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Authorities Seek Possible Nursing-Home Assault Victims

January 10, 2013

Fred Thiagarajah

Authorities are seeking the public’s help in tracking down additional victims of David Moreno, 28, who is charged with sexually assaulting a 69-year-old disabled woman.  Moreno, of Riverside, currently faces one felony count of sexual battery on an institutional victim, in violation of Penal Code section 243.4(b), and one felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign object on an incompetent victim, in violation of Penal Code section 289(b).

Penal Code section 243.4 is the statute that prohibits a sexual battery, which is defined as touching another person’s intimate parts against their will.  The different subdivisions of Penal Code section 243.4 relate to different circumstances where the crime of sexual battery can occur.  Sexual battery under Penal Code section 243.4(b) states: “Any person who touches the intimate part of another person who is institutionalized for medical treatment and who is seriously disabled or medically incapacitated, if the touching is against the will of the person touched, and if the touching is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, is guilty of sexual battery.  A violation of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year …; or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years …”.  Since sexual battery under Penal Code section 243.4(b) can be punished in county jail or state prison, the crime is a wobbler.  In this case, the District Attorney’s office is choosing to file the crime as a felony, but it can be reduced to a misdemeanor later with the approval of either the prosecutor or the judge.

Penal Code section 289 is the statute that prohibits sexual penetration of a person against their will.  Sexual penetration, as defined by Penal Code section 289(l), is “the act of causing the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of any person … for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or abuse by any foreign object …”.  Sexual penetration, under Penal Code section 289(b), states “… any person who commits an act of sexual penetration, and the victim is at the time incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disabilty, of giving legal consent, and this is known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the act … shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six or eight years.  Penal Code section 289(b) is a straight felony, and therefore this crime of sexual penetration cannot never be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Prosecutors claim that between June 1 and July 24, 2012 while working at Emeritus Senior Living in Yorba Linda, Moreno entered the room of a senior citizen resident who was suffering from dementia and sexually assaulted her.

Current court records show that Moreno pleaded not guilty last month and has been released on $100,000 bail.

For the full story click here.  Please visit our website for more information about sex crimes, in particular the crime of sexual battery, and their defenses.


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