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Rape | PC 261

Rape | PC 261

Former LA Sex Crimes Prosecutors Now Rape Defense Attorneys

California laws define rape as intercourse under circumstances in which the victim has not or cannot give consent. Rape cases fall into several categories —spousal rape, date rape, statutory rape, forcible rape and oral copulation by force — these are typically charged as felonies and carry heavy penalties. The severity of the sentence depends on the age of the victim and the circumstances surrounding the crime.

Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP was founded in 1987 and focuses exclusively on criminal defense. Our founding partners are former deputy district attorneys who concentrated on sex crime prosecutions — and one of our attorneys headed a sex crimes division. Armed with substantial insight and experience, we lodge an aggressive defense from the moment of your investigation or arrest to the conclusion of your case. We are particularly skilled in the forensics that are often part of sex crime prosecutions, and we strategically counter physical evidence the prosecution attempts to use to prove its case.

California rape laws

Under Section 261 of the California Penal Code, rape is nonconsensual intercourse that incorporates elements of violence or fraud. To prevail in conviction, prosecutors must prove:

  • The intercourse was against the will of the alleged victim
  • The sexual act was committed without the alleged victim’s consent

If you’re charged with rape, prosecutors will try to demonstrate that the victim did not consent to the act. They may allege you committed the sexual battery by force, violence, duress, menacing, threat of bodily harm, fear of retaliation or fraud. In a case involving inability to consent, the prosecution may present evidence that the victim was intoxicated or drugged by the “date rape” drug, Rohypnol, or was otherwise physically incapable of giving consent because of a mental disorder or minority age.

Statutory rape

The legal age of consent in California is 18. Even if the alleged victim is a willing participant, the California statutory rape statute, Section 261.5, assumes that minors are unable to give consent. However, the law allows a defense if the defendant was younger than 21 years, the victim was older than 16 years and the couple had only a three-year difference in ages.

Sex offender registry

Under Megan’s law, convicted sex offenders must notify law enforcement annually and every time they move or start a new job. In addition to a term of imprisonment, they face the long-range consequences of mandatory registration on California’s sex offender registry. This means that if you’re convicted of a sex crime, your name, address, identifying information and criminal history may be posted online and available to the public.

Consult with our LA firm to build a defense against rape allegations

Protect your rights in a rape investigation. Call Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP at 888-579-4844 or contact us online to schedule your no-obligation first-time consultation today. Our lawyers are available to take your call 24/ 7.