Tuesday, February 26, 2013

People v. John Z case brief

People v. John Z case brief summary
29 Cal. 4th 756

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: The juvenile court, after holding a contested jurisdictional hearing on a unitary petition filed on behalf of defendant juvenile, found that he committed forcible rape, in violation of Cal. Penal Code § 261(a)(2), that his previous juvenile court disposition had been ineffective, and committed him to a boys ranch. Defendant appealed, and the Court of Appeal (California) affirmed. Defendant sought further review.

-The victim may have consented to an initial penetration by defendant, but she withdrew her consent during the act of intercourse, and defendant continued forcibly against her will. -The California Supreme Court granted a hearing to settle a conflict in court of appeal decisions under this fact situation. The defendant contended that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the finding that he committed forcible rape.

The California Supreme Court held that: (1) a withdrawal of consent by the victim effectively nullified any earlier consent and subjected the male to forcible rape charges when he persisted in what had become nonconsensual intercourse; (2) the offense of forcible rape occurred when, during apparently consensual intercourse, the victim expressed an objection and attempted to stop the act, and the defendant forcibly continued despite the objection; and (3) the evidence was sufficient to show that the victim withdrew her consent, communicated that fact to defendant, and defendant used force to resist the victim's attempt to stop the act, in violation of Cal. Penal Code § 261(a)(2).

-Cal. Penal Code § 261(a)(2), defines rape as an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator, 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. Nothing in § 261 conditions the act of rape on the degree of outrage of the victim. Cal. Penal Code § 263 states that the essential guilt of rape consists in the outrage to the person and feelings of the victim of the rape.
-Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime. But no California case holds that the victim's outrage is an element of the crime of rape

OUTCOME: The judgment of the court of appeal was affirmed.

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