Tutor Facing Sex Crimes is Victim of Antiquated Law?

A tutor at Mar Vista High School is now facing criminal charges for having a sexual relationship with a 16 year old student at the school. Alejandro Rodriguez, 20, is accused of having a relationship with a student that lasted about a week. The victim in this case, has only been identified as “John Doe.” Evidently, he had told his cousin about the relationship, who then told the victim’s father. His father immediately contacted the police.   

Rodriguez has been charged with four felony counts of oral copulation and one count of sodomy of a person under 18 years of age. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison. It is reported that the DA’s office is prosecuting the relationship as a non-forcible sex crime. According to Rodriguez’s defense attorney, claims that if his client had been a woman, and not involved in a same-sex relationship, there would be a less restrictive charge available. It is because his client can only be charged with sodomy, the ‘crime’ of anal sex, with both parties being men.

California Statutory Rape Laws

Under California Penal Code § 261.5, the crime of “statutory rape” (also referred to as ‘unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor’) is simply defined as when any person engages in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18.

In California, a minor cannot consent to a relationship, meaning statutory rape is a crime regardless of consent. This means for example, a high school senior who just turned 18 in a relationship with a 14 year old freshman, is still guilty.

Statutory rape can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. The age difference is taken into account by prosecutors when deciding on the severity of the crime.  It is punishable by one year or four years in jail.

Minors Can Be Charged of Statutory Rape

Ridiculously enough, California’s laws are so antiquated, that two minors engaging in a sexual relationship together can both be charged with the crime. The only difference is that they will both be prosecuted in the juvenile court system. While most prosecutors do not make this a priority in their list of ‘crimes’ to prosecute, it is still legally a crime. A student’s parent who finds out about their child’s relationship with their boyfriend can still press the issue.

San Diego Sex Crimes and Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being accused of a sex crime, including statutory rape, is no joke. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje defends clients under investigation or charged with committing sexual offenses. All too often innocent people are accused due to jealousy or revenge. If you have been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting someone under the age of 18, contact the Law Offices of David M. Boertje today. Consultations are free and confidential.