Last month, a 51-year old Jacksonville man was convicted for the sexual assault of a 60-year old victim. According to a report by Jacksonville.com, the man knew his victim. Apparently, the victim had taken out a protective order against the man that required the man stay a certain distance from the victim.
Earlier this year, in September, the man allegedly forced his way into the home of the victim and, when she tried to escape, he forced her to have sex with him. At trial last month, the man was convicted of burglary, sexual battery, and aggravated stalking. He was found not guilty of false imprisonment. At sentencing, the man will face the possibility of life in prison.
Sexual Assault Crimes in Florida
There are few crimes taken more seriously by Florida police, prosecutors, and courts than sexual assault crimes. Regardless of the victim, the criminal justice system punishes sexual offenders harshly.
Most sexual offenses are either first-degree felonies or capital felonies. For an adult offender who is convicted of sexual abuse of a child, the crime may be a capital felony. Capital felonies are punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole. For most other sexual batteries, the crime is a first-degree felony. First-degree felonies are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Limited Defenses in Sexual Battery Cases
Like all crimes, there are defenses available for sexual battery crimes. However, certain defenses are unavailable in sexual battery cases. For example, prior sexual history between the defendant and the victim is inadmissible at trial. This means that the defendant in a sexual battery case is not able to tell the jury about past incidents where the defendant and victim had consensual intercourse.
Similarly, the defendant cannot bring up the victim’s sexual reputation in the community. Both of these rules, while difficult for the defendant to overcome, are designed to favor the privacy and well-being of the victim, potentially over the pursuit of truth.
Finally, the defendant will not be able to claim a lack of knowledge of the victim’s age as a defense, if the victim is a child. The purpose of this rule is to deter a person from engaging in sexual behavior with a minor. In so doing, the law places the burden on the older individual to ensure that their partner is of legal age.
Have You Been Charged with a Sexual Offense in Florida?
If you have been charged with a sexual offense in Florida, you need to enlist the assistance of an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney immediately. Few crimes carry more severe punishments than sexual batteries. On top of that, the rules of evidence are stacked against the defendant in most of these cases. However, by retaining a passionate and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, you will increase your chances of getting the case dismissed based on a lack of evidence, as these types of cases often proceed to trial on very thin evidence, sometimes on the testimony of only the victim. Click here, or call 904-634-0900 to speak to a local Jacksonville criminal defense attorney today.
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