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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.

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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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