Stevie Glasspool of Boca Raton, Fla., allegedly solicited sex from teens students enrolled at Mavericks Charter High School in Pompano Beach, her former place of employment, only four days into the new school year. Glasspool was fired from her teaching job at Mavericks back in May 2012. Police say Glasspool invited four teens, ages 15 to 17, to a sleepover at her Boca Raton home, enticing them with offers of marijuana. Police say her invitation was “overt” in sexual nature, saying she wrote to them: “I don’t want you to fall in love with me but I also don’t want you to hit it and quit it either.”
Glasspool was charged with the crime of Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sex using computer services or devices. This crime occurs when a person uses an online service, internet service, or electronic device capable of data storage or transmission to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a person believed to be a minor child to engage in an unlawful sexual conduct.
Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sex (officially referred to as Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sexual Conduct by Using a Computer) was made illegal to protect children against the trolling, by adults, of internet chat rooms for unsuspecting minors; now, the police are trolling chat rooms to catch unsuspecting child predators. One does not have a defense to Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sex in Florida simply if the person posing as a child was actually an undercover law enforcement agent. Common undercover techniques used by law enforcement agents sometimes including acting as the parent of a child, attempting to offer up the child for money, or acting as the child themselves.
One should immediately contact an experienced attorney if one has been accused of soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct, especially if a law enforcement officer engaged in a bait-and-switch conversation, to determine if there was any undue influence on the part of the police officer.
Importantly, the fact that an undercover operative or law enforcement officer was involved in the detection and investigation of the crime of Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sexual Conduct Using a Computer cannot be raised as a defense in a subsequent prosecution for the offense.
The Florida crime of Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sexual Conduct Using a Computer is a third degree felony, and, if convicted, a judge is required to impose a minimum prison sentence of 21 months in prison and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:
– Up to $5,000 in fines.
– Up to five (5) years of specialized sex offender probation.
– Up to five (5) years in prison.
Each separate use of a computer, online service, Internet service, or electronic device can be charged as a separate criminal offense. This means that if one uses a computer on four separate occasions to discuss engaging in unlawful sex with the person believed to be a minor, one could be charged with four separate counts of Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sexual Conduct Using a Computer.
If the accused misrepresented their age, then the charge is escalated to a 2nd degree felony. Usually the law enforcement operative gets them to misrepresent their age. An essential element of the crime of Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sexual Conduct Using a Computer is that the defendant either seduce, solicit, lure, or entice the child (or person believed to be a child) to engage in an unlawful sexual act.
In determining whether the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime of Soliciting a Child for Unlawful Sexual Conduct Using a Computer, and whether there is the possibility of an entrapment defense, one’s experienced attorney would need to examine the following factors that may mitigate one’s case or negate one’s guilt, including:
– the accused’s expressed sexual interests;
– Documented instances of reluctance by the accused to commit the unlawful sexual act;
– the Initiator of the discussions of unlawful sexual activity;
– Diligence of the accused, the minor, or the undercover law enforcement agent to commit the unlawful sexual act.
Conviction of a sex crime can mean mandatory and often substantial prison time, and lifetime registration as a sex offender or sexual predator. Even after one completes one’s sentence, one may have difficulty finding employment and a place to live. One needs technical knowledge and experience to defend against these devastating charges. One needs an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney to fight the case.
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: Stevie Glasspool, Florida Teacher, Solicited Sex From Students On Facebook, Huffington Post