Sexual assault can be devastating for victims. Unfortunately, in 2017, there were 534 instances of rape in the San Diego region, which is a 70% increase from 2013. Rape and sexual assault are serious crimes that occur all over the country, but this sharp increase in San Diego is particularly disturbing. Rape and sexual assault are crimes that the legal system hasn’t always taken as seriously as it should. Because of this, personal injury lawsuits are often a victim’s only chance at justice. Consider the historic recent settlement of Michigan State University with the victims of Larry Nassar for $500 million.
No one can restore what an abuser takes or repair the damage to the lives of his victims, but a personal injury lawsuit can bring awareness to some semblance of justice to survivors and perhaps prevent others from suffering the same harm. Contact the attorneys at Estey & Bomberger for compassionate legal help after a sexual assault or rape in San Diego.
What Is Sexual Assault?
The law defines sexual assault by degrees, so victims may have to explain to law enforcement the degree to which they suffered sexual assault. Though challenging enough for adults, this would be even more difficult for victims who are children. Whether an adult or a child, victims should seek counseling to help them recover after sexual abuse or assault.
Some common types of sexual assault include:
• Attempted rape
• Fondling or unwanted touching
• Forcing someone to perform sexual acts
• Penetrating the victim’s body
California Law and Rape Statutes
Though sexual assault can mean many things, California law offers specific and detailed information about what constitutes rape. In California, rape occurs when:
- The victim cannot give consent because of a mental disorder or disability, and the perpetrator knows about the disorder or disability.
- The sexual abuse act occurs by way of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of injury.
- The victim cannot give consent because he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the perpetrator is aware of his or her condition.
- The victim is unconscious and the perpetrator knows this.
- The victim gives consent because the perpetrator makes the victim believe he or she knows the perpetrator.
- The act occurs because the perpetrator threatens the victim or another person.
- The perpetrator threatens to use law enforcement to arrest, deport, or incarcerate the victim or another person.
In California courts, the foundational decision about whether the act was rape depends on how the victim feels about the incident. Any sexual penetration, however, is enough to constitute rape charges.
Punishments for Rape in California
No matter in which state the offense occurred, the punishments for rape are severe. In California, the prison sentence of the perpetrator depends on factors such as the age of the victim and the nature of the sexual abuse. Depending on the situation, the perpetrator’s past acts, and the severity of the assault, a rape offender will face three, six, or eight years in prison.
If the victim is a minor and the rape occurred by way of violence, duress, menace, or fear of injury, the penalties are more severe. If the victim is younger than 14 years old, the offender can face nine, eleven, or thirteen years in prison. If the victim is older than 14 years old but still a minor, the offender may receive seven, nine, or eleven years in prison.
San Diego Rape Attorneys – Dedicated to your Case!
The attorneys at Estey & Bomberger, LLP have won $500 million for our clients over the past five years. We have extensive knowledge and experience with sexual assault and rape cases in San Diego, and we understand the complexity of coming forward with sexual assault charges. Contact Estey & Bomberger for questions regarding a sexual assault case. Call us for a free, private consultation at our San Diego office about your case today! Dial (619) 295-0035.