Arranging a Meeting With a Minor For Lewd Purposes
Penal Code 288.4 PC

Under California Penal Code 288.4 PC, it is a crime to:

  1. Arrange a meeting with a minor;
  2. While motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children; and
  3. With the intent to engage in certain sexual conduct with the minor at the meeting.1

This is the California sex crime of “arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes.”

The intended sexual conduct that can support Penal Code 288.4 charges includes:

  • The defendant exposing his/her genitals or pubic or rectal area;
  • The defendant having the minor expose his/her genitals or pubic or rectal area; and/or
  • Engaging in the kind of “lewd and lascivious” acts outlawed by Penal Code 288 PC, California's “lewd acts with a minor” law—that is, touching the child anywhere on his/her body for the purpose of sexual arousal.2

It is important to understand that you can be convicted of “arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd/lascivious purposes” even if you never actually engage in any sexual activity with the minor. Not only that—but you can be convicted even if you never actually meet with the minor!3

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A large number of arrests for arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes arise from internet activity.

Examples

Here are some examples of (imaginary) people who could be prosecuted under PC 288.4:

  • A twentysomething woman places a Craigslist personals ad expressing a desire to meet a “young hottie.” She gets a response from a 16-year-old boy. They exchange some flirtatious emails and then arrange to meet at the woman's apartment for a “date.”
  • A middle-aged man participates in an internet chat board focused on “man-boy love.” He engages in an explicitly erotic chat with a user who claims to be a 12-year-old boy and then invites the boy out to dinner.
  • A young man meets a flirtatious teenage girl at a party. The man's friend tells him that the girl is “easy” and “up for anything.” The man gets the girl's number and calls her a few days later to invite her over to his house.

Penalties

For most defendants, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes is a California misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is up to one (1) year in county jail and a fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000).4

But Penal Code 288.4 PC becomes a California felony if either of the following is true:

  1. The defendant has a prior conviction that requires him/her to register as a sex offender in California; OR
  2. The defendant actually attends the meeting with the minor (as opposed to just arranging it).5

In either of these cases, the potential penalties will include between sixteen (16) months and four (4) years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).6

And—regardless of whether you are convicted of this offense as a misdemeanor or a felony—you will be subject to California's sex offender registration requirement as a result of a conviction for arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purposes.7

Legal defenses

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Penal Code 288.4 PC carries harsh penalties.

These are harsh penalties for an offense where—in many cases—no one is actually harmed by the defendant's conduct.

In fact, in an overwhelming number of cases, the “minor” is not a real minor at all, but instead an undercover law enforcement agent looking to ensnare “sexual predators.”

If you are charged with arranging a meeting with a minor for sexual purposes, you will want to speak with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney.

Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to fight the charges with one of the following common legal defenses:

  • You were not motivated by a sexual interest in children;
  • You did not intend to engage in lewd activity at the meeting;
  • You did not know the other person was a minor; and/or
  • The California legal defense of entrapment.

In order to help you better understand the California crime of arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purposes, our California criminal defense attorneys will address the following:

1. Legal Definition of Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Lewd Purposes

1.1. Going to a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes

2. Penalties for Penal Code 288.4 PC

2.1. Misdemeanor penalties
2.2. Felony penalties: previous sex crime conviction
2.3. Felony penalties: going to a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes
2.4. Sex offender registration requirement

3. Legal Defenses to Charges of Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Sexual Purposes

4. PC 288.4 and Related Offenses

4.1. Penal Code 288 lewd acts with a minor
4.2. Penal Code 261.5 statutory rape
4.3. Penal Code 288.2 sending harmful material to a minor
4.4. California child pornography laws
4.5. Penal Code 653b loitering at a school

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

1. Legal Definition of Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Lewd Purposes

The legal definition of arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purposes consists of three “elements of the crime” (that is, facts that the prosecutor must prove in order for the defendant to be guilty of this offense).

These are:

  1. The defendant arranged a meeting with a minor OR a person s/he believed to be a minor;
  2. When the defendant did so, s/he was motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children; and
  3. At that meeting, the defendant intended to expose his/her genitals, pubic or rectal area, have the minor expose his/her genitals, pubic or rectal area, OR engage in lewd or lascivious behavior.8

Let's take a closer look at some of the terms in this legal definition.

