According to Wright (4), sex laws are normally incorporated into the state law in order to regulate the human sexuality and sexual behaviors. He notes that sex laws are instilled by the government of any state in prescribing the acts that are considered as either a sexual abuse or sexual behaviors that are not only inappropriate, but are also against the social norms of any country. He points out that these sex laws, therefore, form the rules concerning sex and sexual behaviors, which makes these acts as the serious crimes of the sexual offence.
As pointed out by Wright (5), sex crimes are an important statutory in sex laws due to their consideration of various forms of human sexual behaviors that either result into the sexual violence or violate the stipulated social taboos. For instance, most states have declared it unlawful for someone to sexually touch another person without the consent of the one being touched. In such a case, the one who has unlawfully committed the act is referred to as a sex offender, and, therefore, is illegible to sexual charges as is the practice by states. Moreover, Wright (5) points out that some acts such as incest, sodomy, and exhibitionism have been regarded by different states as sex crimes and, therefore, they subject the sex offender to a particular punishment. This paper, thus, discusses a statutory rape law and human trafficking as sex laws in the state of California in America. It describes one legal case in each law, which has led to the creation or revision of these laws.
Statutory Rape Law in California
According to Christopher and Helen (75), the statutory rape law is applied in cases where someone under the age of consent outlined by the state chooses to have sex with another person being over the age of consent. He points out that the age of consent is normally the stipulated minimum age at which an individual is considered by the state to be legally competent in getting engaged into sexual acts. This normally subjects the sexual offender over the age of consent with the statutory rape charges of which the individual can be referred to as the unlawful sexual penetration or rape. In California, for instance, Norman, Reinhart, and Martino (1) state that the statutory rape statutes are based on various prohibited sexual activities such as the sexual assault and sexual abuse that denote the one to have committed a sexual crime by consenting to the sexual intercourse with someone being under the age of consent.
As Norman, Reinhart, and Martino (1) pointed out, in California, the statutory rape law stimulates that anyone being unlawfully engaged with an individual under the age of 18 into a sexual intercourse is guilty of the sex offense. They note that this actor is regarded to have committed the sex offense if he or she is more than three years older than the victim or three years younger than the person being under the age of 18. Equally, any individual of 21 years old or above engaged into the unlawful sexual acts with the minor age of 16 is normally eligible for sexual charges of felony. These charges normally range from one to four years old basing on the category and depth of the committed sexual assault offense.
According to Mitchell and Rogers (1), all states in America had been legally required to report on any case of a child abuse according to the American Counseling Association codes. However, these ethical codes in addressing the child sexual abuse did not report on the cases concerning any statutory rape. The authors point out that there is a number of cases of pregnant teenagers being underage and being normally unaware or not caring about legal mandates. Especially this concerns such cases where their elder boyfriends sexually assault them and then disappear. It is such legal basis that had provided California with the authority in enacting changes in the statutory rape law in order to protect the minors from elder predators.
Mitchell and Roger (1) noted that the Californian federal legislation amended the statutory rape law due to the fact that the child welfare agencies had been under a budgetary deficit, and, therefore, were not equipped to counter the statutory rape cases. They pointed out that this amendment required the state to fund health clinic workers in reporting cases concerning the statutory rape of underage people. However, they noted that the statutory rape law had not effectively addressed sexual crimes but had rather prevented some of the affected teenagers from accessing the prenatal care in order to protect their partners from either being incarcerated or deported.
Human Trafficking Law in California
Human trafficking law is another sex law that is regulated by the Californian authorities for protecting the state social norms and human behaviors. According to Sundaram (1), human trafficking is the illegal trading of human beings for commercial purposes through the sexual exploitation or forced labor. He notes that the nature of reproductive slavery is associated with the act presented as one of sexual crimes against the humanity. As pointed out by Sundaram, the Californian State has encountered a number of cases of human trafficking which directly relates to the sexual exploitation of victims. These cases are what has led to the enactment and revision of human trafficking law in the state.
Sundaram (1) identifies the case of sex trafficking in Berkeley by Lakireddy Balireddy in San Francisco Bay as a major contributor to the enactment of human trafficking law in California. He points out that this case has resulted into the conviction of the 64-year old Lakireddy, Berkeley’s real estate tycoon by the federal law enforcement in 2001. He notes that Balireddy was convicted on the counts of the illegal transporting of Indian minors for the sexual exploitation activities, and also for committing immigration frauds. This was based on the fact that Balireddy had been found to have at least 25 Indian minors illegally transported since 1986 to the U.S through the false pretense for a sexual commercial purpose.
Sundaram (1) notes that the sexual trafficking by Lakireddy psychologically had traumatized the affected victims. This was evidenced by one of the survivors of the sexual assault at her age of 20. The victim could not sleep without light truned on due to dreaming of the presence of Lakireddy. He observed that it is the controversy surrounding Lakireddy charges on the committed sex crimes that had agitated the Californian authorities to enact a human trafficking law. Sundaram (1) points out that Lakireddy being imprisoned for 38 years stroke a deal with a prosecutor, thereby being sentenced to two years in jail with the fine for $40, 000.
In this respect, Sundaram (1) points out that the Californian federal legislation enacted the Assembly Bill number 22 in 2005 to increase the level of criminal charges for human traffickers. He noted that the enacted law had categorized human trafficking as an act of felony which could subject the offender into a jail term for 3-5 years for the adult trafficking, and for 4-8 years for the minor trafficking. Moreover, the law allows having the fine penalties up to $1.5 million paid for human trafficking. He further noted out that the law provides the monetary restitution by the offender and also gives the trafficked victims their freedom of seeking the legal address against traffickers. Finally, the law has required companies in California to disclose the policies within their supply chains that not only highlight but also address the human trafficking.
In conclusion, sex laws are the important statutes that can help not only in regulating human behaviors, but also in addressing the human rights of victims of the sexual assault and exploitation. The paper has pointed out that there was a need for the states to enact and implement legislations that effectively address the sex related crimes. Moreover, these legislations should not favor any offender irrespectively of his or her political and socio-economic status.