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Send Harmful Matter to Minor Child
with Intent to Seduce (PC 288.2)
Law & Punishment
Information on the crime of sending harmful matter to a minor with the intent to sexually arouse or seduce the minor or the sender, is found at California penal code section 288.2.
Essentially, harmful matter sent to a child is generally defined as sending any image to a minor that depicts sexual conduct or any message that include sexual language.
PC 288.2 Laws
288.2(a)(1) Every person who knows, should have known, or believes that another person is a minor, and who knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or offers to distribute or exhibit by any means, including by physical delivery, telephone, electronic communication, or in person, any harmful matter that depicts a minor or minors engaging in sexual conduct, to the other person with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of the minor, and with the intent, or for the purposes of engaging in sexual intercourse, sodomy, or oral copulation with the other person, or with the intent that either person touch an intimate body part of the other, is guilty of sending harmful matter to a child (PC 288.2 Abbrev.).
PC 288.2 Penalties
PC 288.2(a)(1): Sending harmful matter to a minor with the intent to seduce: charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor. When PC 288.2(a)(1) is charged as a felony, the defendant could face up to five years in prison. When PC 288.2(a)(1) is charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant could face up to a year in the county jail.
PC 288.2(a)(2): Sending sexual messages to a child: is charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. When PC 288.2(a)(2) is charged as a felony, the defendant could face up to three years in prison. When PC 288.2(a)(2) is charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant could face up to one year in the county jail.
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is period time wherein the defendant is monitored by the court or by a probation officer (instead of being incarcerated). Probation sentences are allowed in PC 288.2 cases, but they are not guaranteed.
Whether or not the defendant is granted a probation sentence after a PC 288.2 conviction depends on the facts of the case, the defendant's criminal history and the terms of any plea bargain, if any.
Note: If the defendant is not granted a probation sentence after a conviction for PC 288.2, then the defendant must serve his or her incarceration time in a state prison, (as opposed to a local county jail), and no part of the at prison sentence may be split or suspended.
Sex Offender Registration: If found guilty of sending harmful matter to a child, the defendant will be ordered to register with local law enforcement as a sex offender (PC 290). For more information, see Sex Offender Registration Requirements & CA Tier System for Sex Offenders.
In addition to the penalties listed above, if found guilty of PC 288.2 crimes, the defendant could face any of the following penalties: deportation (non-U.S. citizens), loss of a professional license (i.e. doctors, dentist, lawyers, therapist, etc.), fines and fees, criminal protective orders, restitution, denial of entry into the armed services, civil lawsuits, and more.
PC 288.2 Defenses
Defenses to penal code 288.2 criminal charges include, parent sending or showing non-graphic sexual images to a minor child in order to educate the minor child with legitimate sex education. It is also a defense specific to PC 288.2 charges to show that the images sent to a child were in connection with legitimate scientific or education purposes.
General defenses to a charge of sending harmful matter to a child include statute of limitations, insanity, illegal search and seizure, insufficient evidence of possession, coerced confession, mistake of fact as to the minor child’s age, and more. For more information on defenses to PC 288.2 crimes, including a discussion of the statute of limitation defense and the entrapment defense, see Sex Crimes Defense Options.
If you have been arrested or charged with sending harmful matter to a minor child with intent to seduce, or PC 288.2, contact our sex crimes criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our sex crimes defense lawyers have helped hundreds of clients charged with felony and misdemeanor sex crimes in the Inland Empire, including PC 288.2 charges. Call today!