A minor or a person s/he believed to be a minor

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A "minor" is any person under 18, no matter how mature s/he may look.

A minor is a person who is younger than eighteen (18) years old. A person is considered to turn 18 on the first minute of his/her 18th birthday.9

So this law makes it a crime to arrange a meeting for sexual purposes with anyone under 18—both prepubescent children and older, sexually-mature teenagers.

Example: Frank meets “Taylor” in an online chat room. She claims to be a 14-year-old girl and sends him pictures of herself. Those photos depict a young woman who appears to be sexually mature.

Frank initiates discussions of sexual activity with Taylor. Then Frank and Taylor agree to meet at a fast food restaurant.

Frank is arrested at the restaurant, as it turns out that “Taylor” was actually an undercover police officer.

The fact that Taylor looked physically mature in the pictures does not mean Frank is not guilty under Penal Code 288.4 PC. This law applies to meetings with all minors, not just those who are prepubescent.10

And it's important to note that it is also a crime to arrange a meeting for lewd purposes with someone you only believe to be a minor.11

This is an important aspect of the law because Penal Code 288.4 PC is frequently enforced through sting operations involving undercover officers who are only pretending to be minors.

Example: Greg sometimes visits an internet chat room where participants review and recommend pornographic films.

Through this chat room, Greg develops an internet friendship with “Rachel,” who claims to be 16 and “incredibly hot.” Eventually Greg and Rachel exchange email addresses. The two of them engage in flirtatious, sexually-suggestive email correspondence.

Finally Greg suggests that they meet at a local adult theater to “catch a movie” together. Rachel agrees.

It turns out that “Rachel” is not really Rachel at all. She is a middle-aged male detective named Tom working on a sex crimes sting operation.

Nonetheless, Greg may still be guilty of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes—because he believed that “Rachel” was a minor.

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Charges of arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes often arise out of internet sting operations.

Motivated by an unusual or abnormal sexual interest in children

In order for you to be guilty under Penal Code 288.4 PC, the prosecutor must be able to prove that you arranged the meeting because you had an unusual or abnormal sexual interest in minors.12

The evidence for this element of the crime would usually come from the context of your previous relationship with the minor—the content of emails, previous conversations and phone calls, etc.

But if you arranged the meeting because of another, non-sexual motivation, then you are not guilty of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes.

Example: Paul is a 40-year-old man who lives alone and has few friends. He meets Dan, a 17-year-old boy, in an internet chat room for science fiction fans.

Dan is openly gay and occasionally makes sexually suggestive comments to Paul over email. Paul overlooks these because he enjoys Dan's internet “company.”

Finally Dan invites Paul over to his house to “have some fun.” Paul suggests that they meet at a local café instead, and Dan agrees.

Dan's parents then discover the email correspondence and contact the police.

If Paul is charged with arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, he should be able to defend himself by arguing that he did not arrange the meeting because of a sexual interest in children.

With intent to engage in lewd conduct

In order for you to be guilty of arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purposes, it must be the case that you intended to do one of the following at the meeting:

  • Expose your genitals, pubic or rectal area;
  • Have the minor expose his/her genitals, pubic or rectal area; OR
  • Engage in lewd or lascivious conduct with the minor—which means initiating any touching that is supposed to sexually arouse either person.13
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"Lewd conduct" in some circumstances can include a massage.

Lewd or lascivious conduct includes touching any part of the person's body, including through his/her clothes. It also includes causing someone to touch his or her own body.14

Example: Chris is a gay man who has a particular interest in adolescent boys. He meets Juan, a 15-year-old, through an internet personals ad, and invites him over to his house.

When Juan arrives at his house, Chris gives him beer and marijuana. Chris then asks Juan if he (Chris) can give him a foot massage, and Juan agrees. Chris has a foot fetish and finds the massage sexually arousing.

Chris has committed the crime of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes—because the foot massage counts as lewd conduct. (He may also have committed the crime of Penal Code 272 PC contributing to the delinquency of a minor for giving Juan alcohol and drugs.)

But if the prosecution cannot prove that you had the intent to engage in this sort of conduct at the meeting, then you are not guilty under California Penal Code 288.4.

