Information on the crime of sodomy by force or fear upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age is found at California penal code § 286(c)(2)(B). This summary clarifies the law, punishment, and common defenses associated with PC 286(c)(2)(B) charges. For further information, contact our sex crimes criminal defense attorneys.
PC 286(c)(2)(B) Law
Per PC 286(c)(2)(B), any person who commits an act of sodomy with another person who is under fourteen 14 years of age when the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person, is guilty of sodomy by force or fear upon a child under fourteen (14) by force or fear (PC 286(c)(2)(B) Abbrev.).
Sodomy Defined: Sodomy is sexual conduct consisting of contact between the penis of one person and the anus of another person. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime of sodomy (PC 286(a)). Other terms for sodomy include “anal intercourse” [Medical] and “anal sex” [Colloquial].
Note: Ejaculation is not required to prove sodomy by force or fear upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age (Calcrim 1030).
Force Defined: “Force” as used in PC 286(c)(2)(B), is accomplished when the defendant uses sufficient physical force to overcome the child’s will (Calcrim 1030).
Fear Defined: “Fear” as used in PC 286(c)(2)(B), is accomplished if the child is actually and reasonably afraid of physical harm to himself or herself, or to someone close to himself or herself (Calcrim 1030). The reasonableness standard would be that of child of similar age and mental ability.
Duress Defined: As used in PC 286(c)(2)(B), “duress” means a “direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, hardship, or retribution that causes a reasonable person to do something that he or she would not otherwise do (Calcrim 1030).
Note: When deciding whether sodomy was accomplished by duress, the jury must consider all the circumstances of the case, including the age of the alleged victim and the relationship between the victim and the defendant.
Menace Defined: “Menace” as used in PC 286(c)(2)(B), means a threat, statement, or act showing an intent to injure someone.
PC 286(c)(2)(B) Punishment
Prison Sentence: A conviction for sodomy upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age by force or fear will result in a prison sentence of either nine (9), eleven (11), or thirteen (13) years, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history.
Triad Sentencing: After conviction for PC 286(c)(2)(B), the judge will order the defendant to a prison sentence of either the low term of nine (9) years, the mid-term of eleven (11) years, or the high term of thirteen (13) years. This is known as the “triad sentencing” for PC 286(c)(2)(B) crimes.
Note: The sentencing court will consider all “mitigating” and “aggravating” factors related to the case when deciding what prison term best fits the interest of justice in a PC 286(c)(2)(B) case.
State Prison Offense: Incarceration related to PC 286(c)(2)(B) must be served in a California state prison, as opposed to a county jail (PC 1170(h)).
No Split Prison Sentence: No “split” prison sentence is allowed after a conviction for sodomy by force or fear upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age. A “split” prison sentence is a sentence that is served partially in prison and partially out of prison, such as on work release or house arrest.
No Suspended Prison Sentence: No “suspended” prison is allowed after a conviction for PC 286(c)(2)(B). A “suspended” prison sentence is a prison sentence that is not served unless the defendant violates a condition of his out-of-prison status. A “suspended” prison sentence is often called a “joint suspended” prison sentence.
Reduced Prison Credits: A prison sentence after a conviction for sodomy by force or fear upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age is subject to “reduced prison credits” for good behavior. The maximum amount of good behavior credits that may be earned after a PC 286(c)(2)(B) conviction is fifteen percent (15%) [i.e., defendant must serve at least eighty-five percent (85%) of his prison sentence related to a PC 286(c)(2)(B) conviction.
Probation Ineligible: A probation sentence is not available after a conviction for sodomy by force or fear upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age (PC 1203).
Life Parole after Prison: Parole is a period of supervision after an early release from prison. Parole after a PC 286(c)(2)(B) conviction may be life, subject to early release from parole under certain conditions after twenty (20) years. Parole length does not begin unless and until the inmate is released from prison early and onto parole.
California Strike Offense: Sodomy by force or fear upon a child less than fourteen (14) years of age is a “strike” offense under California’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law. PC 286(c)(2)(B) is considered a violent and serious offense per California penal codes 667.5(c) and 1192.7(c), respectively.
Sex Offender Registration: A conviction for sodomy upon a child under 14 years of age requires the defendant to register as a sex offender for life (PC 290(d)). For more information, see Sex Offender Registration Requirements in CA.
Moral Turpitude Crime: PC 286(c)(2)(B) is a “crime involving moral turpitude.” A crime involving moral turpitude is considered a ‘crime against nature,’ or a crime that is morally wrong. Crimes involving moral turpitude, including a conviction for sodomy against a person under fourteen (14) years of age, can lead to severe negative consequences related to the following:
Military Service (Discharge or denial of entry),
Immigration Status (Deportation, denial of entry into the U.S., and/or denial of naturalization),
Professional License (Denial, revocation, or suspension of professional license [i.e., law, medical, dental, teacher, childcare provider, etc.]),
Impeachment of Character (Impeached credibility in future criminal and civil proceedings).
Criminal Protective Order: A conviction for penal code 286(c)(2)(B) will generate a criminal protective order against the defendant and in favor of the child / victim. When the child / victim is the defendant’s own child, the criminal protective order may be modified for prison visit between the child and defendant, but only if the child victim desires this change and reaches an age sufficient to protect himself or herself from further emotional abuse from the defendant.
More Punishment: In addition to the punishment(s) listed, if found guilty of sodomy by force or fear upon a child less than 14, the defendant will lose his firearm rights, possibly be sued by the child victim, loss his right to vote while in prison, be ordered to pay restitution to the child victim for any financial loss, be restricted in travel or residency, and more.
PC 286(c)(2)(B) Common Defenses
Common defenses related to sodomy by force or fear upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age include insufficient evidence to prove sodomy occurred, evidence or motive to fabricate by the victim or victim’s parent or guardian, impeachment of child / victim’s statements or related scientific evidence, coerced confession, illegal search and seizure of evidence, failure to properly Mirandize defendant before interrogation, insanity defense, and alibi defense.
Defense of Consent: The defense of consent to sodomy does not apply in PC 286(c)(2)(B) cases. This is because a child under fourteen (14) years of age cannot legally consent to sexual conduct, including anal intercourse.
Statute of Limitations Defense: The statute of limitation is a time limit by which the district attorney must bring formal charges against the defendant in a criminal case. The statute of limitations is technically available in PC 286(c)(2)(B) cases, but it is rarely used in practice as the time limitation is quite long in most PC 286(c)(2)(B) cases, unless a mandated reporter or law enforcement agency knew of the allegations and failed to timely investigate, and the defendant can demonstrate this fact. For more information, see Criminal Statute of Limitations in CA Sex Crimes.
Note: The statute of limitations for felony sex crimes is complex. The statute of limitations for felony sex crimes It is not a set amount of time like it is in most non-sex cases. For expanded information on defenses to sex crimes, see Criminal Defense Strategies in CA Sex Crimes.
If you or a loved one is charged with the crime of sodomy by force or fear upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age, or California penal code section 286(c)(2)(B), contact our sex crimes criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation. Our award-winning sex crimes defense lawyers have helped hundreds of defendants charged with misdemeanor and felony sex crimes in the Inland Empire.
We handle all sex crimes, including sex with an inmate (PC 289.6), lewd and lascivious act upon a child under fourteen (14) years of age (PC 288(a)), indecent exposure (PC 314), possession of child porn (PC 311.1), sexual battery (PC 234.4(e)(1)), prostitution (PC 647(b)), oral copulation upon intoxicated person (PC 287(i)), sexual penetration by foreign object (PC 289), unlawful sexual intercourse (PC 261.5(d)), and more. Call today!