Evidence to Establish Gang Related Sex Crimes in California

In People v. Albillar (2010) 51 Cal.4th 47, each of three gang members (twin brothers and their cousin) took turns raping the victim while the other two held her down. All three were convicted of various sex crimes as well as active participation in a criminal street gang ( 186.22, subd. (a)).) Section 186.22, subdivision (b)(1) enhancements were also found true. (Albillar, supra, 51 Cal.4th at p. 54.) The California Supreme Court found the evidence sufficient to establish that the sex crimes were gang-related in two ways: (1) they were committed in association with the gang and (2) they were committed for the benefit of the gang. (Id. at p. 60.) That the crimes were committed for the benefit of the gang was supported by a gang expert's testimony that "'when three gang members go out and commit a violent brutal attack on a victim, that's elevating their individual status, and they're receiving a benefit. They're putting notches in their reputation. When these gang members are doing that, the overall entity benefits and strengthens as a result of it.' Reports of such conduct 'raise the level of fear and intimidation in the community.'" (Id. at pp. 63, 71.)