Example: Hans, a 45-year-old man, meets 16-year-old Zelda at a party thrown by her parents. Hans tends to like underage girls and flirts with Zelda at the party.

Later, Hans calls Zelda and asks her to go out to a fancy dinner with him. Zelda agrees. Hans' plan is to have a few dates with Zelda and see if she might be interested in a romantic/sexual relationship with him.

Hans is probably not guilty of arranging a meeting with a minor for a lewd purpose at this point—because he does not intend to actually engage in sexual or lewd/lascivious acts at this meeting.

1.1. Going to a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes

Penal Code 288.4 PC covers the crime of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes. However, this law also provides for enhanced penalties if you actually attend the meeting.15

In order for these enhanced penalties to apply, the prosecutor must be able to prove all the basic elements of the crime listed above. PLUS, they must also be able to prove that you went to the arranged meeting place, at the arranged time.16

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Penal Code 288.4 PC carries harsher penalties if the defendant actually shows up for the meeting.

Note that the enhanced penalties will apply even if you never actually engaged in any sexual activity at the meeting. All that matters is that you showed up for it.

Example: Pedro meets “Joanne,” a 17-year-old girl, through a mutual Facebook friend. They flirt via email for a while, and then they start exchanging sexual emails and “sexting.”

Finally Joanne asks Pedro if he wants to come to her place to “hook up.” She sends him her address.

When Pedro shows up for the rendezvous, he is met by police. It turns out “Joanne” was actually an undercover police officer.

Pedro will now be subject to the enhanced penalties for actually attending a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes.

2. Penalties for Penal Code 288.4 PC

The penalties for violating Penal Code 288.4 PC depend on the defendant's criminal history and the circumstances of the allegations.

2.1. Misdemeanor penalties

In most cases, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes will be a misdemeanor in California law.17

The potential penalties are:

2.2. Felony penalties: previous sex crime conviction

Arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes will be charged as a felony if the defendant has a previous conviction for a sex crime that requires him/her to register under California's Sex Offender Registration Act.19

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Arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purposes is also punished more harshly if the defendant is already a registered sex offender.

This includes a long list of offenses, such as

If you have one of these convictions on your record, your potential penalties will be:

  • Felony (formal) probation;
  • Sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in California state prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).21
2.3. Felony penalties: going to a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes

As we mentioned above, Penal Code 288.4 is also a felony if the defendant is alleged to have actually shown up for the meeting with the minor.22

The potential felony penalties in this kind of case are:

  • Felony probation;
  • A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000); and/or
  • Two (2), three (3) or four (4) years in state prison.23
2.4. Sex offender registration requirement

Perhaps worst of all, a conviction for arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes will subject you to the registration requirement of California's Sex Offender Registration Act (Penal Code 290 PC).24

The Sex Offender Registration Act requires any convicted sex offender who lives in California to register with the police of the city or county where they live. This registration has to be renewed

  1. every year, within five (5) working days of his/her birthday, and
  2. every time that s/he moves.25

3. Legal Defenses to Charges of Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Sexual Purposes

According to Riverside sex crimes defense attorney Michael Scafiddi26:

“Penal Code 288.4 PC is a pretty nasty law. It was passed only in 2006, and the idea was to ensnare internet ‘sexual predators' before they could actually prey on minors. Police departments love this law because it gives them an easy way to catch these so-called ‘predators'—namely, going into internet chat rooms or answering Craigslist ads, tricking people into believing they are potential sexual partners under the age of 18.”

Because the California crime of arranging a meeting with a minor for sexual purposes is fairly new, the law on this crime is still evolving. You will want to approach these charges with the help of a very savvy and experienced sex crimes defense attorney.

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There are several common legal defenses to California Penal Code 288.4 charges.

S/he may be able to help you by crafting one or more of the following legal defenses:

You were not motivated by a sexual interest in children

You are only guilty of arranging a meeting with a minor for sexual purposes if you were motivated by an abnormal sexual interest in children/minors when you arranged the meeting.27

Perhaps this wasn't the case with you. You may instead have been motivated by loneliness, or boredom.

Or it could be that you had a very vague romantic interest in the person you were corresponding with—but you wouldn't dream of entering a sexual relationship with a minor and were just thinking of getting to know him/her better now (and maybe beginning a romantic relationship in the future, once s/he was of age).

