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Sex Crime Charges and the #MeToo Movement

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Feb 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

The news has been filled with stories from alleged victims of sexual harassment, unlawful touching, and rape by intoxication, among other similar sexual related incidents. The #MeToo Movement has made social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, a comfortable forum for victims to come forward and speak out against sexual assault and harassment. In many of these cases, victims are choosing to go online as part of a demonstration in support of survivors and to end sexual violence as opposed to going to police to file a report. This movement encourages people to share their own experiences to raise awareness about the extent of sexual harassment. It gained national attention after there were numerous sexual related accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Back in October 2017, the Los Angeles Police Department launched a criminal investigation after an Italian model-actress who claimed he raped her at a hotel in 2013. She became the sixth woman to accuse him or rape or forcible sex acts. Sexual harassment includes coercion, such as connecting someone's working condition to sexual cooperation. Additionally, sexual harassment also includes unwanted sexual behavior, such as kissing, touching, hugging or constant verbal pressure to go out on a date. The United States Supreme Court has said that unwanted behavior has to be severe enough to cause an abusive working condition. However, some of the most common forms of sexual harassment are not through improper touching. They frequently include degrading or crude remarks about the opposite sex. Many of these sexual harassment claims will be handled in civil court. This means attorneys will be retained to pursue a civil lawsuit for sexual harassment in the workplace on a variety of different levels. These type of sexual harassment claims don't always mean criminal charges will be filed.

If you have been accused of sexual assault or charged with a sexual related crime, you should consult with a Los Angeles sex crime lawyer at Eisner Gorin LLP. Our attorneys will be able to properly respond to these allegations and aggressively defend you. If contacted by a police detective, politely decline to answer any questions without first consulting with a lawyer. You need to keep your emotions in check. Stay clam. Don't approach the accuser and stop all communication and stay away from them. This includes contacting them through social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It's important to remember that anything you say or write to them at this point will be used against you in a court of law. Some of the most common criminal charges from the #MeToo movement include:

Indecent Exposure

Under California Penal Code Section 314, it's a crime to willfully exposing one's genital's to another person when the exposure is made with the intent of sexual gratification or to offend the other individual. By law, “willfully” means on purpose. One of the elements of the crime for the prosecutor to prove includes showing that the defendant exposed themselves and acted in a lewd manner by intentionally directing attention to their naked genitals with the intent of personal sexual arousal.

Sexual Battery

Under California Penal Code Section 243.4, it's a crime to touch the intimate part of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse. This includes their genital area, buttocks, or female breast. Sexual battery is also commonly known as sexual assault or unlawful touching. Sexual battery charges can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony sex crime. A common example of misdemeanor sexual battery charges related to the #MeToo movement includes a situation where the defendant intentionally fondles a female's breast without their consent or touched their buttocks without permission. Contact our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm for more information.

Rape

California Penal Code Section 261 defines rape as non-consensual sexual intercourse by means of force, threats, fraud, or with a victim who is unconscious or incapable of giving consent. Rape charges can be filed even when there is no physical force. A Los Angeles County prosecutor can pursue rape criminal charges in a situation where the victim is intoxicated or physically or mentally disabled to provide lawful consent. Additionally, a rape case can be filed if the act was achieved not only through force or violence, but also through duress, menace, fear of bodily harm, fear of retaliation, or fraud.

Rape by Intoxication

California Penal Code Section 261(a)(3). It's a common myth that rape is a crime that just involves forcing yourself upon a person without their consent. Rape criminal charges don't always have to involve the use of force, but can involve a lack of valid consent from the victim due to fraud or incapacity A specific set of circumstances that can lead to a rape charges is when a victim was prevented from resisting due to any intoxicating or anesthetic substance. Under this law, it's required the defendant knew or should have known of the victims intoxicated state at the time of the sexual encounter. “Prevented from resisting” means that as a result of intoxication, the victim lacked the capacity to give valid sexual consent based on a reasonable and informed use of judgment. In basic terms, any case that involves the alleged rape of an intoxicated woman requires a legal determination of whether her intoxicated state prevented her from exercising reasonable judgment, along with all the other facts and circumstances, in order to determine whether her mental impairment was at a level that it deprived her of the ability to exercise reasonable judgment. Rape under California Penal Code Section 261 is a serious felony crime that leads to 3 to 8 years in a California state prison. Furthermore, a conviction for this type of sexual offense will typically require the defendant to register as a sex offender in California pursuant to Penal Code Section 290. Call a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at our office more detailed information.

Los Angeles County District Attorney's Special Task Force

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey issued a statement to deal with the high number of recent sexual harassment and assault allegations against high-profile names in Hollywood. She announced her office would be forming a special task force to address these issues. This task force was specifically created in response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry. They include specially trained deputy district attorneys who will review all the sexual related allegations for potential criminal prosecution. The task force includes veteran sex crimes prosecutors who will work closely together to thoroughly examine all cases to determine if they meet both the legal and factual standards for filing a criminal case.

When this task force reviews these accusations, they will not be reviewing these cases under the civil context of sexual harassment, rather they are seeking to deal with the accusations under the context of whether a sexual related crime was committed. This will typically require some type of unlawful touching, force, or threat. If the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office believes that someone committed any type of sex crime offense, they will not hesitate to prosecute them under a specific California Penal Code Section violation. Many of the #MeToo Movement allegations are from incidents that occurred many years ago. Therefore, the Statute of Limitations might prevent some criminal cases from being filed.

Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are currently under investigation for sexual harassment or any type of criminal sex offense related to the workplace, you need to immediately consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Eisner Gorin LLP. As stated above, if contacted by a police detective, politely decline to answer any questions without first consulting with an attorney. Anything you say at this point will be used against you. Our criminal attorneys will closely examine all the details in order to start building an effective defense strategy. We offer a free immediate response. Call our law firm at 877-781-1570.

Eisner Gorin LLP 1875 Century Park East #705 Los Angeles, CA 90067 310-328-3776 www.keglawyers.com

About the Author

Dmitry Gorin

Find me on Google+ Dmitry Gorin is a licensed attorney, who has been involved in criminal trial work and pretrial litigation since 1994. Before becoming partner in Eisner Gorin LLP, Mr. Gorin was a Senior Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles Courts for more than ten years. As a criminal tri...

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