Articles Posted in Sex Crimes

Earlier last month, an 18-year old high school student entered a plea of no contest to misdemeanor battery and felony interference with child custody to avoid the possibility of a 15 year prison sentence and mandatory lifetime sex-offender registration. She was originally charged with lewd and lascivious assault on a minor but was offered a deal by the county prosecutor. According to a Reuter’s report, the high-school student was involved in a sexual relationship with a 14-year old teammate.

The 18-year old—who was charged as any other adult would be—would have faced felony sex offender charges had she elected to reject the plea offer and proceed to trial. Such charges would have potentially exposed her to a maximum term of 15 years in prison and mandatory sex offender registration for the rest of her life. Instead, she will remain in jail until December 20, at which point she will be released and be placed on felony supervision for three years.

Sex-Related Offenses Are Some of the Most Serious Crimes in Florida

Aside from homicide crimes, sex offenses are the most serious crimes in Florida. Most sex offenses are punished as felonies, which means that—at a minimum—a convicted defendant is looking at a sentence of:

  • Up to 5 years in prison, and
  • A fine of up to $5,000.

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The Edison State College Board of Trustees at the Florida University passed an admissions policy which will permanently ban convicted sex offenders and some felons from attending the university. The ban took effect immediately upon passage, but it will take some convictions into consideration for admission, based on several variables. Those variables include the age of the person at the time they committed the crime, whether or not that individual took steps towards rehabilitation, and the nature of the crime, such as whether it involved children.

Sex offenders, as a part of sex offender probation are often are not allowed to reside near schools or parks, and many are further restricted by the terms of their probation, including where they live and how close their residence is to places where potential victims might be. Unfortunately or sex offenders, those locations are growing in number, making normal life difficult. Throughout Florida, there are over 7000 schools, 14000 registered daycares, 3600 parks and approximately 250,000 bus stops. The numbers of additional locations that are prohibited by the local ordinance restrictions are not defined, but have included public libraries, churches, theatres and pools.

Some offenders are scared to register as a sexual offender because of this very problem. Remember though, failing to register as a sex offender is a felony. Also remember that some registration laws can be rather strict, requiring those convicted of a sex crime to register in whatever state they move to or work in. Some sexual offenders, who after decades have probably moved on from the conviction, are still forced and are therefore still fearful of the danger in exposure of one’s past all over again, which will be guaranteed to happen unfortunately if one fails to register.

Law enforcement agencies, with the help of groups advocating for victims’ rights, have started employing electronic monitoring programs to effectively monitor sexual offenders. These Offender monitoring programs come in the form of GPS tethers and GPS ankle bracelets and have proven to be an invaluable asset in the success of sex offender monitoring.

Many of the GPS trackers used for sex offenders are much more advanced than average
trackers, and give officers the ability to monitor an offender from the moment they leave jail,
regardless if they are indoors or outdoors. Pairing a single-piece monitoring device with web-based software, these ankle monitors uses active GPS and assisted GPS technology to track indoors, where GPS alone cannot reach.

An experienced defense attorney with local knowledge should be able to counsel a client or prospective client on the probability of success. One’s opportunity for an early termination certainly increases if the victim and the state attorney do not oppose the motion for early termination. In the motion, the defense attorney should state at the bottom of the motion if the prosecutor is opposed to the early termination request.

One has a right to privacy in one’s home. Even if one has done something wrong and been convicted, one may still reasonably expect that one will not be subject to other crimes caused by other people for a designation of what one is, which designation in some cases, results from a correct conviction on previous charges, but a false conviction on the last, making one a career criminal.

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All throughout the United States, task forces and sheriff’s departments are telling parents to check the online sex offender registry before allowing children to trick-or-treat, some towns offering a “trunk-or-treat” event where kids can get Halloween candy from trunks of cars in a parking lot to avoid potential danger. In New York, “Operation Halloween: Zero Tolerance” prohibits sex offenders from wearing masks or costumes or answering their doors on Halloween, instilling the idea in the mind of the community that there is nothing more frightening than the thought of a sex offender opening their door to innocent children.

