R. Addison Steele II, Attorney at Law - Criminal defense attorney in Santa Barbara
Child Molest Cases
 
Addison Steele has:
 
A child molest trial where the client was acquitted of all charges (Felipe Popoca) and another where the client was acquitted of all the child molest charges (Jorge Del Carmen).

Three acquittals for allegations of sexual acts with a child ten years old or younger
(Penal Code § 288.7(a))
(Jorge Del Carmen)

Three acquittals for allegations of attempted sexual acts with a child ten years old or younger
(Penal Code § 664/288.7(a))
(Jorge Del Carmen)

Three acquittals for allegations of sexual penetration of a person under fourteen
(Penal Code § 289(j))
(Jorge Del Carmen)

Three acquittals for allegations of attempted sexual penetration of a person under fourteen
(Penal Code § 664/289(j))
(Jorge Del Carmen)
 
An acquittal for an allegation of child molestation by means of force or fear
(Penal Code § 288(b)(1))
(Felipe Popoca).
 
Ten acquitted child molest counts
(Penal Code § 288(a))
(Felipe Popoca).
 
A hung jury on two counts of continuous child molest (Penal Code § 288.5)
(Lee M.).
 
A hung jury on two counts of child molest
(Penal Code § 288(a))
(Lee M.).
 
A hung jury on two counts of molest of a fourteen or fifteen year old (Penal Code § 288(c))
(Lee M.).
 
     Child molest cases are likely the most difficult to defend in front of a jury and they are among the most difficult to reach a reasonable settlement.  If that weren't enough, the consequences of losing a child molest trial are extremely onerous, a loss can very well result in a life sentence in prison, or a life sentence of a combination of prison and forced incarceration in a mental institution, not to mention lifetime registration as a sex offender if the client should ever be released from custody, which in turn restricts where a person can live and what that person can do for the rest of his life.  In a child molest trial constitutional rights are essentially thrown out the window because both the statutory law and case law are so focused on making it easy for the district attorney to win these kinds of cases.  An example is that any prior child molest allegation or accusation of sexual misconduct will very likely come into evidence even if the client does not testify
     If you need to hire a lawyer for a child molest case, you need a lawyer that has experience with child molest cases and that has won child molest cases before a jury.  I have not only done several child molest trials, I have had a full acquittal in a child molest trial and acquittals in all child molest charges in jury trials.
 
     My child molest trial successes and experience:

Jorge Del Carmen

  • Jorge Del Carmen
  • Charges:  Three counts of sexual acts with a child ten years old or younger (Penal Code § 288.7(a)) with lesser offenses of three counts of attempted sexual acts with a child ten years old or younger (Penal Code § 664/288.7(a)), lesser offenses of three counts of penetration of a person under fourteen (Penal Code § 289(j)), lesser offenses of three counts of attempted penetration of a person under fourteen (Penal Code § 664/289(j)) and lesser offenses of three counts of simple battery (Penal Code § 242).
  • Exposure:  Jorge was facing forty-five years to life in prison.
  • Outcome:  Despite a videotaped confession, Jorge was acquitted of all the child molestation related counts by the jury.  He was only convicted of two misdemeanor lesser offenses of simple battery (the other count of misdemeanor simple battery was dismissed by the district attorney when the jury was hung on that count).  The two convicted counts did NOT carry sex offender registration.  He was given credit for time served on the two misdemeanor counts.

 This is the Verdict Form for the lead charge. Jorge was acquitted of all the molestation related charges.  He was only convicted of two counts of simple battery, given credit for time served and released from jail.

Felipe Popoca
 
  • Felipe Popoca
  • Charges:  Child molest by force or fear (Penal Code § 288(b)(1)) and ten counts of child molest (Penal Code § 288(a)).
  • Exposure:  Felipe was facing thirty-four years in prison (although with I expected the district attorney to argue that he was not entitled to have counts stayed and that their position would be that he faced ninety years to life).
  • Outcome:  Despite a videotaped confession, in the middle of trial Felipe was acquitted of five counts of child molest by the judge, he was then found not guilty of all the remaining counts by the jury.  He walked out of the courtroom with me and returned to work and got on with his life.

