You can finally breathe.
An age old, looming question has been officially resolved.
A California appellate court panel based in Santa Ana this month settled the question about whether French kissing is inherently a sex act.
It is, according to the court.
The issue arose when John Stuart Moses challenged the legitimacy of his sex crimes conviction for his intimate relationship with a 13-year-old Anaheim girl he met at VampireFreaks.com.
Moses, who was 23 at the time of the incidents, avoided a conviction in his first trial after claiming that the girl was to blame because she repeatedly lied by claiming she was 18 years old, an assertion also contained on her MySpace.com profile.
The girl also claimed that they had engaged in oral sex and intercourse in the back seat of a parked car; Moses insisted they'd only French kissed.
But prosecutor Robert Mestman in the Orange County District Attorney's office won a conviction for lewd conduct with a minor in a retrial and Superior Court Judge David A. Thompson sentenced Moses to a punishment of three years' of formal probation after suspending a 365-day jail term.
The appellate court considered and rejected Moses' claim that there was insufficient evidence to convict him and that French kissing isn't sex.
"We conclude that evidence of making out and French kissing for an extended period of time in the backseat of a car parked in a dark parking lot is sufficient to prove the intent to gratify sexual desires necessary to [violate California's sex crimes laws]," wrote Justice Richard Fybel on behalf of his colleagues, justices Richard Aronson and Raymond Ikola.
But the justices did side with Moses on his complaints that certain probation rules issued routinely by Orange County court officials are unconstitutional.
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He'd been banned from working as a massage therapist (upheld), marrying anyone with kids under 18 (overturned), frequenting places where kids congregate (upheld), using sexually explicit materials (upheld), contacting anyone inside a vehicle (overturned) and hitchhiking (upheld).
Go HERE to read my original coverage of the case, When Is It Not A Crime To Hook Up with A Seventh Grader?
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly