Penal Code 261 PC - California Rape Laws


Penal Code 261 PC is the California statute that defines the crime of "rape". Under this section, rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse accomplished by means of:

  • threats, force, or fraud, or 
  • with a victim who is unconscious or incapable of consenting.1 

What types of acts are considered rape in California?

When many people think of rape, the first thing that comes to mind is sexual assault committed by means of physical force. But other, less obvious situations can lead to charges as well. These include:

  • A man having sexual intercourse with a woman who is passed out drunk,
  • A doctor "tricking" his female patient into having sex with him by telling her it's the only way to cure a particular illness, and
  • A police officer telling a woman that he has pulled over for DUI that he will let her go if she has sex with him.

But there are also a variety of sexual assault crimes that fall under the umbrella of rape law. These include:

The punishment for rape in California

The punishment, penalties, and stigma that flow from a 261 PC conviction can be severe. The punishment for rape in California includes three (3), six (6) or eight (8) years in California state prison.2 And if the alleged victim was a minor, the minimum sentence is seven (7) years...and the maximum is thirteen (13) years.3

What are some defenses?

Unfortunately, rape is one of the crimes for which many innocent people get wrongly accused. A number of legal defenses can help you beat the charges when you find yourself in this situation. These include taking the position that:

  • The accuser made up false accusations (a very common scenario in California rape cases),
  • You had an honest and reasonable belief that the accuser consented to intercourse,
  • Whatever physical contact took place, it fell short of actual intercourse,
  • The evidence is insufficient, or
  • You are the victim of mistaken identity.

Regardless of the circumstances, it is advisable to consult with a California criminal defense attorney immediately if someone has made an accusation against you.  Often times a skilled attorney can investigate and discredit the allegations before the prosecuting agency ever files formal charges.

Can a victim sue for rape?

Yes. Personal injury law allows lawsuits by sexual assault victims in California. Victims can sue for their damages, including (without limitation):

It is not necessary for the defendant to be convicted in a criminal trial in order for the alleged victim to sue for damages for sexual assault. The defendant does not even need to be charged with a crime.

There is a lower standard of proof in a civil trial. The victim simply needs to convince nine of the 12 jurors that it is "more likely than not" that the defendant committed an unlawful sexual act and that, as a result, the plaintiff suffered damages.

In this article, our California criminal defense lawyers will discuss:

If after reading this article, you have additional questions, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also wish to review our article on "Crime Victim Lawsuits in California"

man making fist as woman cowers against wall in background
The sexual intercourse needs to be either against that person's will, or without that person's consent

1. What is the Legal Definition of Rape in PC 261?

According to Penal Code 261 PC, the legal definition of "rape" in California law is when an individual engages in sexual intercourse with another person...and certain conditions are met. First off, the sexual intercourse needs to be either against that person's will, or without that person's consent.4

This means that the act needs to have been accomplished through one of the following:

  • Physical force.
  • Violence.
  • Duress.  This is a direct or implied threat sufficient to coerce a reasonable person to perform...or agree to act which he/she would not otherwise have performed or allowed.  Example: Trevor works for US immigration authorities. He tells Luisa, who is an illegal immigrant, that she will be deported if she doesn't have sex with she agrees to have sex with him. This is rape by means of duress.
  • Menace (a threat, declaration, or act that shows an intention to inflict an injury upon another).
  • Fear of bodily harm to oneself or to another. The alleged victim's fear must be actual and reasonable under the circumstances, or, if it's unreasonable, the accused must know of the victim's fear and take advantage of it.
  • Fear of retaliation (a threat to kidnap, falsely imprison, or inflict serious pain, injury, or death upon the alleged victim or another person).
  • Fraud---because the accused either (1) fraudulently convinces the alleged victim that they are married, or (2) fraudulently convinces the alleged victim that the sexual act serves a "professional" purpose even though it does no such thing.5
Example: Ian is a New-Age therapist who treats sexual dysfunction issues. He tells his patient Charlene that her problems with lack of sex drive will be resolved if she has sex with she does. This is rape by means of fraud.
Alternatively, lack of consent can mean that the alleged victim was
  • too intoxicated to consent to the activity,
  • unable to give consent due to a mental disorder or physical disability which the accused knew or reasonably should have known about, or
  • unconscious about the nature of the act (because he/she was either asleep, unconscious, or fraudulently induced into having sexual intercourse -- and the accused knew or reasonably should have known that this was the case).6

If you have sex with another person under any of these circumstances . . . prosecutors could charge you with rape under California's rape statute (Penal Code 261 PC).

2. How Does the Prosecutor Prove that I am Guilty of Rape?

In order to prove that you raped another person under Penal Code 261 PC, the prosecutor must prove four facts (otherwise known as "elements" of the crime).  These are:

  1. that you engaged in sexual intercourse with another person (any penetration will suffice, regardless of how slight ),
  2. that you were not married to the person at the time (if you were, it would be a separate crime known as "spousal rape"),
  3. that the other person "did not consent" to the intercourse, and
  4. that you accomplished the act by one of the means listed in Section 1 above.8

Let's take a closer look at some of the terms in these elements.

Sexual intercourse

Any penetration, no matter how slight, counts as "sexual intercourse" for purposes of rape.9 It doesn't matter whether ejaculation occurs or not.10

So the legal definition of rape defines "intercourse" very broadly. If a California rape defendant initiates sexual intercourse with someone against that person's will, and then begins to regret that act and quickly terminates the sexual act...that will still count as rape.

The concept of "consent"

Simply put, rape is sexual intercourse that occurs without one person's consent.11 But what is meant by "consent" under California's rape law?

Consent means positive cooperation in an act or attitude as an exercise of free will.  A person who "consents" to sexual intercourse does so freely and voluntarily with knowledge of the true nature of the sexual act.12

There are a few important things to consider in understanding consent.13

  • Previous dating or marital relationship

First, the fact that you and the alleged victim are dating, used to date, or used to be married does not by itself constitute consent...without additional evidence of consent.14

The same is true of actually being married to the alleged victim...just the fact that you and she (or he) are married is not evidence of consent. But if the defendant and
alleged victim are married, sex without consent is the separate crime of
spousal rape. As discussed below, spousal rape is charged and tried under a different statute-Penal Code 262 PC.

  • Request for a condom or contraceptive use

Second, the fact that the alleged victim asked, suggested, or otherwise communicated that you wear a condom or use another form of birth control does not in-and-of-itself constitute consent...again, without additional evidence of consent.15

But that doesn't mean that it's completely irrelevant if the alleged victim requested that they use a condom. That request may not mean there was actual consent...but if the "victim" was sending mixed signals, her (or his) request for a condom or birth control use may be useful in helping to show that the defendant reasonably believed there was consent.

As we will discuss below, the defendant's actual reasonable belief that there was consent...even if that belief was false...means that no rape occurred.16

  • Withdrawn consent

Finally, even if the alleged victim initially consented to and participated in sexual intercourse, s/he CAN later withdraw that consent...which MAY turn what began as an act of consensual intercourse, into rape.17

But this will only occur if the following three things are true:

  1. The alleged victim communicates to the defendant that s/he objects to the intercourse that is occurring and attempts to stop the act,
  2. The "victim" communicates this objection in a way that would convey a lack of consent to a reasonable person, AND
  3. The defendant forcibly continues the intercourse anyway.18
Example: Karen is upset after a fight with her boyfriend and goes to a bar by herself. At the bar, she meets Paul. Karen invites Paul back to her apartment, and the two begin to have sex.

But not long after the sexual act begins, Karen begins to feel guilty about cheating on her boyfriend. She tells Paul that she is no longer comfortable and wants to stop having sex. She also tries to push him away from her. But Paul overpowers her and continues the intercourse.

Paul may be guilty of California rape even though he initially thought he was having consensual sex with Karen. Paul may be liable for rape because Karen has withdrawn her consent.

Proving consent under California's rape shield law

California's rape shield law is an evidence rule designed to protect the privacy of rape victims. It says that you may not prove consent by introducing evidence of your accuser's past sexual conduct or sexual reputation.19

In other words, even if the person accusing you has a history of having consensual sex with large numbers of people, you cannot point to that history to try to show that she consented to have sex with you.

The defendant must have known that there was a lack of consent

Luckily, it's not enough for a prosecutor to show that the alleged victim didn't consent to sexual intercourse. They also have to prove -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- that the defendant did not "actually" and "reasonably" believe that the victim had consented.20 If they can't prove this, then the defendant can't be convicted of rape in California.

Example: Rick is interested in S&M (sadomasochism) and arranges a date with Tracy, a woman he met on an internet site for people interested in S&M. In emails, Tracy has told him she has fantasies of being raped and wants to meet with him to act out those fantasies.

At Rick's apartment, he and Tracy have sex during which he behaves threateningly toward her. Later, Tracy accuses him of rape. But Rick may be able to defend himself by arguing that he actually and reasonably believed that Tracy had consented.