In any of these scenarios, you can argue that you should not be convicted under Penal Code 288.4 PC.

You did not intend to engage in lewd activity at the meeting

Even if you were motivated by a romantic or sexual interest in the minor, you cannot be convicted of arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes unless you actually intended to engage in sexual activity at the meeting in question.28

The circumstances of the planned meeting can help support an argument that you had no plans to engage in lewd behavior at the meeting.

Was the meeting supposed to take place in a public place? In the middle of the day? At a time when you needed to be somewhere else (like back at work or school) not long afterwards?

You did not know that the person you were meeting was a minor

Because California Penal Code 288.4 is a fairly new law, it is not clear whether it is a valid defense to these charges if you did not know the other person was a minor.29

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It is possible to arrange a meeting with someone you met online without knowing s/he was a minor.

But this legal defense is certainly worth a try. If nothing else, members of a California jury may be reluctant to put you away for this crime if they believe that you did not even know you were arranging a meeting with a minor.

So if there is evidence that you actually and reasonably believed the “victim” was over 18, you and your criminal defense attorney will want to argue this legal defense.30

You were a victim of entrapment

Entrapment occurs when a police officer behaves in an overbearing way, and as a result a defendant engages in behavior s/he otherwise would not have. Entrapment is a valid defense to numerous California crimes, including California prostitution/solicitation.31

Entrapment can occur when law enforcement officers talk you into doing something through

  • pressure,
  • harassment,
  • fraud,
  • flattery, or
  • threats.32

It is very typical for defendants to be charged with PC 288.4 after being caught in an internet sting operation conducted by undercover officers. Officers pose as minors online and flirt aggressively with potential targets, who may eventually suggest or agree to a meeting.

If this happens to you, you can argue that the entrapment defense means you are not guilty of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes

4. PC 288.4 and Related Offenses

There are several California crimes that are commonly charged along with—or in lieu of—Penal Code 288.4 PC. These include:

4.1. Penal Code 288 lewd acts with a minor

One of the elements of Penal Code 288.4 PC is an intent to either expose the sexual parts of yourself or the minor or engage in “lewd or lascivious acts” with a minor.33

Those “lewd or lascivious” acts are related to the acts that can lead to charges under California's “lewd acts with a minor” law, Penal Code 288. This law makes it a crime to touch a minor anywhere on his/her body for sexual purposes.34

If you pre-arrange a meeting with a minor and then engage in “lewd acts” with him/her, you could be charged under both California Penal Code 288.4 and California Penal Code 288 (lewd acts with a minor).

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Undercover sting operations lead to a large number of arrests for arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes.

But penalties for “lewd acts with a minor” will only apply if either of the following is true:

  • The minor is under 14; OR
  • The minor is 14 or 15, and the defendant is at least 10 years older than him/her.35

This is a major distinction between this offense and the crime of arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes—which can be charged even if the minor is between the ages of 16 and 18.

Lewd acts with a child is a California wobbler (that is, a crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony) if the minor is 14 or 15, and a felony if s/he is younger than 14.36

So, ironically, you could face harsher penalties for arranging and showing up for a meeting to commit lewd acts with a 17-year-old (under Penal Code 288.4) than for actually committing lewd acts with a 15-year-old.

4.2. Penal Code 261.5 statutory rape

Penal Code 261.5 statutory rape is the crime of engaging in sexual intercourse—including consensual sexual intercourse—with a minor.37

If you are involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with someone under 18, you may find yourself facing charges for both this crime and arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes.

The penalties for statutory rape depend on the relative ages of the defendant and the “victim.” The crime is:

  • A misdemeanor if the age difference between the two is three (3) years or less;
  • A wobbler with a maximum jail sentence of three (3) years if the defendant is more than 3 years older than the “victim”; and
  • A wobbler with a maximum jail sentence of four (4) years if the defendant is older than 21 and the “victim” is under 16.38
4.3. Penal Code 288.2 sending harmful material to a minor

Penal Code 288.2 sending harmful material to a minor is the crime of sending explicit or “obscene” material to a minor (including via email or the internet) with the intent to both:

  1. Sexually arouse yourself and/or the minor, and
  2. Seduce the minor.39

Many allegations of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd/lascivious purposes also involve allegations that the defendant shared sexually explicit material with a minor. Therefore, it is common for defendants to be charged with both crimes.

