Menlo Park teen arrested in Anaheim

A 17-year-old Menlo Park youth was arrested on sexual battery charges on Friday, May 20, at a dance at the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, according to a report obtained from the Anaheim Police Department.

Police are not identifying the suspect because he is under 18, but they did book him into the Orange County Juvenile Hall and kept him there over the weekend, Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez said. The suspect was released early in the following week, police said.

The incident began when the suspect reportedly touched his 17-year-old female dance partner inappropriately. She and her friends then called in Disney representatives who escorted the suspect and the victim off the dance floor to wait for police, Sgt. Martinez said.

Police are investigating and will consult with the district and city attorneys offices as to whether the incident constitutes a chargeable offense, and if so whether the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony, Sgt. Martinez said.


Posted by no charges?, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

They kept a teenager in jail for several days without knowing if any crime was committed? Isn't that a little extreme?

Posted by Legal Eagle, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Why is this considered news? A kid gets arrested for touching a girl at a dance? That's not newsworthy.

What might be newsworthy is that it's hard to believe this was a legal arrest. Officers can only arrest for a misdemeanor committed in their presence. In California felony sexual battery must include one of: (a) Someone who was unconscious as to the nature of the act because he/she was fraudulently convinced that the touching was for professional purposes, (b) Someone who was unlawfully restrained, or (c) someone who was in a mental institution. None of these factors could reasonably have applied here. There was also no basis to take this individual into custody if the young woman had made a citizen's arrest (and I also doubt that was done here). The officers could have cited this person for sexual battery as a misdemeanor, but not arrested him unless they were there when it happened.

Posted by Speculator, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Something must have driven this to a felony. Not enough information to tell for certain, but Eagle's option (b) must have occurred. Otherwise, this kid would have been kicked out of the juvenile facility very early in the process.

Posted by Think of where..., a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm

This is at Disneyland folks where the employees refer to it as "Mouschwitz". It is a police state there.
You get arrested for dropping gum on the pavement it seems.

Haven't we got better things to do with our court system than to make felons of teenagers on a dance floor? Unless there were a TON of witnesses seeing a girl on her back with her dress up and panties down then this must have been blown way out of perspective.
Let's stop ruining lives with over-the-top accusations.

Posted by Disneyfan, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 29, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Good news... Disneyland or any place for that matter is NO place to exploit a child.. I would be FURIOUS if my daughter was involved and would want the law to punish the suspect to FULLEST extent... way to go Disney for not sweeping this under the rug...

It'd be interesting to see what the outcome is going to be...

Posted by peter carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

Disneyfan states:"would want the law to punish the suspect to FULLEST extent"

What happened to innocent until PROVEN guilty?

Posted by Speculator, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2011 at 5:39 am

Peter says, "What happened to innocent until PROVEN guilty?"

Nothing happened to that right.

A victim (or society as a proxy) has as much of a right to hold a suspect accountable to the laws it created as a suspect has to a presumption of innocence.

Of course, you already knew that and were simply being a troll ...

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

I think that Legal Eagle has a much better grasp of the law than do the speculators. An unwitnessed alleged crime is not sufficient basis for incarceration. Innocent until proven guilty does trump the allegation of an unwitnessed crime.

Posted by Confused, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2011 at 11:59 am

Not to muddy the waters, but I'm a bit confused about Legal Eagle's info. I was the adult victim of a sexual battery by another adult, no witnesses. This was misdemeanor sexual battery. The suspect *was* arrested, but it was after a good amount of investigation, not right off the bat. I understand what's necessary for it to be a felony, but this is what I don't understand:

"The officers could have cited this person for sexual battery as a misdemeanor, but not arrested him unless they were there when it happened."

Was my situation different because suspect was arrested after investigation showed enough evidence for the arrest, vs. arresting him right away?

I also agree that this isn't really newsworthy.

Posted by Legal Eagle, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Explanation to Confused:

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution details the requirements for arrests WITHOUT a warrant. These amount to:

1. The officer has probable cause to believe a misdemeanor was committed in his/her presence. The fact other witnesses (but not the officer) may have seen the incident does not excuse this requirement.
2. The officer has probable cause to believe a felony was committed.

In your case, your suspect could have been arrested for misdemeanor sexual battery in one of two cases:

1. Police officer witnessed the misdemeanor.
2. A warrant was obtained to permit the arrest.

I am guessing #2 applies to your case, and a warrant was obtained from a judge after the investigation.

To Speculator: You are assuming that in a system that involves humans throughout, the only error could have been committed by the alleged perpetrator (conduct rising to a felony). I see many other opportunities for errors (for example, by a police officer). If the officer arrested for a felony, I also don't believe a juvenile hall gets to second guess that and release based on their own subjective assessment of the situation. None of this means that there is conclusive evidence that the police made a bad arrest. I just have a hard time believing, based on what was reported, that the circumstances of this incident could have risen to a felony arrest (i.e., the alleged touching was done while the woman was restrained).

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