Los Angeles Child Abuse Attorney
Protecting The Legal Rights of Parents
Federal legislation provides a foundation for the States by identifying a minimum set of acts or behaviors that define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g), defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:
Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.
In this particular instance the definition of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers, and a "child" under this definition generally means a person who is under the age of 18 or who is not an emancipated minor. While federal legislation provides guidelines and definitions for sexual abuse and the special cases related to withholding or failing to provide medically indicated treatment, it does not provide specific definitions for other types of maltreatment such as physical abuse, neglect, or emotional abuse. The definition of such standards is left up to the states.
Federal law is pretty clear, however, in the definition of sexual abuse of a minor. 18 U.S.C. Section 2243 provides punishment for the sexual abuse of a minor which includes anyone who “knowingly engages in a sexual act with another person who—(1) has attained the age of 12 years but has not attained the age of 16 years; and
(2) is at least four years younger than the person so engaging.” Even attempting to do so incurs the same punishment of large fines and or imprisonment for not more than 15 years. What’s more, 18 U.S.C. Section 2250 provides for punishment of those who fail to register once convicted of sex offender status. However, in order to prosecute a case of child abuse in the first place the government must be able to prove that the defendant knew either the age of the other person engaging in the sexual act or knew that the requisite age difference existed between the persons engaging in the act.
Furthermore, 18 U.S.C. Section 2251 and 2251A provide criminal sanctions for those participating in the sexual exploitation of minors or the buying or selling of minors. The punishments of which are large fines and/or long terms of imprisonment with the option of sentencing enhancements considering prior convictions. There are not only punishments for those committing acts against children, but additionally 18 U.S.C. Section 2258 provides punishment for those acting in a professional capacity, as defined by the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, who fail to report incidences of child abuse.
Due to the severe penalties associated with this type of violent crime, it is important that you retain the legal services from Los Angeles child abuse lawyers at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin immediately so that we can start preparing a successful defense in your case. We have decades of successful experience in dealing with federal criminal cases we will work hard to provide the best defense available.