Municipalities and counties all throughout Florida and the Southeast are in a race to push sex offenders into the neighboring communities. Many times, this push becomes a competition, leaving both law abiding citizens and sex offenders, many times one-time sex offenders, losing. However, not all offenders that are pushed into these communities are dangerous offenders. Some offenders had sex with their underage girlfriends. Some viewed child pornography. Some Florida residents are leaders in the ministry, such as teachers at local county schools who confessed to molesting students.

Florida and other states have attempted to crack down on sex offenders and those who fail in the registration process. Sometimes, those arrested for these types of crimes are arrested for failure to report a change in address within the proscribed period, sometimes failing by only a couple days. In these cases, it is imperative that one obtain an experienced attorney who can explain the delay, possibly having one’s new charge of failing to register one’s new address dismissed.

It is of further complication to all who are charged with enforcing these restrictions, that neither Florida Statute nor many of the local ordinances provide definitions for the places that sex offenders are forbidden from being, causing the determination of what is an appropriate and legal residence for these offenders, increasingly confusing and difficult.

Residency restrictions become more complicated when the one has any medical or special needs conditions that require any level of care. Even nursing homes and assisted living facilities are becoming wary of accepting released offenders because they want to avoid having sexual offenders registered at their addresses. This problem will worsen as prison sentences increase, resulting in older released offenders who are more likely to have deteriorating health conditions, with no real quality of life or decent residential opportunity.

Many do not think that the crime of failing to register as a sex offender is a serious offense, and if one has moved, that the location which one moves to will have no knowledge and will obtain no knowledge in the future of one’s past conviction. However, this is not the case. Fugitive Task Forces have been created to execute warrants for people accused of failing to register.

Sometimes, sex offenders did not register intentionally for fear of being identified as having a certain qualities or being involved with an act that one is ashamed of and is trying to distance oneself from. This is understandable, but not wise. The best option one can pursue when evading police for a crime like this is to turn oneself into authorities and immediately obtain an experienced attorney who can work with the State to have one placed on a light probation or community service, rather than being locked away, possibly for the rest of one’s life, because of a powerful-State operated legal system that might view one as a threat to society.

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FDLE created a new search available on Florida’s Sex Offender Registry allowing citizens to look for sex offenders who are working, living or going to school on college campuses and institutions of higher learning throughout Florida, as part of Florida’s existing public website registry. FDLE’s goal behind the new site is to enhance public safety.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation keeps a national registry and all 50 states also have their own. In Florida, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement maintains the sex offender registry. Every person convicted of a sex crime in Jacksonville and all of Florida must register. Their names, addresses, and pictures are available to the public 24 hours a day.

The Sex offender registry allows anyone to search for anyone listed on the Florida Sex Offender registry, Simply by enter their address and ZIP code. The registry then gives a full list of sex offenders in that person’s area. Information provided includes:

– Name
– Current Address and Map
– Photograph
– Current Offender Status
– Source of the Information
Florida and other states have attempted to crack down on sex offenders and those who fail in the registration process. Sometimes, those arrested for these types of crimes are arrested for failure to report a change in address within the proscribed period, sometimes failing by only a couple days. In these cases, it is imperative that one obtain an experienced attorney who can explain the delay, possibly having one’s new charge of failing to register one’s new address dismissed.

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Kaitlyn Hunt, the Florida high-school student charged in February with a felony sex crime over her affair with a younger girl accepted a plea deal to avoid becoming a registered sex offender. The case against drew national attention after supporters accused authorities of picking on her because of her sexual orientation. Indian River County prosecutor Bruce Colton said Hunt was charged like any other adult for having sex with a child.

