California Penal Code Section 289 - Forcible Penetration
California Penal Code Section 289 deals with a serious sex crime known as forcible penetration, which addresses cases where an individual engages in sexual penetration with another person using force, violence, duress, menace, or fear. Sexual penetration refers to the insertion of an object or body part into another person's genital or anal opening, or any penetration of the genital or anal opening of another person with an object or body part.What Is Penetration?
Generally, a person would assume that “penetration” would be inserting an object or body part into an anal or vaginal opening. However, the Court of Appeal case People v. Quintana (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 1362 was a pivotal and landmark case that clarified the definition of penetration in the context of section 289. In Quintana, the Court of Appeal held that penetration only involves a slight intrusion of the victim’s genitalia, and need not cause significant pain or injury to the victim. This ruling broadened the definition of penetration, and its effect means that many actions that a defendant may not intuitively think constitutes penetration is actually considered penetration for purposes of section 289.Potential Consequences of a Conviction
For example, a defendant who commits an act of penetration against the victim's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury faces three, six, or eight years in state prison.
On the other hand, a defendant who commits an act of sexual penetration upon a child who is under 14 years of age against the victim's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury faces eight, 10, or 12 years in state prison.
Also, a defendant who commits an act of sexual penetration upon a minor older than 14 years against the victim's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury faces six, eight, or 10 years in state prison.
Even a defendant who commits an act of sexual penetration against the victim's will and threatens to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person, and there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant will execute the threat, faces three, six, or eight years in state prison.Mandatory Sex Offender Registration
One of the enduring consequences of a conviction under section 289 is the requirement that the defendant register as a sex offender for life.Possible Defenses
Consent: If there is evidence that the sexual penetration was consensual, the defense might argue that force, violence, or fear was not involved in the act.
Lack of Force or Threat: If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the sexual penetration was accompanied by force, violence, menace, duress, or fear, the charges may be challenged.
False Allegations: False accusations can and do occur, and a skilled defense attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the accusation to uncover any motives for fabrication.
If you have been charged with committing forcible penetration, it is critical that you discuss your case immediately with a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut has extensive experience defending clients who are accused of this type of sex crime and has successfully petitioned for clients to be removed from the sex offender registry.
For more information about the criminal justice process, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.