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Name: People v. Griffin
Case #: S109734
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/09/2004

The force necessary for a conviction of forcible rape under Penal Code section 261, subdivision (a)(2), is not the same as the force needed for a conviction of lewd acts by force on a child under the age of 14, under Penal Code section 288, subdivision (b)(1). Here the Court of Appeal had reversed appellant’s conviction for forcible rape on the ground that the trial court had a sua sponte duty to instruct the jury that the offense required physical force substantially different from or greater than that required to accomplish the act itself, and further held that the evidence was insufficient to show the use of such force. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a plain reading of section 261 showed that the Legislature did not intend to impose the additional force requirement from People v. Cicero (1984) 157 Cal.App.3rd 465 on a forcible rape conviction. Thus, the the Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeal had erred in applying the Cicero standard to section 261, and further held that the evidence taken as a whole was sufficient to establish forcible rape.