Resistance is not an element of rape

The prosecutor doesn't need to prove that the alleged victim physically tried to resist the act.  While the victim's resistance used to be an element that required proof under California's rape statute, the California legislature did away with that requirement because people react differently to individual trauma.21

If, for example, a woman were to "freeze" upon a sexual attack, the old California rape law would have held that she wasn't raped...even though her reaction didn't necessarily amount to consent.  This is why resistance is no longer required as an element of the crime.

That said, if the alleged victim doesn't resist, the jury could consider that fact as relevant to whether the defendant believed that he was engaging in consensual sexual intercourse.22

California rape laws apply to both men and women

A final point to note is that...although we typically think that only men can rape women...this is not the case.  California rape laws apply to both men and women.  If a woman were to threaten or force a man into having intercourse, prosecutors could charge her with Penal Code 261 rape.23

Similarly, if a woman was to help a man rape another woman...against the alleged victim's will...prosecutors could charge her with "aiding and abetting".24 An "aider and abettor" in California law is considered a "principal" in the crime and, as such, is punished as if he/she personally committed the crime.25

3. What are the Penalties for California Rape?

Rape under PC 261 is a felony.  If you are convicted of this crime, the punishment will include three (3), six (6), or eight (8) years in the California State Prison.26

In some California sexual assault cases, the judge may grant felony (formal) probation and up to one (1) year of the county jail in lieu of the state prison sentence. But as of January 1, 2017, this is only possible if one of the following is true:

  1. The defendant is guilty of rape only because the victim was incapable of giving consent due to a disability;
  2. The defendant accomplished the rape by pretending to be someone else known to the victim; or
  3. The defendant accomplished the rape by threatening to use the authority of a public official against the victim, AND the case is an unusual one where the judge finds that granting probation will serve the interests of justice.27

In all other rape cases (including those where the victim was unconscious, asleep or intoxicated), the state prison sentence is mandatory.

In addition, a conviction for rape will entail:

  • a possible additional three (3) to five (5) years in the state prison if the alleged victim sustains a great bodily injury (defined as a significant or substantial physical injury)28,
  • a maximum fine of ten thousand dollars ($10,000)29, and
  • a possible "strike" on your record pursuant to California's Three Strikes Law.30

The maximum prison sentence for rape also goes up if the alleged victim is a minor. If she (or he) is a minor under 18, the possible state prison term goes up to seven (7), nine (9) or eleven (11) years.

And if she (or he) is a minor under the age of 14, the possible term is nine (9), eleven (11), or thirteen (13) years in prison.31

As if that weren't enough punishment, most California rape convictions lead to required Penal Code 290 lifetime sex offender registration32 as a tier-three sex offender.33

The penalty of required sex offender registration for rape can be as onerous as any prison term. The registration requirement is a duty that lasts for an entire lifetime. And failure to register as a sex offender under Penal Code 290 is a separate felony. (In rare cases, the defendant is required to register as only a tier-two offender, which carries a minimum registration requirement of 20 years. This is usually when the victim is at least 18 and is incapable of giving consent due to a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability.) Senate Bill 384 created California's three-tier sex registration system.34

The good news is that there are a variety of rape defenses...defenses that a good California sex crimes defense attorney knows how to present and argue to a judge and jury.

4. What Legal Defenses Can I Use to Fight a California Rape Charge?

To accuse someone of sexual assault, the accuser needs little or even no evidence.  This is why innocent people are unfortunately falsely accused of (and wrongfully prosecuted for) rape all too often.

The following are examples of some of the legal defenses that are most commonly used to defend against California rape charges:

4.1. False accusations all other California sex a charge that is often initiated out of jealousy, revenge, anger, or another emotionally-driven motive.

It is extremely difficult to tell how many allegations of rape are simply false...but social science studies have suggested that false rape allegations are a serious criminal justice. One FBI study concluded that almost 10% of rape allegations have no basis, a figure that other studies support.35 But certain more specific studies suggest that the number could be closer to half!36

As Riverside criminal defense lawyer Michael Scafiddi explains37,

"False accusations run rampant in California sex crime cases.  This is nowhere more obvious than by looking at the numerous innocent individuals whose false charges have been dismissed thanks to DNA evidence.  Many of these individuals have been freed from prison after being wrongly convicted of rape based on false accusations and shoddy police work.  It's my job to make sure that my client's unjust charges are dismissed from the start."

