Articles Tagged with kidnapping

Saturday, March 7th marked the seventh anniversary of the Balboa Park “Chelsea’s Run” to commemorate the 17-year-old Poway High School student who was sexually assaulted and killed in 2010 by convicted sex offender John Gardner. Chelsea King was abducted while running in a Rancho Bernardo park by Gardner, the same man who admitted to killing Amber Dubois of Escondido. Garner pled guilty and was sentenced to life without parole.

Six months later, “Chelsea’s Law” was passed after being signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The law sharply increased penalties for those convicted of sexual assaults on minors (including the sentencing of life without parole). It also included reforms to increase outreach to paroled sex offenders most likely to re-offend, and made GPS monitoring mandatory for child sex offenders. It also barred sex offender parolees from being near where children congregate.

A report released five years after the enactment of Chelsea’s Law concluded that at least 332 defendants were charged statewide under various aspects of the Law. In San Diego County, 22 people were charged under the law between September 2014 and August 2015, including two who received terms of 25 years to life.

Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

Aggravated sexual assault of a child is an extremely serious crime. It is a felony punishable by 15 years imprisonment to life, along with a fine of up to $50,000. The sentence will increase if there is multiple victims. See CA Penal Code § 269. Additionally, those convicted will be required to register as a sex offender.

One will be charged under § 269 if s/he allegedly sexually assaults a minor under the age of 14, or if the victim is a minor (under 18 years old) and seven years younger than the defendant.

Aggravated Kidnapping

The crime of aggravated kidnapping occurs when someone:

  • Uses force, fear, or fraud against a minor under age 14; or
  • Demands a ransom;
  • Causes the victim bodily harm or death;
  • Violates California’s carjacking law under Penal Code § 215.

See CA Penal Codes § 207, 208, 209. A conviction of aggravated kidnapping carries a prison sentence of five years to life, depending on the circumstances. Continue reading

A search is underway for two missing boys who detectives believe were abducted by their mother at the end of August. Sage, 14 and Isaac Cook, 9, reportedly visited their mother Faye Ku in California. The boys live in Washington State with their father, who has had full custody since the couple divorced in 2009. Ku allegedly gave her ex-husband a “supervised visit” court order to force him to allow the boys to visit her. She left a written letter at her home blaming her ex-husband for trying to control her and her children. The boys were last seen at Los Angeles International Airport on August 28.

According to court documents, this is not the first time Ku has tried to take her boys. Back in June, she was arrested and charged with custodial interference for trying to board a flight with her boys to Taiwan.

What is Custodial Interference?

Earlier this month, the news reported Salinas Councilman Jose Castaneda’s new slew of legal problems, and this time they go beyond whether or not he is legally holding two elected offices.  Salinas police announced that Castaneda was arrested and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, and felony domestic violence. According to reports, Castaneda was waiting for his ex-girlfriend when she arrived at her home on Friday night. He allegedly forced the woman into a van, drove away to another location, and held her hostage for several hours. During that time, police believe he assaulted her, leaving her with the bruises that led to the felony charge of domestic violence. Castaneda allegedly eventually released the woman and allowed her to walk home.

Castaneda and his attorney, Anthony Prince, eventually contacted police and said he would turn himself in to police. They asked police if it could wait until after a press conference Castaneda had scheduled for Thursday morning. Police took him into custody at the press conference. If convicted of the felony charges, California law would disallow Castaneda from holding any state office, and he would also face the legal ramifications associated with those charges. His bail is currently set for $100,000.

California False Imprisonment Law