Sexual Battery & Sexual Assault | California PC 243.4

Sexual Battery and Sexual Assault prohibit touching the intimate part of another person for purposes of sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse. An intimate part is a female’s breast or the anus, groin, sexual organ or buttocks of anyone.

Sexual battery can be either misdemeanor or felony sexual battery. Felony penalties may apply if the alleged victim:
  • was unaware of the nature of the act because s/he was fraudulently convinced that the touching was for professional purposes (like, for example, medical or therapeutic purposes),
  • was unlawfully restrained,
  • was institutionalized and either medically incapacitated or seriously disabled, or
  • was forced to masturbate or touch one of your intimate parts or the intimate part of another person.

Someone is unlawfully restrained when his or her liberty is controlled by words, acts, or authority of another and the restraint is against his or her will. Unlawful restraint requires more than just the physical force necessary to accomplish the sexual touching. A touching is done against a person’s will if that person does not consent to it. To consent, a person must act freely and voluntarily and know the nature of the touching.

A conviction for misdemeanor sexual battery carries a maximum county jail sentence of either six months or one year. Additionally, there is a fine of up to $2,000 in most cases. Felony sexual battery carries a penalty two, three or four years in the California state prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions require the convicted offender to maintain a lifetime registration as a sex offender.