California law carves out special punishments for people who commit an act of rape while someone else assists with it.

This is known as “rape act in concert,” or more commonly, gang rape.

As you might imagine, the penalties for gang rape in California are very steep. It is punishable by up to 14 years in prison for each count of rape act in concert, and this is charged in addition to any penalties you might face for the rape act itself.

What is gang rape?

California Penal Code 264.1 PC defines “rape act in concert” as any case of rape, spousal rape or forceable penetration with a foreign object where one of the following is true:

  1. You personally committed rape while someone else assisted in the rape.
  2. You “aided and abetted” someone else who was committing rape.

In legal terminology, “aided and abetted” means that you materially helped someone else commit a crime. In order to show that you were guilty of aiding and abetting, a prosecutor will have to prove:

  1. You knew the perpetrator planned to commit the rape.
  2. You meant to help him or her carry out the crime.
  3. You assisted, facilitated or encouraged commission of the crime, either through your words or actions.

Penalties for gang rape in California

As we mentioned above, if you are convicted of “rape act in concert,” any penalties you receive will be applied in addition to the penalties you received for the rape.

Gang rape is always a felony in California, punishable by:

  • Up to 9 years in California state prison if the victim was an adult
  • Up to 11 years in prison if the victim was a minor 14 or older
  • Up to 14 years in prison if the victim was a minor younger than 14

As well, a conviction for “rape act in concert” will require you to register as a lifetime three-sex offender. Appearing on California’s sex offender registry can disrupt your life long after you have finished serving your time, leading to difficulties finding housing, keeping personal relationships and maintaining jobs.  

Defenses against gang rape charges in California

“Robert Helfend is one of the best criminal defense attorneys I’ve ever worked with. He was so knowledgeable, and always made sure I understood everything every step of the way. I would definitely recommend him to anyone who wants an understanding, caring, and truly helpful lawyer.” Pat, CA

If you or someone you love has been accused of gang rape, know that the stakes are high. If you are convicted of gang rape, it could mean the loss of your freedom for the next several decades of your life.

But don’t lose hope. A skilled criminal defense attorney will carefully and thoughtfully comb through the facts and evidence of your case to find weaknesses in the evidence that supports the prosecution’s case. From there, depending on the facts of your case, a defense attorney can help see your charges reduced or dropped entirely.

The time to start building your defense is now. Robert M. Helfend is a specialist in sex crimes cases, fighting for the rights of the accused since 1984. He is rated by SuperLawyers, Lead Counsel and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Call today for your free case evaluation — 805-273-5611.