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Brawley man, 21, arrested on allegations of sex with minor

September 22, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — A 21-year-old Brawley man was arrested Friday night on suspicion of having sexual relations with a minor.

Richard Armeta was booked into the county jail without bail on a count of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl between the ages of 14 and 18, said Brawley police Sgt. Perry Monita.

The charge Armeta likely will face would carry less punishment than if he had been with a younger girl, Monita said.

In the past there was no distinction made in the unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor law regarding the age of the minor or the age difference between the minor and an accused individual.


Now, the law has changed and the penalty for unlawful sex with a minor does include an age distinction.

"(Lawmakers have) tried to revamp (the law) a bit more," Monita said.

Now, "You've got people participating in sexual relations at a younger age," he said.

"My philosophy is education is a valuable thing. A lot of times a person could turn 18 and be involved with a girl who is 17 and a half. They're going with a girl and they could be in a lot of problems," Monita said.

While an individual would not face the stiff penalty that would come with having unlawful intercourse with a minor younger than 14, that individual could be registered as a sex offender if convicted.

Monita said, "It is usually discretionary on the part of the county District Attorney's Office."

Bottom line according to Monita: "Wait until every one involved is 18."

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