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Sending harmful material to a minor is frequently charged along with Penal Code 288.4 PC.

Sending harmful material to a minor is a wobbler for the first offense—but a felony with a maximum prison sentence of four (4) years for the second and all subsequent offenses.40

4.4. California child pornography laws

California child pornography laws cover a wide range of behavior pertaining to child porn—that is, obscene material depicting minors engaged in sexual activity.

For example, you can be charged under these laws for:

  1. Developing, duplicating, printing or exchanging child pornography;41
  2. Hiring or persuading a minor to participate in the production of child porn;42 or
  3. Possessing any child pornography that was produced using a person under 18.43

Depending on the exact allegations against you, you may find yourself facing charges for both arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purposes AND a child pornography crime.

Most California child porn offenses are either wobblers or felonies.44

4.5. Penal Code 653b loitering at a school

The offense of Penal Code 653b PC loitering at a school consists of lingering at a school or other public place where children congregate (like a playground), with no lawful purpose and with intent to commit a crime.45

Loitering at a school carries serious misdemeanor penalties.46 However, this crime can be a favorable charge reduction for arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, since it doesn't carry a sex offender registration requirement.

Therefore, if the specific circumstances of your case support it, you may want to discuss a plea bargain to PC 653b charges with your attorney.

Call us for help…

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For questions about the crime of Penal Code 288.4 PC arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal and sex crime defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California Sex Crimes; Penal Code 288 PC California's “Lewd Acts with a Minor” Law; Legal Definition of a California Misdemeanor; Legal Definition of a California Felony; The Requirement to Register as a Sex Offender in California; Common Legal Defenses to California Crimes; The California Legal Defense of Entrapment; Penal Code 272 PC Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor; Misdemeanor (Summary) Probation in California; California Rape Law; Penal Code 243.4 Sexual Battery; California's “Indecent Exposure” Law; Felony (Formal) Probation in California; California Jury Trials; California Prostitution/Solicitation; Penal Code 261.5 Statutory Rape; Legal Definition of a California Wobbler; Penal Code 288.2 Sending Harmful Material to a Minor; California Child Pornography Laws; and Penal Code 653b PC Loitering at a School.

Legal References:


1 Penal Code 288.4 PC – Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes. (“(a)(1) Every person who, motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children, arranges a meeting with a minor or a person he or she believes to be a minor for the purpose of exposing his or her genitals or pubic or rectal area, having the child expose his or her genitals or pubic or rectal area, or engaging in lewd or lascivious behavior, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment. (2) Every person who violates this subdivision after a prior conviction for an offense listed in subdivision (c) of Section 290 shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison. (b) Every person described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) who goes to the arranged meeting place at or about the arranged time, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years. (c) Nothing in this section shall preclude or prohibit prosecution under any other provision of law.”)

2 Same.

3 Same.

4 Same.

5 Same.

See also Penal Code 290 PC – California's sex offender registration requirement [referenced in California's “meeting with a minor for lewd purposes” law]. (“(b) Every person described in subdivision (c), for the rest of his or her life while residing in California, or while attending school or working in California, as described in Sections 290.002 and 290.01, shall be required to register with the chief of police of the city in which he or she is residing, or the sheriff of the county if he or she is residing in an unincorporated area or city that has no police department, and, additionally, with the chief of police of a campus of the University of California, the California State University, or community college if he or she is residing upon the campus or in any of its facilities, within five working days of coming into, or changing his or her residence within, any city, county, or city and county, or campus in which he or she temporarily resides, and shall be required to register thereafter in accordance with the Act. (c) The following persons shall be required to register: Any person who, since July 1, 1944, has been or is hereafter convicted in any court in this state or in any federal or military court of a violation of Section 187 committed in the perpetration, or an attempt to perpetrate, rape or any act punishable under Section 286, 288, 288a, or 289, Section 207 or 209 committed with intent to violate Section 261, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, Section 220, except assault to commit mayhem, subdivision (b) and (c) of Section 236.1, Section 243.4, paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261, paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 262 involving the use of force or violence for which the person is sentenced to the state prison, Section 264.1, 266, or 266c, subdivision (b) of Section 266h, subdivision (b) of Section 266i, Section 266j, 267, 269, 285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.3, 288.4, 288.5, 288.7, 289, or 311.1, subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 311.2, Section 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, 311.11, or 647.6, former Section 647a, subdivision (c) of Section 653f, subdivision 1 or 2 of Section 314, any offense involving lewd or lascivious conduct under Section 272, or any felony violation of Section 288.2; any statutory predecessor that includes all elements of one of the above-mentioned offenses; or any person who since that date has been or is hereafter convicted of the attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above-mentioned offenses.”)

