Lewd Molestation: What It Is, the Penalties Upon Conviction, and Why an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Is Essential

You need a skilled and experienced criminal attorney for a lewd molestation case. Far too often I see attorneys representing people in these cases that have no business handling this subject matter. If the client only knew what they bought with the lawyer…

Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to Help You Fight Lewd Molestation Charges

What do these lawyers tell the prospective client about their abilities and experience to get them to sign? If it was the truth, I couldn’t imagine the client would have hired them.

The District Attorney’s office has prosecutors who devote their entire caseload and training to sex crimes. You need that same dedication in the lawyer defending you.

Lewd molestation and its “evil cousin” the charge of child sexual abuse are the most common cases I see day in and day out. The ease with which these allegations are made and how quickly and fervently law enforcement believes the allegations are shameful.

Law enforcement is trained to believe the accuser and to discount or justify any problems with their story. Police willingly and purposefully look past outrageous stories, stories with inconsistencies, and stories that are illogical or physically impossible.

What Is the Crime of Lewd Molestation in Oklahoma?

Unfortunately for my clients, the word of the accuser is enough to get them charged. An accusation alone is enough to stop your life in its tracks and subject you to the pains and penalties associated with criminal legal investigations and court proceedings. Law enforcement only cares about making a case against you. Police and prosecutors don’t believe you. They think you are a liar and a child molester. They believe the accuser and want you to be charged with the accusation.

In Oklahoma, “lewd molestation” is defined in the Oklahoma Statutes, Title 21 section 1123(a). Lewd molestation covers a wide variety of illegal conduct:

  • It is a felony to knowingly and intentionally make any oral, written or electronically lewd or indecent proposal to any child under 16 years old or someone the person believes is under 16, for the child to have unlawful sexual relations or sexual intercourse with any person;
  • Knowingly and intentionally to look upon, touch, maul, or feel the body or private parts of any child under 16 in any lewd or lascivious manner by any acts against public decency or morality;
  • Knowingly and intentionally to ask, invite, entice, or persuade any child under 16, or other individual the person believes is under 16, to go alone with any person to a secluded, remote, or secret place, with the unlawful and willful intent and purpose then and there to commit any crime against public decency and morality with the child;
  • Knowingly and intentionally in a lewd and lascivious way to look upon, touch, maul, or feel the body or private parts of any child under 16 in any indecent manner or in any manner relating to sexual matters or sexual interest;
  • Knowingly and intentionally in a lewd and lascivious manner and for the purpose of sexual gratification to
    • Urinate or defecate upon a child under 16;
    • Ejaculate upon or in the presence of a child;
    • Cause, expose, force or require a child to look upon the body or private parts of another person;
    • Force or require any child under 16 (or other individual the person believes to be a child under 16) to view any obscene materials, child pornography or materials deemed harmful to minors;
    • Cause, expose, force or require a child to look upon sexual acts performed in the presence of the child; or
    • Force or require a child to touch or feel the body or private parts of the child or another person.

Penalties You Could Face for Lewd Molestation

The penalties for these charges are massive, catastrophic, and life-altering.

Under Oklahoma law, lewd molestation as described above is a felony punishable by imprisonment for three to 20 years if the child is 12 years or older. If the child is under the age of 12, the term of imprisonment is 25 years to life. Twenty-five years is the mandatory minimum for a first offense with no criminal history if the accuser is under the age of 12.

These charges are considered “85 percent crimes,” meaning you must serve 85% of the sentence before being eligible to parole or good time credits. These charges also require mandatory sex offender registration for life.

