Sexual Battery | CA Penal Code 243.4 PC

main-in-handcuffs

Definition & Elements

In California, Penal Code 243.4 pc defines the charge of sexual battery prohibiting the act of touching the intimate parts of another without their consent with the intentions to satisfy sexual gratification or arousal.[1]  To prove someone is guilty of sexual battery, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:

  1. Defendant touched an intimate part of someone else’s body;
  2. It was accomplished against the other person’s will;
  3. Defendant did the act for sexual gratification, abuse, or arousal.[2]

The difference between misdemeanor versus felony sexual battery is that felony charges require the prosecution to prove that the purported victim was unlawfully restrained against their will.[3]  Intimate body parts including:

  • Buttocks,
  • Anus,
  • Groin,
  • Sexual Organ,
  • Breast of a female.[4]

Legal Defenses to PC 243.4

Sexual battery requires the specific intent to arouse, or sexual desire of the perpetrator or the alleged victim.  Therefore, if the touching was done on accident or a product of misfortune, then the defendant did not harbor the requisite intent.  In addition, the touching could have been done for something other than a sexual purpose, such as massaging a pulled muscle, or perhaps demonstrating a self-defense technique.

To manipulate the system, it is far too common for children and even their parents to utilize the government against the defendant by making false claims.  Motivations made include revenge, financial, or former spouses attempt to gain full child custody in family law court.  Furthermore, sexual battery must not occur absent the consent from the accuser.  Therefore, if a person was actually granted consent to the act of touching an intimate body part of the purported victim, then no battery occurred.

Punishment & Sentence

Sexual battery is a wobbler which gives the District Attorney discretion about whether to file misdemeanor or felony charges.  A misdemeanor conviction carries up to one (1) year in the county jail.  However, a felony conviction carries a sentencing range of 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison.  Additionally, PC 243.4 carries a fine amount up to $10,000.  Furthermore, a conviction may require someone to register as a sex offender for life.[5]

Sexual Battery Examples

  • Intentionally grabbing your step-daughter’s breast without her permission.
  • Persuading a mentally impaired before to masturbate in front of you.
  • Slapping a girl’s buttock without her consent because you like her.

Orange County Sexual Battery Attorney

When accused of any sex crime, there’s no question that retaining an experienced Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney is necessary to defeat the charges against you.  If you been arrested or charged with PC 243.4, then contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers for a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.  Early intervention is unquestionably mean the difference of having a state prison sentence or having the case dropped altogether.

Related Offenses

 

 

Legal References:

[1] Penal Code 243.4(a) – defined (“Any person who touches an intimate part of another person while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice, and if the touching is against the will of the person touched and is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of sexual battery. A violation of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, and by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000); or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, and by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000).”)

[2] CALCRIM No. 938: https://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/calcrim/800/938.html

[3] See CALCRIM No. 935: https://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/calcrim/800/935.html

[4] Penal Code 243.4(g)(1) – defined (“Intimate part means the sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, and the breast of a female.”)

[5] Penal Code 290 et seq.

Practice Areas