In recent news, Joseph Koetters, an ex-school teacher at Marlborough School, was arrested on February 4, 2015 on charges of alleged sex crimes. The teacher is charged with four felony sex crimes involving a former student while she was under the age of 18. Specifically, Koetters is charged with two counts of oral copulation with a person under 18 and two counts of penetration with a foreign object.
His charges stem from an alleged yearlong sexual relationship he initiated with a 16-year-old student while he was teaching at the Marlborough School. The allegations surfaced after another former student posted an essay in an online magazine last year. Koetters was released shortly after his arrest on a $140,000 bond.
The California Penal Code describes the punishment for the sex offenses charged against Koetters as imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years.
Felonies are punishable by terms of incarceration in California prisons. Certain crimes have mandatory sentences that the judge must adhere to, however the majority of felonies are sentenced within a range of possible prison terms. The judge adjusts the sentence, either increasing or decreasing from the recommended range depending on the circumstances of each case.
California has sentencing guidelines for felony charges. There is a range of three numbers for possible prison sentencing lengths, determined by the judge, and based on mitigating factors. The ranges are low term, mid term and high term sentences. If sentenced to less than the recommended range, it is due to the judge finding mitigating factors. Mitigating factors can include personal hardships, not being the principle in the crime, and no criminal history or a small criminal history.
In addition to mitigating factors for sentencing, the Judge will consult a pre-sentencing investigation report prepared by the California Probation Department. Prior to sentencing, a probation officer gathers information about the defendant to assist the judge in determining the sentence. The report includes family history, employment history, any psychological evaluations, criminal history, community connections, victim statements, and the circumstances of the offense. The Judge, along with mitigating factors, will take this report into consideration when deciding that appropriate sentence.
Sex Offender Registration
The possibility of an active sentence is not the only punishment looming over the head of a criminal defendant charged with a sex crime. In California, a defendant convicted of a sex crime is required to register as a sex offender for life.
According to the California Penal Code, any person who is convicted of a sex offense, for the rest of his or her life while residing in California, or while attending school or working in California is required to register with the chief of police in the city in which he or she resides.
Contact an Experienced Professional
If you or someone you know is charged with a sex crime, contact Ozols Law Firm. You want to make sure you hire a lawyer with experience to assist in your defense. Our experienced San Diego criminal defense attorneys can assist you. Contact our office today.
Ozols Law Firm
8880 Rio San Diego Dr #22
San Diego, CA 92108
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