21 O.S. § 1123 - Lewd or Indecent Proposals or Acts to Child Under 16

It is a felony for any person to knowingly and intentionally:

Make any oral, written or electronically or computer-generated lewd or indecent proposal to any child under sixteen (16) years of age, or other individual the person believes to be a child under sixteen (16) years of age, for the child to have unlawful sexual relations or sexual intercourse with any person; or

Look upon, touch, maul, or feel the body or private parts of any child under sixteen (16) years of age in any lewd or lascivious manner by any acts against public decency and morality, as defined by law; or

Ask, invite, entice, or persuade any child under sixteen (16) years of age, or other individual the person believes to be a child under sixteen (16) years of age, to go alone with any person to a secluded, remote, or secret place, with the unlawful and willful intent and purpose then and there to commit any crime against public decency and morality, as defined by law, with the child; or

In any manner lewdly or lasciviously look upon, touch, maul, or feel the body or private parts of any child under sixteen (16) years of age in any indecent manner or in any manner relating to sexual matters or sexual interest; or

In a lewd and lascivious manner and for the purpose of sexual gratification:

a. urinate or defecate upon a child under sixteen (16) years of age, or force or require a child to defecate or urinate upon the body or private parts of another, or for the purpose of sexual gratification,

b. ejaculate upon or in the presence of a child,

c. cause, expose, force or require a child to look upon the body or private parts of another person,

d. force or require any child under sixteen (16) years of age or other individual the person believes to be a child under sixteen (16) years of age, to view any obscene materials, child pornography or materials deemed harmful to minors as such terms are defined by Sections 1024.1 and 1040.75 of this title,

e. cause, expose, force or require a child to look upon sexual acts performed in the presence of the child, or

f. force or require a child to touch or feel the body or private parts of the child or another person.

Any person convicted of any violation of this subsection shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than three (3) years nor more than twenty (20) years, except when the child is under twelve (12) years of age at the time the offense is committed, and in such case the person shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than twenty-five (25) years. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply unless the accused is at least three (3) years older than the victim, except when accomplished by the use of force or fear. Except as provided in Section 51.1a of this title, any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a felony punishable as provided in this subsection and shall not be eligible for probation, suspended or deferred sentence. Except as provided in Section 51.1a of this title, any person convicted of a third or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of life or life without parole, in the discretion of the jury, or in case the jury fails or refuses to fix punishment then the same shall be pronounced by the court. Any person convicted of a violation of this subsection after having been twice convicted of a violation of subsection A of Section 1114 of this title, Section 888 of this title, sexual abuse of a child pursuant to Section 843.5of this title, or of any attempt to commit any of these offenses or any combination of convictions pursuant to these sections shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of life or life without parole.

No person shall in any manner lewdly or lasciviously:

1. Look upon, touch, maul, or feel the body or private parts of any human corpse in any indecent manner relating to sexual matters or sexual interest; or

2. Urinate, defecate or ejaculate upon any human corpse.

Any person convicted of a violation of subsection B or C of this section shall be deemed guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than ten (10) years.

The fact that an undercover operative or law enforcement officer was involved in the detection and investigation of an offense pursuant to this section shall not constitute a defense to a prosecution under this section.

Except for persons sentenced to life or life without parole, any person sentenced to imprisonment for two (2) years or more for a violation of this section shall be required to serve a term of post-imprisonment supervision pursuant to subparagraph f of paragraph 1 of subsection A of Section 991a of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes under conditions determined by the Department of Corrections. The jury shall be advised that the mandatory post-imprisonment supervision shall be in addition to the actual imprisonment.

Any parent or person responsible for the child's health, safety or welfare who violates subsection A, B or C of this section when the victim is at least sixteen (16) years of age but less than eighteen (18) years of age, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than ten (10) years. For purposes of this section, "person responsible for a child's health, safety or welfare" shall include, but not be limited to:

a. a parent,

b. a legal guardian,

c. custodian,

d. a foster parent,

e. a person eighteen (18) years of age or older with whom the child's parent cohabitates,

f. any other adult residing in the home of the child,

g. an agent or employee of a public or private residential home, institution, facility or day treatment program as defined in Section 175.20 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or

h. an owner, operator or employee of a child care facility, as defined by Section 402 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

