CA “Continuous Sexual Abuse” Laws – Penal Code 288.5 PC

August 5, 2015

In California, continuous sexual abuse on a child is charged under penal code 288.5 pc making it a crime to commit three substantial sexual acts on a child under 14 for a period of time not less than three months.[1] Some examples of substantial sexual contact include:

Prosecution for Continuous Sexual Abuse

The prosecutor holds the burden of proving each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. You lived in the same house or had reoccurring access to a minor child;
  2. You engaged in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct or lewd or lascivious conduct with the child;
  3. Three or more months passed between the first and last acts;
  4. The child was under the age of 14 years at the time of the acts.

Substantial sexual conduct means oral copulation or masturbation of either the child or the defendant, or defendant of the child.

Legal Defenses to PC 288.5

  • There was no reoccurring access to the minor child
  • You did not commit substantial sexual acts with the minor as required
  • Less than three months occurred between the sexual acts
  • The purported victim is exaggerating or fabricating the case
  • A substantial amount of time passed prejudicing your due process right

Punishment & Sentencing

A conviction for PC 288.5 carries a state prison sentencing range of 5, 12, or 16 years. Additionally, you will be ordered to publicly register as a sex offender with local law enforcement for life. Furthermore, continuous sexual acts on a child is a strike offense applied to California’s three strike laws.

Contact an Newport Beach Sex Crimes Attorney

If you have been arrested, charged, or are under investigation for PC 288.5, then contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Newport Beach sex crimes attorney.[2]




[1] Penal Code 288.5(a) PC (“Any person who either resides in the same home with the minor child or has recurring access to the child, who over a period of time, not less than three months in duration, engages in three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the commission of the offense, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1203.066, or three or more acts of lewd or lascivious conduct, as defined in Section 288, with a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the commission of the offense is guilty of the offense of continuous sexual abuse of a child and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 6, 12, or 16 years.”)

[2] Our Newport Beach criminal defense lawyers located in Newport Beach represent clients accused of sex offenses all throughout southern California including Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Rancho Cucamonga, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey.

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