4.2. Consent

If the alleged victim consented to engage in sexual intercourse, then no rape occurred.38 Even if the alleged victim initially consented but later changed her mind...if she didn't effectively communicate her withdrawal of consent, you can't be convicted of this charge.39

Also, even if the alleged victim didn't actually consent BUT you had good reason to believe she had can't be convicted of rape. This is a version of the legal defense of "mistake of fact." You are entitled to an acquittal if you can show that you actually and reasonably believed that consent had been obtained.40

Example: Tom and Tina go on a date. After dinner and a few drinks, they go to Tom's place and start making out. They each get undressed and Tina lays in the couch. At this point, Tina decides she doesn't want to go through with the sex and wishes she could just leave. But she doesn't communicate this to Tom, who proceeds with intercourse. Tom is probably not guilty of rape under California law, because he held an honest and reasonable belief that Tina consented to the act.

4.3. Insufficient evidence

If the alleged victim doesn't seek medical attention, there may be no physical evidence to corroborate the rape allegation.  Similarly, if no one hears or witnesses the act, the rape case may simply be based on "he said/she said" allegations. In this sort of situation, the legal defense of insufficient evidence may apply. Prosecutors often have difficulty proving rape charges in court when the only evidence is the uncorroborated word of the accuser.

4.4. Mistaken eyewitness identification

Mistaken eyewitness identification is the number one reason for wrongful convictions in the United States...and it is especially common in California rape cases.

Unless a victim knows the person whom she claims raped her, it is possible for her to be mistaken in identifying her assailant.  Circumstances such as

  • poor lighting,
  • face masks,
  • prejudicial in-person or photographic police line-ups...

are just some of the factors that can contribute to an innocent person being mistakenly identified as a rapist.

5. California Rape and Related Offenses

There are several California sex crimes related to California Penal Code 261 rape.  Each relates to sexual acts that are performed either (1) against the will of the alleged victim, or (2) without the alleged victim's consent.

Some of these may be charged along with the California crime of rape if the alleged rape victim claims that sexual acts besides intercourse occurred.

5.1. Statutory rape (Penal Code 261.5 PC)

Under Penal Code 261.5, California statutory rape laws define statutory rape as a person having sexual intercourse with an individual under 18 years of age (commonly referred to as a minor).41 Minors are legally unable to give consent, which is why an adult who has sex with a minor will be prosecuted for this offense...even if the intercourse was in fact fully consensual!

Statutory rape is a wobbler in California law ...which means it may be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The nature of the charges and the penalty depend on how large the age difference was between the defendant and the alleged "victim."42

5.2. Oral copulation by force (Penal Code 288a PC)

Like California rape, oral copulation by force takes place when an individual exercises force, threats, menace, duress, or fraud to engage in a sexual act with another....but in this case the act would be oral sex, not sexual intercourse.43

Oral copulation is a felony, like California rape, and may be punished by three (3), six (6) or eight (8) years in state prison.44

5.3. Sexual battery (Penal Code 243.4)

A sexual battery per California Penal Code 243.4 PC takes place when an individual touches the intimate part of another for the purpose of (1) sexual gratification, (2) arousal, or (3) abuse, without that person's consent or against that person's will.  Prosecutors often charge sexual battery when a sexual assault occurs but it falls short of actual intercourse.45

Depending on the exact circumstances, this crime may be a misdemeanor or a wobbler.46

5.4. Lewd or lascivious acts with a child (Penal Code 288 PC)

The crime of Penal Code 288 "lewd acts with a minor child" takes place when a person touches a child 15 years or younger somewhere on his/her body for the purposes of sexual gratification.  This crime may be a wobbler or a  felony...with the nature of the crime and the maximum penalties depending on the age of the alleged victim and the defendant's relationship to him/her.47

If you are charged with rape, and the alleged victim is 15 or younger, there is a good chance you will face charges for lewd or lascivious acts with a child as well.

5.5. Spousal rape (Penal Code 262 PC)

Stated in Penal Code 262, California spousal / marital rape laws are nearly identical to the crime of California rape with one key difference: the alleged victim has to be the defendant's spouse.48 The penalties for the two crimes are identical as well.49

5.6. Date rape

So-called "date rape" is actually just another version of California rape under Penal Code 261 PC...not a separate crime.50 Date rape occurs when the defendant and the alleged victim were dating or were otherwise voluntarily spending time together. The penalties are the same as for any other kind of California rape.

5.7. Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object

Stated in Penal Code 289 PC, "forcible penetration with a foreign object" is identical to rape except that it addresses penetration with things other than a sexual organ. Examples would include a finger, a dildo or a stick. The penalties are identical to those of rape.

