What evidence does the DA need to convict on statutory rape?

Asked over 2 years ago - Merced, CA

My son had a child with a 15 year old girl he was 17 @ the time. The girl lied about her age. Neither the mom or girl wants charges pressed. Yet the DA filed charges. While fighting those charges another girl claimed my son raped her.There is no way this happened.She got angry when he wanted nothing to do with her.The DA consolidated the 2 cases to make the 2nd one stronger. There is no DNA evidence. She has changed her story many times. Now its time for trial she will not even return DAs calls yet he is still persuing these bogus charges. He wants him to plead to 2 stat. rapes with time served,1 strike and probation for something he did not do. He says if he doesnt take the deal he is looking @ 15 years. I say let the jury decide!

Attorney answers (8)

  1. David Jon Pullman

    Contributor Level 19

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The attorney from Wisconsin wouldn't know this, but there is no such thing as a "sexual predator list" in California. We do have a sex offender registry and unlawful intercourse (otherwise known as statutory rape) is not one of the offenses that requires registration, although a standard rape conviction does require registration. To prove statutory rape, the prosecution must prove that your son had intercourse with someone under the age of 18 and did not reasonably believe that the person was over 18. This is a misdemeanor when the victim is within 3 yrs. of age of the accused. Unlawful intercourse is never a strike, so you must have that confused. If your son pleads to two counts of unlawful intercourse, he will not have any strikes. To prove rape, the prosecution must prove that your son had intercourse with someone without consent. Rape is a strike, whether your son is charged as a juvenile or an adult. If he is charged as a juvenile, he does not get a jury, he gets a hearing before a judge. Only if he is charged as an adult will he get a jury.

  2. Tai Christopher Bogan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'd suggest hiring an attorney for your son if you haven't already. These are both extremely serious charges. It sounds like he is being charged as an adult? I am not clear.

    You say "let the jury decide!" Make no mistake. A jury trial is stressful and unpredictable. The better the lawyer the more improved chances at victory. Two charges of unlawful sex with a minor, sometimes mistakenly labeled "statutory rape" is not a strike. The regular rape charge is a strike.

    Good luck.

    The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.
  3. Edward Zaryl Kotkin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The wild card is whether your son is being prosecuted as a juvenile or an adult. If you are really being told that he is looking at 15 years, he is being prosecuted as an adult and will have a jury trial on this case unless he waives it (which he should not do).

    Mr. Pullman gave you a lot of valuable information, and I hope you understand and consider it. One additional tidbit is that if your son is convicted of rape (NOT statutory rape of a woman within three years of his own age, but sex without consent of his partner, i.e., what most people mean when they say rape), he will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life. That designation has consequences beyond the criminal courts. For example, in some cities, despite case law that arguably runs to the contrary, that designation can limit where he lives.

    If your son doesn't already have a very good lawyer, you should find one for him immediately. The stakes are never higher than what you've described.

    When I respond to a question posted on Avvo, I provide information for a general purpose. In reviewing my answer,... more
  4. Francis John Cowhig

    Contributor Level 12

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My California colleagues have given you good advice, and there is not much more to add. Make sure your son has a good attorney.

    Legal disclaimer: The answer provided is general in nature and because not all facts are known, it should not be... more
  5. Joshua Sachs

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Is there a question here or not? Do you want toknow whether your son could be found guilty if the case goes to trial? Yes, he could. Could he be found not guilty? Yes, he could.

    Should he take the plea or fight the case? He has to make that decision himself in consultation with his attorney.

  6. Gilberto Benito Vega

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm not sure why a Wisconsin lawyer is giving advice about a California legal matter either. All of the attorneys from California are correct, Ma'am. You son seems to only face unlawful sexual relations charges given that he is within three years of the victim. These charges do not carry any strike potential.

    If your son is charged as a juvenile then we will not have the right to a jury, but I can't elimage any judge finding your son guilty of rape given the facts you have described. You must speak to an attorney as soon as possible. And don't take any advice from anyone practicing law without a license in the State of California.

  7. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I understand what you are saying and your distress at the unfairness of this.

    What proof is required for your son to be convicted? The testimony of the girls. Or his alleged confession (see link below on talking to police).

    One other thing to consider is whether by accepting the offer your son will be on a sexual predator list. I don't see that mentioned.

    If he is convicted as charged, he will be.

    No one here can advise you on whether or not this is what your son should do. In the end, it is his decision. He and you should be talking with his lawyer.
    If any answer on AVVO helps you, please mark it as "helpful" or "best answer" to help AVVO know which answers to show others.
    Thank you.

    --- Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin
    http://addbalance.com

    --- Talking to the Police - Advice from Lawyers and Police
    http://addbalance.com/police.htm

    --- Miranda Rights (and Wrongs)
    http://addbalance.com/miranda_rights.htm

    Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. I am a Wisconsin lawyer. The laws in... more
  8. Anthony M. Wright

    Contributor Level 9

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Is there no "Romeo and Juliet" law where you live? If not, there ought to be. Find out about this in California.

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