Sexual Assault 

You’ve heard the term, but what is sexual battery/assault? Sexual battery, a.k.a. sexual assault, is a common type of sex crime that may go unreported. In California, sexual battery is when a person touches an intimate part (genitalia, anus, groin, buttocks, or female breasts) of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse. Cal. Penal Code § 243.4 PC.

Types of Sexual Assault Explained

Sexual battery/assault can either be a misdemeanor or a felony crime, depending on the facts. Sexual battery/assault occurs when the alleged assailant:

Restrains someone and touches his/her intimate parts against his/her will.
Touches someone against his/her will who is institutionalized for medical treatment and is seriously disabled or medically incapacitated; i.e., someone voluntarily or involuntarily admitted to a hospital, medical treatment facility, nursing home, acute care facility or mental hospital.
Touches the intimate parts of someone who does not realize the act is wrong because the assailant falsely states that the touching serves a professional purpose, i.e. for medical or therapeutic purposes.
Forces someone to masturbate or to touch an intimate part of someone else.

A sexual assault attorney has seen people convicted of a misdemeanor when the assailant touched someone’s buttocks without his/her permission. A felony may be tying someone up and then touching his/her genitalia against his/her will.


Misdemeanor sexual battery/assault carries a fine of $2,000 ($3,000 if the assailant was an employer of the alleged victim) and imprisonment in county jail for a period of six months to one year.

Felony sexual battery/assault carries a fine up to $10,000, and imprisonment in state prison for two to four years.

California also requires a convicted sexual batterer to register as a sex offender for the rest of his/her life while residing, working, or attending school in California. Sex Offender Registration Act, Cal. Penal Code 290.

There are defenses to sexual battery/assault. A sexual assault lawyer may argue that the alleged victim consented to the act, that there is insufficient evidence, or that the defendant has been falsely accused.

If you have additional questions, contact Nicco Capozzi at (559) 374-2012.