Rafael Padilla-Cruz of Fort Lauderdale has been charged with 156 counts of first-degree sexual assault and 156 counts of risk of injury to a minor. Padilla-Cruz surrendered and was arrested in Connecticut on an extradition warrant from Florida after allegedly raping 10-year-old boy more than 100 times. Padilla-Cruz vehemently denies that he engaged in any inappropriate conduct with anyone.
Jacksonville child abuse is the physical, emotional, or sexual mistreatment or neglect of children. Physical child abuse may include hitting, biting, striking or any other action that causes physical abuse to a child, even including sexual abuse. Most do not understand the charge itself, and even less understand that the people accused of the crime have right defend themselves in court.
Florida law states that an individual has committed child abuse if one the following are proven:
– there was an intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child,
– an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child, or
– active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably result in physical or mental injury to a child
Child abuse is Florida is a third degree felony in the state of Florida and is punished harshly. If convicted, one may be exposed to up to five years in prison for each charge. If the charge is aggravated, or causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child, then the charge is increased to a first degree felony, exposing the accused to fifteen years in jail for each charge. It is very important to get the help of an experienced Jacksonville child abuse defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.
Not only may one face a long jail sentence, expensive fines and probation, but a charge of this nature may have other serious effects on one’s life. One may lose the right to care for one’s own children. Others may also have trouble finding a job or locating an apartment.
In cases involving sex crimes against children, people become heated and lose control over their senses. No one enjoys seeing a child hurt, and many assume the accused is guilty without proper investigation. Unfortunately, law enforcement sometimes are emotionally invested in cases where children have been victimized and may be susceptible to losing control while handling the case, causing doubt as to the validity of the procedure and correctness of the statements and evidence obtained.
Many times in Jacksonville, an accused party may have received word about a sex crimes warrant for their arrest being issued and will attempt to evade the police. This action may seem beneficial in the beginning; however, Judges tend to be more favorable to accused parties who do not run from the law. Evading law enforcement many times is viewed in the mind of the Court as as running because of guilt.
Fortunately, one does have an option for relief when one does know about an outstanding warrant on them. As soon as one becomes aware of such warrant, one should contact an experienced attorney who can work with the Judge to recall the warrant in exchange for appearance for court. Many times, when one’s case is pled to a Judge who sees a remorseful accused party, one’s sentence often times is more favorable than the many negative possibilities that could be in one’s future.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Sources: Florida man accused of repeatedly raping Connecticut boy, Norwich-Bulletin.com