Though Hunt had argued the sex was consensual, Florida law considers it a felony offense to have sex with a person under the age of 16 who is considered not legally able to offer consent.
Under the original plea deal, Hunt would plead no contest to two counts of battery and one felony count of interference with child custody. Under this plea, Hunt would not only escape jail time, but would not have to register as a sex offender or wear an ankle bracelet. In exchange, the now 19-year-old would be subject to a curfew, have to perform 150 hours of community service and serve probation.

Florida’s juveniles want to do what they want to do and sometimes will be charged with sexual battery charges because of them are registered in the system and have records as sex offenders. This can be damaging to many of Jacksonville’s best and brightest in finding careers, particularly for those juveniles whose charges were pursued by disapproving parents who did not like the young girl or boy that their child was involved with, rather than that juvenile actually being guilty of any crime.

Other times, juvenile sex charges are the result of two love-struck teenagers who were caught by their parents and reported to police. Males used to be the prime target for being placed on the sex offender registry, but as this story shows, females have now taken some precedent in sex crime charges in Florida. No matter the individual or the circumstance, being listed on the Sex offender registry can severely hinder this first and probably only-time offender’s future of a decent career.

Often, the accused will choose a plea deal in order to receive a less severe sentence
because of hedging the amount of time served for the crime, rather than betting their freedom on a gamble, the risk they take if they were to go to trial and be convicted.
In this case, Hunt pled no contest to a felony charge of interfering with child custody. A charge of interfering with child custody, a felony charge, is a very serious charge to bring against someone, particularly of Hunt’s young age, as this particular charge cannot be expunged under Florida statute.

Florida’s juveniles want to do what they want to do and sometimes will be charged with sexual battery charges because of them are registered in the system and have records as sex offenders. This can be damaging to many of Jacksonville’s youth in finding careers, particularly for those juveniles whose charges were pursued by a disapproving society who did not like the decisions that the youth made, because they were contrary to their own notions and ideologies, rather than that juvenile actually being guilty of any crime. In this case, it seems now that Hunt will want to reject any plea from the State, in order to prove the point that the State cannot silence certain ideological communities.

As this case, and many others like it show, plea bargaining is an effective but not always best option for the accused in a criminal suit. Some crimes may be too serious, and therefore require a trial. Others are clear cut cases of police misconduct or cases of tampered evidence that can and should be suppressed. However, many State attorneys will attempt to rush a plea agreement before the truth of one’s innocence or the invalidity of the evidence comes to light.

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.

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The spiteful practice of making public nude photographs of an ex-romantic partner is now illegal in California. The law only covers photographs or videos taken by the spurned ex, and not photos you take by one’s self. Many think that the law does not go far enough, attempting to combat the thinking that if someone sends an intimate or revealing photo to another, that the sender was to blame for sending the picture.

Many feel that viewing pornography is a healthy way of exercising one’s physical desires. For some, this means sending pictures of their private areas, risqué photos of themselves in lingerie, as well as other photos that could be considered racy. The problem that many find when facing the consequences of reputation damage is that many do not have a way to relieve themselves of the problems they will face once the pictures or videos are out there.

Currently in Florida, there is no criminal statute barring pictures or videos that are of a <a href="https://www.jacksonville-attorney.us./lawyer-attorney-1323983.html"pornographic nature from being uploaded to the internet or sent to others for viewing. The only course of action a victim could take in this instance is to sue the exposer in civil court, and many times, are able to secure a judgment against the exposer. However, if the law is now going to punish the exposer criminally, so long as the pornographic video or picture was not taken by the actor in the porn, whoever the exposer is, will be criminally charged. This means every person who has ever uploaded a pornographic item, whether or not they personally took it or not, could be considered guilty.

Where many get in trouble with the law in Florida criminally, however, is with possession of child pornography. Many times, people do not think anything of the video they took of their girlfriend or boyfriend, or the pictures of their private areas from 2 or 3 years when one of the parties was a minor. However, even if the person in the material is now an adult, the material is still considered child pornography.

