Getting to Understand California Sexual Assault Laws

Sexual Assault as defined in the California Penal Code

California law has put in place several strict rules to combat cases of sexual Assault. Many incidents of sexual assault, in some cases known as sexual battery, are reported in California annually. California prosecutors don’t take sexual assault allegations lightly.

California law defines sex crime as the unwanted touching of a person’s body part. Of course, the nature of contact and specific body part are also used in the definition of what is a sex crime and what is not. Sex crime can also include non-physical acts such as solicitation or prostitution, stalking, and indecent exposure. An individual who purposely gropes another person’s buttock, groin, or breast can be charged with an offense of sexual assault.

To prove sexual assault, the prosecution should confirm that the defendant had an intention of touching the other person for sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse. The touching must have also been against the victim’s will.

Rape is considered a form of sexual assault under California law. Under these circumstances, the victim must be unable to give consent because of being physically or mentally disabled, intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, unconscious, asleep, or just unaware of what is happening. Also, the intercourse must have taken place against the victim’s will through force, violence, coercion, or fear.

California law considers sexual intercourse with a minor as statutory rape. The only exception is if the minor is a legal marriage, and the sexual act does not meet the general definition of rape. Anyone having sex with a minor can face statutory rape charges, and this includes two minors who consented to one another, a minor who has consented to an adult, or a minor with parental permission to engage with a partner sexually.

Sexual bullying is a significant issue that affects people today and is bullying directed at any young person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or body parts. Sexual bullying and sexual harassment are protected under California sex crime laws.

California sexual assault law provides victims with up to ten years to file a claim. Sex crime victims are often offered compensation for their injuries in a civil court. People convicted of a sexual assault offense can face a jail term as well as a fine, considering if the Assault is misdemeanor sexual battery or felony sexual battery.


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