well to quickly secure the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What Must the Prosecution Prove?

The prosecutor must demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt all of the following elements to secure a conviction for sexual battery:

  • The defendant made physical contact with the intimate areas of the alleged victim's body while he or some other person kept the victim restrained. This touching can occur directly on the skin or through contact with the person's clothing.
  • The defendant touched the victim in violation of his/her wishes. Consensual sexual contact is not sexual battery unless the person touched is a minor or is otherwise unable to exercise legal consent.
  • The defendant touched the victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, abuse, or gratification. Otherwise, while it would still be battery, it would not constitute sexual battery, and a conviction would not lead to registration as a sex offender.
  • Sexual battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. To prove the act to be of felony status, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the victim did not know the nature of the act about to be performed on him/her. This lack of knowledge might arise because the act was presented as being for a professional, lawful purpose. Restraining the victim while performing the act also renders it a felony.

What About an Accidental Touch?

Sexual battery requires that the act of touching was done to bring sexual pleasure to the person doing the touching or sexual arousal or abuse to the one touched. An accidental act of touching cannot be construed to be for any purpose whatsoever, much less for the purpose of creating gratification, arousal, or pain. Therefore, no accident can count as sexual battery.

How Is "Intimate Part" Defined?

California defines "intimate part" as any of the following: the penis of a man, the vagina or breast of a woman, the buttocks, or the anus. Touching any of these body parts through the clothes of the victim is a misdemeanor. Touching an intimate part directly on the skin is required for a felony conviction.

What Constitutes "Fraudulent Representation"?

Sexual battery by means of "fraudulent representation" involves the misrepresentation by the perpetrator that the touching was being done for fully professional purposes. It also requires that the victim was taken by surprise, being unaware that the real purpose of the touching for sexual pleasure, abuse, or arousal. One example might be a psychologist who touches the breasts of a female client under the guise of "helping her overcome her fear of intimacy."

Defending Against Sexual Battery Charges

False accusation of sexual battery are sometimes made out of spite, rage, or for other flawed purposes. Other times, simple battery or some lesser offense is exaggerated into sexual battery. Those accuse of sexual battery are regarded by the law as innocent until strong evidence proves otherwise.
There are many possible defenses against the charge of sexual battery, the most common being that the alleged victim actually consented to the intimate physical contact in question.

Other defenses include: the touching was indeed professional and not a guise for other motives, the touching was purely an accident, and no physical contact with the plaintiff's intimate parts was ever made.

Possible Penalties for Sexual Battery

California defines battery as any form of undesired, uninvited touching of another person with intent to cause any from of harm to that individual. This "simple battery" can be punished by a maximum sentence of six months in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

When the charge is increased to sexual battery, however, there are severer punishments that will apply. The consequences for a sexual battery conviction will begin without delay and remain with the convict for a lifetime. The offender will face time behind bars, a fine, and registration as a sex offender. Additionally, there will be a probationary period upon release from custody.

Sexual battery will be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the details of the case and on the prior criminal record of the defendant. A misdemeanor conviction carries a penalty of up to six months in the county jail, but this is increased to a full year in more extreme cases. The fine will generally be a maximum of $2,000, but if the victim was an employee of the perpetrator, the fine can be as high as $3,000. For a felony conviction, the punishment is: two to four years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Sex Offender Registration

California Penal Code section 290 requires that, in addition to any fines and incarceration periods, those convicted of the crime of sexual battery register themselves as a sex offender. This registration is mandatory, lifelong, and applies to both misdemeanors and felonies. Failure to register as required is itself a crime, which is of felony status.

The California Department of Justice keeps a database of all registered sex offenders living in the state who were convicted under California's legal system. Those who have been convicted of particular sex-related crimes outlined in the state penal code must register with the local police or sheriff station before being released from custody.

While still in jail, prison, a mental institution, or during a probationary period, offenders are informed of their registration requirements. A copy of the notification form is kept by the California DOJ as evidence that the offender was indeed notified.

This offender database enables California's Sex Offender Tracking Program. Most convicts are required to update the information kept on file with the DOJ every year, but some must do so more frequently. Transients must make updates once every 30 days, and violent sexual stalkers must update every 90 days. The DOJ tracking program will be alerted immediately if an offender does not register on schedule. There will be no way to prevent the state from learning of the violation.

Experienced Sexual Battery Defense

If you have been accused of sexual battery in Los Angeles or surrounding areas, it is imperative that you quickly obtain the best possible criminal defense attorney. We at the Law Offices of Jeff Voll have breadth of knowledge and depth of experience in handling and winning sexual battery cases. We know the best defense strategies to use in challenging the charges brought against you, and we know how to identify weak spots in the prosecutor's argument. Contact us today at 323-467-6400 for a free consultation and for immediate attention to your case.

 

 

Vice President of DUI Association

Vice President of California DUI Lawyers Association

Contact Information

Law Offices of Jeff Voll
3460 Wilshire Blvd. #410
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Telephone: 323-467-6400

100 Criminal Cases Dismissed in 1 Year Alone

I stand by my statement 100% and I implore you to find an attorney who can also state that in one year’s time after announcing “ready for trial” they have proven results of over 100 criminal cases being dismissed. There is no other attorney in Los Angeles who can actually make this claim! Since my first day practicing law my one true goal and the thing that brings me the most satisfaction in my career is defending the legal rights of the accused. I personally have not ever worked as a police officer or a prosecutor. I am confident in my skills, my work, and furthermore dedication to my clients. If you can locate a criminal defense attorney who is able to claim and prove to you greater results than what is listed on my website then I implore you to retain their services and not my own in your current legal matter. Criminal Defense Results

Criminal Defense Attorney
Jeff Voll