“Lewd acts on a child” means any willful touching of a child accomplished with the intent to sexually arouse the perpetrator or the child.
The touching need not be done in a lewd or sexual manner. Contact with the child’s bare skin or private parts is not required under Penal Code 288. Any part of the child’s body or the clothes the child is wearing in a “lewd” manner can constitute Child Sex Abuse.
Penalties for child molestation depend on a combination of factors, including 1) the age of the child, 2) whether the lewd act was accomplished by force, violence, duress, or threats, 3) whether there was a pattern of lewd acts, and 4) if the child is 14 or 15, the age of the defendant.
Child under 14, no force used (Penal Code 288 (a))
3, 6 or 8 years in state prison, formal felony parole/probation and a fine of up to $10,000
Child under 14, force used (Penal Code 288 (b)(1))
5, 8 or 10 years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000
Child under 14, bodily harm inflicted (Penal Code 288(i) / PC 12022.8)
Up to life in prison if the child is 14 or 15-year-old and the defendant is 10 years or more older.
Child 16-17 – (Penal Code 288, 288(c)(1))
1,2 or 3 years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000; or up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000. The offense can also be prosecuted as PC 261.5(a) statutory rape, or PC 243.4 sexual battery (more below)
Habitual sex offender – (Penal Code 667.71(b))
25 years to life in prison
Lewd act with force by caretaker of a dependent person – (Penal Code 288(b)(2))
5, 8 or 10 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.