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.
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.
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--- Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin
--- Talking to the Police - Advice from Lawyers and Police
--- Miranda Rights (and Wrongs)
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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.
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.
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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.
The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.
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.
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 construed as legal advice. The answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.
Criminal defense Misdemeanor crime Criminal charges for rape Criminal charges for statutory rape Miranda rights and criminal defense Evidence in criminal cases Criminal conviction Juveniles tried as adults for criminal charges Probation for criminal conviction Juvenile law Registered sex offender