6 Same.

See also Penal Code 18 PC. (“(a) Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a felony [such as felony arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes] is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months, or two or three years in the state prison unless the offense is punishable pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.”)

See also Penal Code 672 PC. (“Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed [such as felony arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes], the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.”)

7 Penal Code 290 PC – California's sex offender registration requirement [referenced in California's “meeting with a minor for lewd purposes” law], endnote 5, above.

8 Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instruction (“CALCRIM”) 1125 – Arranging Meeting With Minor for Lewd Purpose (Pen. Code, § 288.4(a)(1)). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with arranging a meeting with a minor for a lewd purpose [while having a prior conviction] [in violation of Penal Code section 288.4(a)(1)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1. The defendant arranged a meeting with (a minor / [or] a person (he/she) believed to be a minor); 2. When the defendant did so, (he/she) was motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children; [AND] 3. At that meeting, the defendant intended to (expose (his/her) genitals or pubic or rectal area/ [or] have the minor expose (his/ her) genitals or pubic or rectal area/ [or] engage in lewd or lascivious behavior).”)

9 CALCRIM 1125 – Arranging Meeting With Minor for Lewd Purpose (Pen. Code, § 288.4(a)(1)). (“A minor is a person under the age of 18. [Under the law, a person becomes one year older as soon as the first minute of his or her birthday has begun.]”)

10 Loosely based on People v. Yuksel (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 850.

11 CALCRIM 1125 – Arranging Meeting With Minor for Lewd Purpose (Pen. Code, § 288.4(a)(1)), endnote 8, above.

12 Same.

13 Same. (“[Lewd and lascivious behavior includes any touching of a person with the intent to sexually arouse the perpetrator or the other person. Lewd or lascivious behavior includes touching any part of the person's body, either on the bare skin or through the clothes the person is wearing. [A lewd or lascivious act includes causing someone to touch his or her own body or someone else's body at the instigation of the perpetrator who has the required intent.]]”)

14 Same.

15 Penal Code 288.4 PC – Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, endnote 1, above.

16 CALCRIM 1126 – Going to Meeting With Minor for Lewd Purpose (Pen. Code, § 288.4(b)). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with going to a meeting with a minor for a lewd purpose [in violation of Penal Code section 288.4(b)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1. The defendant arranged a meeting with (a minor/ [or] a person (he/she) believed to be a minor); 2. When the defendant did so, (he/she) was motivated by an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest in children; 3. At that meeting, the defendant intended to (expose (his/her) genitals or pubic or rectal area/ [or] have the minor expose (his/ her) genitals or pubic or rectal area/ [or] engage in lewd or lascivious behavior); AND 4. The defendant went to the arranged meeting place at or about the arranged time.”)

17 Penal Code 288.4 PC – Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, endnote 1, above.

18 Same.

19 See endnote 5, above.

20 Same.

21 See endnote 6, above.

22 Penal Code 288.4 PC – Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, endnote 1, above.

23 Same.

24 Penal Code 290 PC – California's sex offender registration requirement [referenced in California's “meeting with a minor for lewd purposes” law], endnote 5, above.

25 See same.

26 Riverside sex crimes defense attorney Michael Scafiddi was a police officer for over a decade before he made the switch to a career seeking justice for criminal defendants. Scafiddi practices sex crime defense law throughout the Inland Empire and represents clients at the Riverside Hall of Justice, the Palm Springs Courthouse, the San Bernardino Courthouse, and the Victorville Courthouse, among others.

