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Name: People v. Bojorquez
Case #: G040702
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/30/2010

When a county animal shelter is the location of a community work program maintained by the sheriff for a program in lieu of county jail confinement, it qualifies as a detention center which supports a conviction for engaging in sexual activity with a confined person. (Pen. Code, sec. 289.6, subd. (a)(2).) Workers were in the custody of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department while participating in a program which provided one day credit toward a jail sentence for a day’s work. An animal shelter attendant was convicted for his activities with six female CWP workers. He challenged the convictions on the basis that the women were not “confined in a detention facility.” The statute defines detention facility to include a “building or facility used for the confinement of adults or adults and minors pursuant to a contract with a public entity.” (Pen. Code, sec. 289.6, subd. (a)(2).) The statute itself does not define “confinement” and the dictionary does not contain a plain, ordinary and unambiguous meaning, so the court had to resort to legislative history. There were several amendments which expanded the protections to those who are particularly vulnerable because they are held in the custody and control of institutions. Interpreting “confinement” broadly to include the CWP at the county animal shelter serves the legislative purpose of deterring the sexual abuse of persons in custody by their custodians.