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Name: People v. Phillips
Case #: B221932
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 10/05/2010

Penal Code section 647.6, subdivision (a)(1) (annoying or molesting children) requires proof that the conduct is directed at a child or children, but no specific child or children need be the target. At dismissal time on a school day, appellant sat in his car parked directly in front of a high school and masturbated. S.L., a 15-year-old student, walked by, glanced in, and observed appellant in his activities. A jury convicted appellant of indecent exposure (Pen. Code, sec. 314, subd. (1)) and annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 (sec. 647.6, subd (a)(1)). Appellant argued on appeal that his behavior did not fall within section 647.6, subdivision (a)(1) because there was no evidence that his actions were directed at the particular victim, S.L. The court disagreed. Tracing the evolution of section 647.6, subdivision (a), and looking to the intent of the Legislature of protecting any child, the court held that to constitute a violation of section 647.6, subdivision (a)(1), there must be evidence that the perpetrator engaged in annoying or molesting conduct that would irritate or annoy a normal person, that such conduct annoyed or molested any child, and the perpetrator directed the conduct toward a child. The intent to be seen while engaging in the offensive conduct is subsumed in the element that the offender directs his conduct toward child.