The verdict forms and Minute Order where Felipe was acquitted of all charges.
 
Lee M.
(Even though Lee's case is public record, I'm not using his full name because after his first trial ended in a hung jury he pled guilty to some of the less serious charges so he could finally get out jail).
 
  • Lee M.
  • Charges:  Two counts of continuous child molest (Penal Code § 288.5), two counts of child molest (Penal Code § 288(a)) and two counts of child molest of a fourteen or fifteen year old (Penal Code § 288(c)).
  • Exposure:  Lee was facing sixty-four years in prison.
  • Outcome:  There was a hung jury on all counts.  I filed a motion to dismiss because the counts were hung.  The judge granted the motion for the two most serious charges.  Lee then pled guilty to the remaining counts to get out of jail and move on with his life after the judge indicated that he would give Lee credit for time served in jail if he pled guilty to the counts that were left.
 
     Questions you should ask an attorney that you are considering hiring for a child molestation case:
 
  • Have you done a child molest trial before?
  • This question is important because a child molest trial involves complex legal concepts and is inevitably extremely emotional. Somewhat like a murder trial, it requires specialized knowledge and experience.
  • I have done six child molest trials.
 
  • What were the results of your child molest trials?
  • This question is important because in a child molest trial the defense has to be relentless and the attorney has to have the skills and experience to overcome the prejudices the jurors have after just having heard the trial.  If an attorney has won a child molest trial, that attorney has the experience and skills to handle the level of complexity involved in a child molest trial.
  • I have had a full acquittal in a child molest case where the client confessed on videotape and the child came into court and testified that she was molested.  I had a acquittal on all child molest related charges, losing only two counts of misdemeanor simple battery, in a child molest case where the client confessed on videotape and the child came into court and testified that she was molested.  In all criminal jury trials, the D.A. gets to file the charges and decide whether or not to have a trial.  They only do that with cases they believe they can win.  The result is that in most jurisdictions the defense can expect to win no more than one in ten trials, if that, and maybe have a hung jury in one of ten trials.  I have had a full and complete victory in two out of the five child molest trials I done, which are among the most difficult trials to win.  If you find another attorney that has done the number of child molest trials that I have done and has had more successful outcomes than I have and that has had more clients go home free after a child molest trial than I have, hire that person.  If you want the best possible chance of not going to prison for a long sentence or even a life sentence and potentially going home, you should contact me.
 
  • Do you train others lawyers in your techniques for winning child molest trials?
  • This question is important because typically only the leading lawyers in a field are invited to conduct trainings of other lawyers.
  • I was a speaker at the California Public Defenders Association (CPDA) homicide defense training in 2011 to train on my winning trials by humanizing the client method. I have also given that same training at the Riverside County Public Defenders Office, the Riverside County Barristers, the Santa Clara County Public Defenders Office, Santa Barbara County Public Defenders Office and the San Francisco County Public Defenders Office. I was a speaker at the CPDA homicide defense training in 2012 to train on utilizing a neuropsychologist in a homicide case. All these skills and techniques that I teach are easily utilized in a child molest trials.
 
  • How long were the child molest trials you've done and how many days of defense did you present?
  • These questions are important because although some cases just call for a short trial, a short trial can also mean that the prosecution was not sufficiently challenged or that no defense was presented.  
  • A child molest trial that lasts five or so court days is reason for concern because it's an indicator that the prosecution is not being thoroughly challenged and a complete defense is not being presented.  I have spent sixty-one court days in child molest trials. I have success rate in child molest trials that is really unparalleled.
 
     If you need to talk to me about a child molest case, you can send me an e-mail at rasteele@steeledefender.com or call me at (805) 770-1188.
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