6. Civil Lawsuits for Rape in California

Victims of sexual assault or abuse have the right to seek restitution from or sue their perpetrator for damages in California. Victims (or in some cases, their family members) may:

  • File a lawsuit for money damages in civil court;
  • Apply for payment from the California Victim Compensation Board (“CalVCP”) (for violent crime victims and their families), and/or
  • Apply for restitution from the California criminal court (if the defendant is found or pleads guilty).

Victims do not need to choose one approach over the other. They can pursue any or all of these remedies (although if they receive more than one the amounts will usually be offset against the others).

group of jurors in jury box
Restitution can only be granted if the defendant is first convicted.

Does the defendant need to be convicted first?

Restitution can only be granted if the defendant is first convicted.

However, a civil lawsuit does not require a conviction. The defendant does not even need to be charged with a crime.

As long as the plaintiff has suffered damages as the result of a non-consensual sexual act, he or she can file suit against the defendant and possibly other parties as well.

Who can a victim sue for a sexual assault?

In addition to the defendant, victims of sexual assault may be able to sue a third party for the defendant's actions. The question is whether the other parties owed the victim a duty of care under California law and were negligent or reckless in exercising it.

Examples of third parties that might be liable for a sexual assault include (but are not limited to):

  • A ride-sharing company fails to conduct a legally required background check and a driver sexually assaults a passenger;
  • A building owner fails to replace the lightbulbs in its parking garage;
  • A nightclub hires a bouncer with a history of domestic violence and he rapes a customer;
  • A security company fails to properly train its guards on how to recognize and prevent a sex crime.

What damages can a sexual assault victim recover?

Victims of sexual assault are entitled to a wide variety of compensatory (economic) damages as well as punitive damages under California law. The precise amount depends on various factors, including:

  1. The defendant's wealth and assets;
  2. The reprehensibility of the defendant's actions; and 
  3. The harm suffered by the victim.

Call us for help...

female operator smiling
Call us for help

If you or loved one is charged with Penal Code 261 rape and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

Our California personal injury lawyers also represent victims of rape who wish to sue the perpetrators or who require victim advocacy for sexual assault in California.

We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

To learn about Colorado rape laws, go to our article on "Colorado rape laws."

To learn about Nevada rape laws, go to our article on "Nevada rape laws."

¿Habla español? Visite nuestro sitio Web en español sobre la ley sobre el abuso sexual de California.

Legal References:

