Houman Fakhimi

Santa Ana Sex Crimes Defense can be Required Even When There is Consent

A Santa Ana sex crimes defense can be required even if the person you were involved with was consenting.

Santa Ana Trial Attorney Houman Fahkimi is well-versed with regard to California Penal Code 261.5. Under this statute, a person can be convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse - even if the sex was consensual - if one half of the pair is a minor under the age of 18 who is not the spouse of the other.

That means technically, an 18-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old could be prosecuted. In that case, it would be considered a misdemeanor.

Usually though, prosecutors will opt to press charges under certain subsections of this law. The severity of the crime and punishment depends on the age of the defendant versus the age of the alleged victim.

So, for a person who is more than three years older than their minor sexual partner can be found guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the discretion of the prosecutor.

If, however, the person is over the age of 21 and they engage in sexual intercourse with someone younger than 16, it is considered even harsher, but could still be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on what the prosecutor decides. If it's a misdemeanor, he or she will face up to a year in jail for each offense. If it's a felony, he or she could face up to four years per count.

The defendant may also be forced to pay a fine of between $2,000 and $25,000, depending on his or her age relevant to the minor's.

In some cases, each individual sexual act is charged separately, which could mean a lengthy prison term if you don't have a skilled defense attorney on your side.

That is the case right now with one Santa Ana woman, who is accused of having sex with her daughter's 16-year-old boyfriend.

Aside from the fact that one might consider this morally egregious, no one is alleging that these encounters were forced upon the teen. In all, prosecutors are alleging the pair had sex six different times between July and December of 2011.

In fact, it was not the teen who reported the relationship to authorities. Apparently, neighbors in her apartment complex told the boy's parents, who then contacted police.

Upon her arrest, she told investigators that she was in love with the teen. What's more, she claims that the high school sophomore, who is now 17, is the father of a child to whom she gave birth in March.

She has not entered a plea, but she faces eight years behind bars if she's convicted on all counts, according to Orange County prosecutors, who have charged her with six felony counts relating to unlawful sexual intercourse as well as two felony counts of oral copulation with a minor under the age of 18.

Her bail for the mother of four has been set at $20,000.