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*The following reflection originally appeared as a feature in Catholic Charities USA's Advent Reflection Series

Program Name Street Address City State Phone ESL? Citizenship Test Prep? Tax Assistance?

By Martin Gauto

One of CLINIC’s core functions is to boost legal capacity in underserved areas in the United States. An area experiencing a severe shortage in low-cost, professional immigration legal service providers is the Inland Empire (or the “IE” as it is known) region of Southern California.  It is home to over one million foreign-born persons. Fortunately, Training Occupational Development Education Communities (TODEC) is a service provider assisting newcomers with quality, charitable legal help in the IE.

By Susan Schreiber

Under California Penal Code § 261.5, a person who has sexual intercourse with someone who is at least three years younger and under age 18 commits the offense of unlawful intercourse.  This means, for example, that a 20-year-old who has consensual sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend may be prosecuted under this statute.  In this type of offense, commonly referred to as statutory rape, lack of consent is presumed where there is sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of consent specified in the statute.

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