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Name: People v. Solis
Case #: C063851
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/13/2012

The legal standard for imposing full consecutive sentences where multiple sex offenses against the same victim occur on “separate occasions” pursuant to Penal Code section 667.6, subdivision (d) is not unconstitutionally vague. Penal Code section 667.6, subdivision (d) provides that in determining whether crimes against a single victim were committed on separate occasions, the court shall consider whether, between the commission of one sex crime and another the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to reflect on his actions and nevertheless resumed the sexually assaultive behavior. Appellant contended that the legal standard for finding that offenses were committed on “separate occasions” is unconstitutionally vague, as evidenced by the fact that the Court of Appeal has not been able to settle on a single standard for assessing whether multiple sex offenses were committed on separate occasions. The court rejected appellant’s contention and concluded that there was no inconsistency in the appellate decisions cited by appellant. A statute is not unconstitutionally vague so long as an accused can reasonably be held to understand that his conduct is prohibited by the statute. A person is able to distinguish between a situation where a perpetrator engages in a continuous course of conduct involving multiple sex offenses with no break in between and one in which the individual offenses are separated by some other activity, either of the perpetrator or another, that interrupts the assault and affords the perpetrator an opportunity to reflect on what he or she is doing.