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Name: People v. Cole
Case #: F050978
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/19/2007

A conviction for violation of section 288, subdivision (a) in adult court by a 16-year-old minor found unfit for juvenile court constitutes a “strike” offense. In this case the appellate court rejected appellant’s contention that the trial court abused its discretion in denying a Romero motion (People v. Superior Court (Romero) (1996) 13 Cal.4th 497). Appellant contended that the Legislature did not intend to treat nonforcible sex between minors as a “strike.” The appellate court observed that separate treatment of the 16-year-old convicted in adult court from the juvenile handled in juvenile court for the same offense is not unequal protection because the state has a justifiable interest in protecting its citizens from the danger presented by the youth found unfit for juvenile court who is undeterred by being prosecuted as an adult and engages in recidivist behavior.