Friday Fondling

Friday Fondling

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This Friday we focus on a story about a 62 year-old Palos Verdes Estates man who was rearrested this week. He was charged last month with fondling two teen boys he invited to live in his house, and was arrested again on Tuesday on suspicion of molesting two more teenagers.

This Palos Verdes Estates man played himself off as a doctor to gain the teenagers’ trust. As a “doctor” he touched their intimate body parts, allegedly. The teenagers were 18 years old at the time. He is facing five misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and child molestation from his arrest last month.

Apparently, this 62 year-old man rented his homes in Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes Estates where the alleged sexual acts took place. He would invite his grandson’s friends to live in the houses by either paying rent or staying there for free. One teen moved in with the older man after his own parents through him out of the house. The teenager claims that the Palos Verdes Estates man cornered him in the shower and sexually assaulted him. The new arrest earlier this week was as a result of teenagers reading about the November arrest then coming forward to identify themselves as victims.

Now the 62 year-old Palos Verdes Estates man is facing an additional four counts of felony sexual battery by fraud – fraud for telling the teenagers that he was a doctor.

Felony sexual battery in California is an act committed for sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. and is the non-consensual touching of the intimate part of someone who was unconscious as to the nature of the act because he/she was fraudulently convinced that the touching was for professional purposes. California sexual battery, in contrast to California rape, does not require that the offender engage in penetration or sexual intercourse.

California felony sexual battery has an additional requirement that you touch the “bare skin” of the accuser’s intimate part. “Fraudulently” means that you made the representation with the intent to deceive and mislead the alleged victim.

Classic defenses are consent or insufficient evidence. In this case, any defense attorney would argue consent and against the fraud aspect. Since these teenagers were 17 or 18 years-old it would be unreasonable for them to believe that the defendant was acting as a doctor in his own home. They would also know from life experience what is appropriate touching in a medical setting and what isn’t. Therefore, a failure to object to the touching could be argued as consent. Otherwise, insufficient evidence is always a good defense where there is no medical evidence. This story sounds like a he-said-he-said scenario. The prosecution cannot rely solely on the victims’ testimony, but needs to bring in corroborative evidence to strengthen the case. That may be very difficult to do.

This will certainly unfold in an interesting way because the victims are not the traditional, impressionable and young victim. These are teenagers that are almost into young adulthood. They will certainly be grilled by defense attorneys regarding “consent.”

Read the story here.

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