Arkeem Kvontae Askew, a 13-year-old Jacksonville middle school student, was arrested Monday on a charge of sexual battery against another student at the school. Askew was arrested at Kirby Smith Middle School on Hubbard Street. The victim said she was walking toward her locker about 3:30 p.m. Monday when she was approached by a boy. She said he forced her into the girls’ rest room, pulled down her pants and underwear and tried to rape her. When she struggled, he pushed her into a bathroom stall, overpowered her and raped her.
Although those who commit sex offenses against minors in Jacksonville are often described as “predators” or “pedophiles”, and thought of as adults, it is important to note that a substantial portion of these crimes are perpetrated by other minors who do not fit the image of such terms.
The sexual behaviors that bring youth into the court on a daily basis include such activities as:
– sharing pornography with younger children,
– fondling a child over the clothes,
– grabbing peers in a sexual way at school,
– date rape,
– gang rape, or
– performing oral, vaginal, or anal sex on a much younger child.
Some of these situations involve one or more victims and one or more occurrences of sexual activity. Unfortunately, many of Jacksonville’s juvenile sex offenders come from a variety of family backgrounds and many times have various family problems, including prior abuse by the parent in many situations. In some cases, a history of childhood sexual abuse has been shown to contribute to later juvenile sex offending, but most sexual abuse victims do not become sex offenders in adolescence or adulthood.
Known juvenile offenders who commit sex offenses against minors span a variety of ages. The percentage of juvenile sex offenders rate has been shown to increase sharply around age 12 and levels out after age 14. As a proportion of the total number of juvenile offenders arrested for sex crimes, 38 percent are between ages 12 and 14, and 46 percent are between ages 15 and 17. The vast majority (93 percent) are male.
Juvenile offenders typically have a different method of operation than adult sex offenders would. A juvenile offender is typically drawn to the idea of sexual contact with another minor while at school or at a friend’s house. In the minor’s mind, only when adults are around is the time that this sexual conduct is frowned upon. Therefore, the child either skips school or removes themselves from adult supervision in order to pursue sexual contact with another.
Those juveniles charged with sexual battery charges are registered in the system and have records as sex offenders. This can be damaging to many of Jacksonville’s citizens’ careers, particularly for those juveniles charged with sex crimes. Many of these charges are the result of two love-struck teenagers who were caught by their parents and reported to police. Then, typically the male would be charged and placed on the sex offender registry, severely hindering this first and possibly only-time offender’s future of a decent career.
To fight this problem, In 2007, the “Romeo and Juliet” law was enacted by the Florida legislature. This law allows those previously convicted of a Lewd or Lascivious offense or Sexual Battery to petition the court for removal from the sex offender registry, assuming they meet a strict set of eligibility requirements, listed below:
– One engaged in a consensual sexual encounter with a 14, 15, 16, or 17 year old minor;
– One was no more than 4 years older than the alleged victim at the time of the sexual encounter
– One was subsequently convicted of sexual battery or other Lewd or Lascivious Offenses
– One does not have any other convictions for a Lewd or Lascivious Offense, Sexual Battery, or Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition using a Computer.
– One was required to register as a sexual offender/predator solely because of the single conviction.
One in a situation such as this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights, defenses, and options are known and protected. One cannot fight this battle alone. With the help of an experienced attorney, one can be sure that this mistake will be whited out of one’s life and become a thing of the past.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Law & Disorder: 13-year-old Jacksonville boy arrested for rape at school, The Florida Times Union