Los Angeles Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child
Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child: Understanding the Crime and Its Consequences
Continuous sexual abuse of a child is a heinous crime that can have devastating emotional and physical consequences for the victim and their family. This crime, which involves the repeated and intentional sexual assault of a child under the age of 14, is one of the most serious offenses that one can face next to murder, punishable by 25 to 99 years in prison without parole.
Continuous Sexual Abuse: What It Means
In simple terms, continuous sexual abuse refers to the repeated sexual assault of a child under 14 years old. To prove that this crime has occurred, evidence of two or more sexual acts must have taken place within three months or more. Continuous sexual abuse can take many forms, including indecency by contacting the child’s genital or anal area, aggravated kidnapping with an intent to violate, and sexual performance of a child.
Charging a Person with Continuous Sexual Abuse
To charge someone with continuous sexual abuse of a child, several conditions must apply. First, the perpetrator must have knowingly and intentionally abused the child. Second, there must be evidence of two or more sexual acts among a list of sexual and assault acts that are applicable. Third, the victim must be under the age of 14 at the time the abuse occurred.
The Trial and Conviction
When the perpetrator is brought to trial, the court looks for evidence proving beyond reasonable doubt that the acts have taken place for over three months. The jury does not necessarily have to agree on the same act that occurred but must unanimously convict on at least three acts. If the defendant is found guilty, they will receive 25 to 99 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Unlike most other aggravated offenses, there is no chance for early release.
Re-Offence and Consequences
If a person is found guilty of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child a second time, the sentence is life imprisonment. The minimum sentence is 25 years, and probation is not allowed since it is only offered on sentences that are 10 years or less. Community supervision is not allowed in this kind of criminal case.
The Signs of Child Sexual Abuse
When considering who could be abused, it is important to note that girls are more prone to be abused than boys. Disabled children are also more likely to face abuse of this nature than those who are not disabled. Children who are sexually abused are prone to behavioral changes. The victim will often seem withdrawn from activities and people they once enjoyed. Anger outbursts, constant crying, and mood swings are also tell-tale signs that a child may have experienced sexual abuse.
Getting Legal Help
If sexual child abuse is suspected, an attorney can help the victim and their family by bringing evidence to the court. Evidence of abuse can include pictures, doctor or hospital reports, and any additional information that would support the victim’s claim.
Table: Continuous Sexual Abuse Charge and Consequences
| Continuous Sexual Abuse Charge | Consequences |
| — | — |
| Continuous sexual abuse occurs when a child is repeatedly assaulted sexually for over three months | The person found to have committed the crime can face 25 to 99 years in prison without parole |
| To charge someone with continuous sexual abuse, the perpetrator must have knowingly and intentionally abused the child, and there must be evidence of two or more sexual acts among applicable acts | The minimum sentence for this crime is 25 years, and there is no parole. No community supervision is allowed. |
| If a person is convicted a second time, then the sentence is life imprisonment | Probation is not suitable in this type of criminal case. |
Table: Signs of Child Sexual Abuse
| Type | Signs |
| — | — |
| Gender | Girls are more likely to be abused than boys |
| Disability | Disabled children are more prone to abuse |
| Behavioral | The victim will often appear withdrawn from things and people they once enjoyed. They might experience mood swings, uncharacteristic crying, and anger outbursts. |
Continuous sexual abuse is a severe crime that requires the attention of the criminal justice system to support victims and bring abusers to justice. This crime is exceptionally traumatic, and the consequences can be long-lasting or permanent. It is, therefore, imperative that parents, guardians, and the society at large pay attention to the signs and collaborate with the system to ensure that perpetrators face the full consequences of their actions.
CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS