Criminal Law

1081. Oral Copulation With Minor: Defendant 21 or Older

The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with engaging in an act of oral copulation with a person who was under the age of 16 years at a time after the defendant had reached (his/her) 21st birthday.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant participated in an act of oral copulation with another person;

2. The defendant was at least 21 years old at the time of the act;


3. The other person was under the age of 16 years at the time of the act.

Oral copulation is any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the sexual organ or anus of another person. Penetration is not required.

[It is not a defense that the other person may have consented to the act.]

[Under the law, a person becomes one year older as soon as the first minute of his or her birthday has begun.]

<Defense: Good Faith Belief 18 or Over>

[The defendant is not guilty of this crime if (he/she) reasonably and actually believed that the other person was age 18 or older. The People must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not reasonably and actually believe that the other person was at least 18 years old. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of this crime.]

Bench Notes

Instructional Duty

The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction defining the elements of the crime.

Give the bracketed paragraph that begins with "It is not a defense that" on request, if there is evidence that the minor consented to the act. (See People v. Kemp (1934) 139 Cal.App. 48, 51 [34 P.2d 502].)

Give the bracketed paragraph about calculating age if requested. (Fam. Code, § 6500; In re Harris (1993) 5 Cal.4th 813, 849-850 [21 Cal.Rptr.2d 373, 855 P.2d 391].)

Defenses—Instructional Duty

If there is sufficient evidence that the defendant reasonably and actually believed that the minor was age 18 or older, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on the defense. (See People v. Hernandez (1964) 61 Cal.2d 529, 535-536 [39 Cal.Rptr. 361, 393 P.2d 673]; People v. Winters (1966) 242 Cal.App.2d 711, 716 [51 Cal.Rptr. 735].)


Elements. Pen. Code, § 288a(b)(2).

Oral Copulation Defined. Pen. Code, § 288a(a); People v. Grim (1992) 9 Cal.App.4th 1240, 1242-1243 [11 Cal.Rptr.2d 884] [in context of lewd acts with children].

Minor's Consent Not a Defense. See People v. Kemp (1934) 139 Cal.App. 48, 51 [34 P.2d 502] [in context of statutory rape].

Secondary Sources

2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Sex Offenses and Crimes Against Decency, §§ 31-33.

6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes Against the Person, § 142.20[1][c], [3][b] (Matthew Bender).

Lesser Included Offenses

Attempted Oral Copulation With Minor When Defendant Over 21. Pen. Code, §§ 664, 288a(b)(2).

Oral Copulation With Minor Under 18. See People v. Culbertson (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 508, 516 [217 Cal.Rptr. 347]; People v. Jerome (1984) 160 Cal.App.3d 1087, 1097-1098 [207 Cal.Rptr. 199] [both in context of section 288a(c)].

Related Issues

See the Related Issues section under CALCRIM No. 1070, Unlawful Sexual Intercourse: Defendant 21 or Older.

(New January 2006)