  1. California Penal Code 261 PC -- Rape defined.  ("(a) Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator, under any of the following circumstances: (1) Where a person is incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent, and this is known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the act. Notwithstanding the existence of a conservatorship pursuant to the provisions of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code), the prosecuting attorney shall prove, as an element of the crime, that a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability rendered the alleged victim incapable of giving consent. (2) Where it is accomplished against a person's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another [rape will be charged]. (3) Where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by the accused [rape will be charged]. (4) Where a person is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this is known to the accused [rape will be charged]. As used in this paragraph, "unconscious of the nature of the act" means incapable of resisting because the victim meets one of the following conditions: (A) Was unconscious or asleep. (B) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred. (C) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator's fraud in fact. (D) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator's fraudulent representation that the sexual penetration served a professional purpose when it served no professional purpose. (5) Where a person submits under the belief that the person committing the act is the victim's spouse, and this belief is induced by any artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the accused, with intent to induce the belief. (6) [Penal Code 261 PC California rape will be charged] Where the act is accomplished against the victim's will by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person, and there is a reasonable possibility that the perpetrator will execute the threat. As used in this paragraph, "threatening to retaliate" means a threat to kidnap or falsely imprison, or to inflict extreme pain, serious bodily injury, or death. (7) Where the act is accomplished against the victim's will by threatening to use the authority of a public official to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the victim or another, and the victim has a reasonable belief that the perpetrator is a public official. As used in this paragraph, "public official" means a person employed by a governmental agency who has the authority, as part of that position, to incarcerate, arrest, or deport another. The perpetrator does not actually have to be a public official. (b) As used in this section [for California rape], "duress" means a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, or retribution sufficient to coerce a reasonable person of ordinary susceptibilities to perform an act which otherwise would not have been performed, or acquiesce in an act to which one otherwise would not have submitted. The total circumstances, including the age of the victim, and his or her relationship to the defendant, are factors to consider in appraising the existence of duress. (c) As used in this section, "menace" means any threat, declaration, or act which shows an intention to inflict an injury upon another.")
  2. California Penal Code 264 PC-Rape; punishment.
  3. See same. ("(c)(1) 
  4. See California Penal Code 261 PC - Rape defined, endnote 1, above.
  5. See same.
  6. See same.
  7. California Penal Code 263 -- Rape; essentials; sufficiency of penetration. 
  8. See also CALCRIM 1002 - Rape of Intoxicated Woman; CALCRIM 1003 - Rape of Unconscious Woman; CALCRIM 1004 - Rape of a Disabled Woman; and CALCRIM 1005 - Rape by Fraud.
  9. California Penal Code 263 -- Rape; essentials; sufficiency of penetration.  
  10. CALCRIM 1000 - Rape . . . by Force, Fear or Threats. ("[Ejaculation is not required.]")
  11. See same. ("To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: . . . 3 The woman did not consent to the intercourse; . . . .")
  12. CALCRIM 1000 - Rape . . . by Force, Fear or Threats. ("[To consent, a woman must act freely and voluntarily and know the nature of the act.]")
  13. See same. 
  14. California Penal Code 261.6
  15. Evidence that victim requested that defendant use condom or other birth control device; consent.  
  16. CALCRIM 1000 - Rape . . . by Force, Fear or Threats. 
  17. See same.
  18. See same.
  19. Evidence Code 1103 EC – Character evidence of crime victim to prove conduct; 
  20. CALCRIM 1000 - Rape . . . by Force, Fear or Threats.
  21. People v. Barnes (1986) 42 Cal.3d 284.
  22. See same at 303.  
  23. However, the current version of the California jury instructions on Penal Code 261 PC rape use the term "woman" to describe the victim...but only because rape is usually committed against a woman, and the committee writing the instructions wanted to keep them "clear and concrete." See CALCRIM 1000 - Rape . . . by Force, Fear, or Threats: Commentary. 
  24. People v. Hernandez (1971), 18 Cal.App.3d 651, 657.  ("Women have been convicted as "aiders and abettors" and therefore principals (see Pen. Code, § 31) to the crime of rape. (See People v. Smith, 204 Cal.App.2d 797 [23 Cal.Rptr. 5]; People v. Young, 132 Cal.App. 770 [23 P.2d 524]; People v. Bartol, 24 Cal.App. 659 [142 P. 510].) It would be unreasonable to hold a woman immune from prosecution for rape committed by a man under her "threats or menaces sufficient to show that [he] had reasonable cause to and did believe [that his life] would be endangered if [he] refused." (See California Penal Code, § 26, subd. Eight.) If such were the law it would create a crime without a punishable perpetrator.")
  25. California Jury Instructions - Criminal ("CALJIC") 3.00
  26. California Penal Code 264 -- Rape; punishment.  ("(a) Rape, as defined in Section 261 or 262, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.")
  27. California Penal Code 1203.65 -- Probation for PC 261 defendants 
  28. California Penal Code 12022.7 -- Terms of imprisonment for persons inflicting great bodily injury while committing or attempting felony [including rape].  
  29. California Penal Code 672
  30. California Penal Code 1192.7 -- Legislative intent regarding prosecution of violent sex crimes
  31. California Penal Code 264 PC - Rape; punishment. 
  32. California Penal Code 290 -- Sex Offender Registration Act.  
  33. Learn about the California Senate Bill 384, which created the three-tier system.
  34. California Penal Code 290.018 PC 
  35. Emily Bazelon and Rachael Larimore, How Often Do Women Falsely Cry Rape?, Slate, Oct. 1, 2009.
  36. Bruce Gross, False Rape Allegations: An Assault On Justice, The Forensic Examiner, Sept. 15, 2012.
  37. Riverside criminal 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.
  38. CALCRIM 1000 - Rape . . . by Force, Fear, or Threats.
  39. See same.
  40. See same. 
  41. California Penal Code 261.5 -- Unlawful sexual intercourse with person under 18; age of perpetrator; civil penalties [also known as California statutory rape].  
  42. See same. 
  43. California Penal Code 288a -- Oral copulation.  
  44. See same. 
  45. California Penal Code 243.4 -- Sexual battery.  
  46. See same, subsections (a) - (e).
  47. California Penal Code 288 PC - Lewd or lascivious acts; penalties; psychological harm to the victim.
  48. California Penal Code 262 PC - Rape of a spouse. 
  49. California Penal Code 264 PC - Rape; punishment.
  50. California Penal Code 261 PC - Rape defined.

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