27 CALCRIM 1125 – Arranging Meeting With Minor for Lewd Purpose (Pen. Code, § 288.4(a)(1)), endnote 8, above.

28 Same.

29 CALCRIM 1125 – Arranging Meeting With Minor for Lewd Purpose (Pen. Code, § 288.4(a)(1)), Bench Notes: Instructional Duty. (“The court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on the good faith belief that the victim was not a minor as a defense for certain sex crimes with minors, including statutory rape, when that defense is supported by evidence. Until courts of review clarify whether this defense is available in prosecutions for violations of Pen. Code, § 288.4(b), the court will have to exercise its own discretion.”)

30 See CALCRIM 1070 – Unlawful Sexual Intercourse: Defendant 21 or Older (Pen. Code, § 261.5(a) & (d)) [may apply to Penal Code 288.4 arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes as well]. (“<Defense: Good Faith Belief 18 or Over> [The defendant is not guilty of this crime if (he/she) reasonably and actually believed that the other person was age 18 or older. In order for reasonable and actual belief to excuse the defendant's behavior, there must be evidence tending to show that (he/she) reasonably and actually believed that the other person was age 18 or older. If you have a reasonable doubt about whether the defendant reasonably and actually believed that the other person was age 18 or older, you must find (him/ her) not guilty.]”)

31 See People v. West (1956) 139 Cal.App.2d Supp. 923, 924. ("Entrapment is the conception and planning of an offense [such as arranging to meet a minor for lewd purposes] by an officer and his procurement of its commission by one who would not have perpetrated it except for the trickery, persuasion, or fraud of the officer. Persuasion or allurement must be used to entrap.")

32 See same.

33 Penal Code 288.4 PC – Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, endnote 1, above.

34 Penal Code 288 – Lewd acts with a child [compare to law on arranging to meet with a minor for lewd or lascivious purposes]. (“(a) Except as provided in subdivision (i), any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years. . . . (c) (1) Any person who commits an act described in subdivision (a) with the intent described in that subdivision, and the victim is a child of 14 or 15 years, and that person is at least 10 years older than the child, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for one, two, or three years, or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year. In determining whether the person is at least 10 years older than the child, the difference in age shall be measured from the birth date of the person to the birth date of the child.”)

35 Same.

36 Same.

37 Penal Code 261.5 PC – Unlawful sexual intercourse with person under 18; age of perpetrator; civil penalties [may be charged along with arranging to meet with a minor for lewd or lascivious purposes]. (“("(a) Unlawful sexual intercourse is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of the perpetrator, if the person is a minor. For the purposes of this section, a "minor" is a person under the age of 18 years and an "adult" is a person who is at least 18 years of age. (b) Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is not more than three years older or three years younger than the perpetrator, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (c) Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (d) Any person 21 years of age or older who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is under 16 years of age is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.”)

38 Same.

39 Penal Code 288.2 PC – Harmful matter sent with the intent to seduce a minor [often charged along with arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes] ("(a) Every person who, with knowledge that a person is a minor, or who fails to exercise reasonable care in ascertaining the true age of a minor, knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or offers to distribute or exhibit by any means, including, but not limited to, live or recorded telephone messages, any harmful matter, as defined in [California Penal Code] Section 313 PC, to a minor with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of a minor, and with the intent or for the purpose of seducing a minor, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison or in a county jail. A person convicted of a second and any subsequent conviction for a violation of this section is guilty of a felony. (b) Every person who, with knowledge that a person is a minor, knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or offers to distribute or exhibit by electronic mail, the Internet, as defined in Section 17538 of the Business and Professions Code, or a commercial online service, any harmful matter, as defined in [California Penal Code] Section 313 PC, to a minor with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of a minor, and with the intent, or for the purpose of seducing a minor, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison or in a county jail. A person convicted of a second and any subsequent conviction for a violation of this section is guilty of a felony.")

40 Same.

41 Penal Code 311.3 PC – Sexual exploitation of child [may be charged along with arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes].

42 Penal Code 311.4 PC – Employment or use of minor to perform prohibited acts [of child pornography]; previous conviction; exception [may be charged along with arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes].

43 Penal Code 311.11 PC – Possession or control of matter depicting minor engaging in or simulating sexual conduct [child pornography]; punishment; previous conviction [may be charged along with arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes].

44 See, e.g., statutes in endnotes 41-43, above.

45 Penal Code 653b PC - Loitering at a school [may be charged in lieu of arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes].

46 Same.

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