Community: 17-12469 Child Annoyance Case in Santa Rosa

REAL CASE SCENARIO:  On September 18, 2017 at about 1:00 p.m., the Santa Rosa police department received a report from a 14-year-old girl regarding her being accosted by a man near a bus stop this morning. According to the victim, at about 7:30 a.m. she was waiting for a bus near the intersection of Bennett Valley Road and Santa Rosa Ave.
She was approached by a man who asked her how old she was. Although she ignored him, he continued to make verbal advances toward her and asked if he could sit next to her. She continuously told him, “no”, but he became insistent. He asked her if she knew why he wanted to sit next to her. He then used sexually explicit profanity to describe sexual acts he wanted to do to her.
The victim got up from the bus stop and ran away from the area. She described being frightened of the man during the incident and felt that he was going to try to come after her if he got closer.
The girl described the suspect as a white, male in his 30’s or 40’s. He was about 5’11” tall and had a medium build. He had a bald head, a goatee and beard. He was wearing black sweatpants with a vertical red stripe and a black puffy jacket. She described him as being loud and belligerent.
The Santa Rosa Police Department suggests that the community in the area be vigilant for unfamiliar individuals who approach children and to report suspicious circumstances to the police when they occur.
This suspect has violated California Penal Code 647.6 annoying or molesting a minor
Under California Penal Code section 647.6, it is illegal to annoy or molest any minor under the age of 18 while motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the minor.
In order for the prosecution to prevail in a case of annoying or molesting child, the state must prove the following elements:

  1. You engaged in conduct directed at a minor AND
  2. A normal person, without hesitation, would have been disturbed, irritated, offended, or injured by your conduct AND
  3. Your conduct was motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the minor AND
  4. The minor was under the age of 18 years at the time of the conduct

SEVERE PENALTIES FOR PENAL CODE 647.6 annoying or molesting a minor/ child
According to the California Penal Code 647.6, annoying or molesting a child is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and a maximum $5,000 fine. However, this offense can also be charged as a felony, and the defendant could face from 16 months to 3 years in prison in addition to a maximum $5,000 fine.
Therefore, Penal Code Section, 647.6 is known as a “wobbler” since it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony.  However there are several factors that can increase the sentence and they are:

  1. If you have a prior misdemeanor annoying or molesting conviction.
  2. If you have a prior felony conviction for this offense pertaining to a minor.
  3. If you are a registered sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code Section, 290.

There are a number of defenses that a California criminal defense lawyer at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC can raise on your behalf. Your lawyer can argue:

  • You had a good faith belief that the victim was 18 years of age or older
  • Your conduct was not directed at a minor
  • Your conduct was not motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in the minor
  • Your conduct would not have disturbed, irritated, offended or injured a normal person

Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, each of the abovementioned defenses can be advanced on your behalf.
Other defenses to Penal Code Section 647.6
As previously mentioned, if the conduct was not motivated by sexual interest or was not likely to disturb or irritate a child, the defendant would not be guilty of this offense.
Unfortunately this is a charge that may be subject false accusations especially if the child is mistaken or the child’s parent coaches the child to make the allegations in order to cause trouble for the defendant or to gain advantage in a court or child custody battle.
Since sentencing and punishment for this violation of California Penal Code Section 647. 6, annoying or molesting a child can be very severe, you will need a strong defense team and we offer that!
Other Related Offenses/ Charges include:

  1. California Penal Code Section 288–Lewd Acts with a Child
  2. California Penal Code Section 5–Statutory Rape
  3. California Penal Code Section 272–Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

Contact us:
We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.
The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country! 
Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!
Please CLICK HERE to visit our dedicated page on sex crime charges for more info. 
Please CLICK HERE for more into on the arrest in child annoyance investigation.  

Michael A. Fiumara

About Michael A. Fiumara

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