Thursday, November 14, 2013


Justice scales
Original Article

In this case we address whether subjecting sex offenders convicted under Penal Code section 288, subdivision (a) (section 288(a)) (lewd or lascivious conduct with a minor under the age of 14), to mandatory sex offender registration violates their right to equal protection of the laws where registration for certain other sex offenders is discretionary. (Undesignated statutory references are to the Penal Code.) We conclude that it does not violate equal protection because offenders convicted under section 288(a) are not similarly situated to persons convicted of offenses under section 261.5 (unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor), section 288a, subdivision (b)(1) (section 288a(b)(1)) (oral copulation with a minor), and section 289, subdivision (h) (section 289(h)) (sexual penetration with a minor). Section 288(a) affords a specific protection to minors under the age of 14 and is a specific intent offense whereas section 261.5, section 288a(b)(1), and section 289(h) involve general intent offenses against minors under the age of 18. We also reject defendant's assertion that the evidence was insufficient to convict him because more than one inference can be drawn from the evidence regarding his intent.

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