 

OUJI-CR 4-129

[LEWD ACTS (MOLESTATION) WITH]/

[INDECENT PROPOSALS TO]

A CHILD UNDER SIXTEEN – ELEMENTS

No person may be convicted of (lewd acts with)/(indecent proposals to) a child under sixteen unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:

                     ▪     First, the defendant knowingly and intentionally;
Second, made a/an oral/written/(electronically/computer generated) lewd or indecent proposal;
Third, to a child/(person the defendant believed to be a child) under sixteen years of age;
Fourth, for the child to have unlawful sexual relations/intercourse with any person; and
Fifth, the defendant (was at least three years older than the child)/(was at least three years older than the purported child’s age)/(used force/fear).

                                                         ▪     OR

                     ▪     First, the defendant knowingly and intentially;
Second, (looked upon)/touched/mauled/felt;
Third, the body or private parts;
Fourth, of a child under sixteen years of age;
Fifth, in any lewd or lascivious manner; and
Sixth, the defendant (was at least three years older than the child)/(used force/fear).

                                                         ▪     OR

                     ▪     First, the defendant knowingly and intentionally;
Second, asked/invited/enticed/persuaded;
Third, a child/(person the defendant believed to be a child) under sixteen years of age;
Fourth, to go alone with any person;
Fifth, to a secluded/remote/secret place;
Sixth, with the unlawful and willful intent and purpose;
Seventh, to commit [Identify Crime Against Public Decency and Morality]; and
Eighth, the defendant (was at least three years older than the child)/(was at least three years older than the purported child’s age)/(used force/fear).

                                                         ▪     OR

                     ▪     First, the defendant knowingly and intentionally;
Second, in a lewd and lascivious manner;
Third, for the purpose of sexual gratification;
Fourth, [urinated/defecated upon]/[ejaculated upon/(in the presence of)];
Fifth, a child under sixteen years of age; and
Sixth, the defendant (was at least three years older than the child)/(used force/fear).

                                                         ▪     OR

                     ▪     First, the defendant knowingly and intentionally;
Second, in a lewd and lascivious manner;
Third, for the purpose of sexual gratification;
Fourth, caused/exposed/forced/required a child under sixteen years of age;
Fifth, to look upon [the body/(private parts) of another person]/[sexual acts performed in the presence of the child]; and
Sixth, the defendant (was at least three years older than the child)/(used force/fear).

                                                         ▪     OR

                     ▪     First, the defendant knowingly and intentionally;
Second, in a lewd and lascivious manner;
Third, for the purpose of sexual gratification;
Fourth, forced/required a child under sixteen years of age;
Fifth, to touch/feel the body/(private parts) of (the child)/(another person); and
Sixth, the defendant (was at least three years older than the child)/(used force/fear).

                                                         ▪     OR

                     ▪     First, the defendant knowingly and intentionally;
Second, in a lewd and lascivious manner;
Third, for the purpose of sexual gratification;
Fourth, forced/required a child/(person the defendant believed to be a child) under sixteen years of age;
Fifth, to view (obscene materials)/(child pornography)/(materials deemed harmful to minors); and
Sixth, the defendant (was at least three years older than the child)/(was at least three years older than the purported child’s age)/(used force/fear).

The words "lewd" and "lascivious" have the same meaning and signify conduct which is lustful and which evinces an eagerness for sexual indulgence.

Hire a Tulsa Sex Crime Lawyer Now

If you or a loved one has been charged with molestation or child sexual abuse, you need to contact a focused and dedicated sex crime lawyer. Molestation or child sexual abuse charges are catastrophic in nature and by design. I will provide you with the legal defense that you require for such a charge. Call me today so that I can begin to develop your defense and work to get your life back as soon as possible.

Lee Berlin
Dedicated to defending clients accused of domestic violence and sex crimes in Tulsa and throughout Oklahoma.