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Gang Rape

Penal Code 264.1 PC - Gang Rape in Concert Law in California

Penal Code 264.1 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime to act in concert with someone else to commit a rape, commonly referred to as “gang rape.”

This statute applies to a situation where two or more people work together to engage in non-consensual sexual intercourse with a victim. Of note is that PC 264.1 gang rape is a separate offense rather than a sentencing enhancement.

Gang Rape in Concert Law in California – Penal Code 264.1 PC

In other words, this specific statute makes it a felony crime for two or more people to cooperate, called “acting in concert,” in committing the severe act of rape.

PC 264.1 PC says, “when the defendant, voluntarily acting in concert with another person, by force or violence and against the will of the victim, committed an act described in Section 261 or 289, either personally or by aiding and abetting the other person, that fact shall be charged in the indictment or information and if found to be true… by a jury, court trial, or admitted by the defendant…. they shall be face imprisonment.”

Simply put, rape in concert with somebody is when forcible rape occurs while cooperating with another individual or aiding and abetting the commission of a rape.

To convict someone under this statute, the prosecution must prove that the alleged victim was forcibly raped and that the defendant was liable for committing the rape or aided and abetted the rape.

If convicted, the perpetrator will be required to register as a sex offender and have a violent strike on their record for life. Let's review this state-level law further below.

What Does the Law Say?

Penal Code 264.1 PC makes it a felony offense in a situation where two or more people act in concert to commit an act of non-consensual sex.

Gang Rape in California

You can violate this law when:

  • You commit rape with someone's assistance; or
  • You aid and abet another person in committing rape.

Of note is that this law doesn't distinguish between the person committing the rape and who is assisting. In other words, anyone involved will be charged with the same and exposed to the same penalties.

The person who “aids and abets” somebody in the act of rape can also be charged with an in-concert rape. “Aiding and abetting” means the following:

  • You knew of the defendant's intent before rape;
  • You intended to help them commit rape; and
  • You assisted or facilitated by words or deeds.

Notably, you don't have to be physically present to aid and abet a rape if you did anything material that contributed to its commission, such as playing a role in the planning of it. Further, this statute only applies to serious felony sex crimes such as Penal Code 261 rape and Penal Code 289 PC forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object.

What Are the Related Crimes?

As noted, Penal Code 264.1 PC gang rape is usually charged by prosecutors along with other sex crimes due to its violent nature, such as the following:

  • Penal Code 261 PC rape can be charged separately against the perpetrator who raped the victim.
  • Penal Code 220 PC assault with intent to commit a felony is a separate charge along with rape or gang rape.
  • Penal Code 287 PC oral copulation by force or fear means non-consensual contact between somebody's mouth and someone's genitals.
  • Penal Code 243.4 PC sexual battery is described as touching the intimate parts of another person's body for the purpose of sexual gratification.
  • Penal Code 288 PC lewd acts with a minor are described as lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.
  • Penal Code 261.5 PC statutory rape is described as having sexual intercourse with someone under 18, even with sexual consent.
  • Penal Code 286 PC sodomy is described as the unlawful contact between the penis and anus of another person by use of force, fear, or threats.

What Are the Penalties for PC 264.1?

The legal penalties for PC 264.1 gang rape are severe. It's always charged as a felony, and the penalties will depend on the age of the victim, such as the following:

  • If the victim was 18 or older, you will face up to 9 years in prison;
  • If the victim is a minor over 14, you will face up to 11 years in prison;
  • If the victim is under 14, you will face up to 14 years in prison.

These penalties listed above are in addition to the sentence imposed for the underlying rape conviction.

What Are the Defenses for PC 264.1?

If you have been accused of Penal Code 264.1 PC gang rape, your defenses will always depend on the case details.

If you were accused of aiding and abetting in a gang rape, we might be able to use different defenses to secure an acquittal or get the charges reduced or dismissed. Maybe we can make an argument listed below.

Defense for Penal Code 264.1 PC Gang Rape

Perhaps we can argue that you didn't aid or abet in the crime. Maybe we can say that you were unaware of the other person's intent or that you were not present when the rape occurred.

Perhaps you withdrew your intent to aid or abet. Maybe you initially planned to participate in the crime, but you changed your mind. Nevertheless, it might be reasonable to argue that the alleged victim consented to sexual activity.

Perhaps we could present evidence to prove the allegations are false and that you were wrongfully arrested. On the other hand, the accuser may have had the motivation to lie. Perhaps you are the victim of misidentification.

Perhaps we can argue that there was misconduct by the police, such as a coerced confession.  If we prove that law enforcement acted unlawfully, the prosecution might have no choice but to drop the case. The prosecutor has the high burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The criminal charge might be dropped if they cannot meet this high burden.

Perhaps we can negotiate with the District Attorney for reduced charges or dismiss the case. Maybe through prefiling negotiations, we can persuade the prosecution not to file formal criminal charges in the first place (DA reject). You can contact our law firm for a free case evaluation by phone or using the contact form.  Cron, Israels & Stark is located in Los Angeles, California.

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