What is unfortunate is that many prosecutors, police, and other parties fail to realize that a computer may be used by others in a home or office. This failure to investigate thoroughly, many times, makes a victim out of an innocent party.

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David Rosado was arrested in Osceola County on the charge of failing to comply with Florida’s sex-offender registration law, which was brought to light after he called police. Rosado was convicted of sex crimes against a child in New York in 2003. Rosado called Kissimmee police on Sept. 1 to complain about a church pastor failing to pay him for “some work,” reports show.

After an officer confronted Rosado about with the information he obtained from a law-enforcement database and a sex-offender website, Rosado said he had forgotten about the New York charges, but also told officers he planned on registering that week.

Florida and other states have attempted to crack down on sex offenders and those who fail in the registration process. Sometimes, those arrested for these types of crimes are arrested for failure to report a change in address within the proscribed period, sometimes failing by only a couple days. In these cases, it is imperative that one obtain an experienced attorney who can explain the delay, possibly having one’s new charge of failing to register one’s new address dismissed.

Many do not think that the crime of failing to register as a sex offender is a serious offense, and if one has moved, that the location which one moves to will have no knowledge and will obtain no knowledge in the future of one’s past conviction. However, this is not the case. Fugitive Task Forces have been created to execute warrants for people accused of failing to register.
Some of the many registration requirements for a Florida sex offender include:

– registration within 48 hours of being released from custody;
– registration of one’s place of employment, or enrollment in an institution of higher learning;
– registration within 48 hours of relocating to a new address;
– registration of one’s address of residence; and
– registration with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Florida Sex Offender Registrants are also required to re-register periodically, depending on their own personal requirements provided to them by the state. Sexual offender and Sexual predator laws are covered under two different chapters under Florida law, but the penalties for each are identical. The primary difference between the two is the number of times throughout the year that the offender must register; sexual predators must register four times annually and sexual offenders need to register only bi-annually. While the charges differ in type and severity of act, the requirements for registration are almost identical. If one fails to register as required by law, one could possibly be arrested and face numerous other penalties, including jail time.

Sometimes, sex offenders did not register intentionally for fear of being identified as having a certain qualities or being involved with an act that one is ashamed of and is trying to distance oneself from. This is understandable, but not wise. The best option one can pursue when evading police for a crime like this is to turn oneself into authorities and immediately obtain an experienced attorney who can work with the State to have one placed on a light probation or community service, rather than being locked away, possibly for the rest of one’s life, because of a powerful-State operated legal system that might view one as a threat to society.

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 a simple mistake like failing to register will not continue to be a problem in one’s life and will become a thing of the past.

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In the Florida Senate and House, state legislators are promising to overhaul sex offender laws, toughening sentences for sex crimes and keeping more of the most dangerous offenders confined after their prison terms end. This promise comes in response to an investigation that found Florida has failed to stop hundreds of rapists and child molesters from attacking again, for which Senate President Don Gaetz vowed action the first week of the legislative session that begins in March. Changes under consideration include imposing mandatory minimum sentences for more sex crimes, confining more predators after their release from prison, and converting unused prison beds to expand the capacity of the state’s sex predator treatment center.

When one is arrested for a sex crime in Jacksonville or a crime that is alleged to be “sexually motivated”, one may be exposed to indefinite civil commitment under the Jimmy Ryce Law. Named in memory of a South Florida boy who was raped and murdered, this law allows Florida to keep sex offenders locked up after they finish their prison sentences. The Jimmy Ryce law requires the state to evaluate convicted sex criminals before their release and to recommend for lockup those predators the State feels have mental disorders that make them likely to reoffend at a treatment center in Florida.

Only active since late 1998, the law applies retroactively, being created to keep individuals locked up when the State alleges the accused of having a mental abnormality or personality disorder that prohibits them from controlling their sexual behavior. State-acquired doctors are not always accurate in their assessment, so it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side.

The recent “Sex Predators Unleashed” series documentary about Florida sex offender showed holes in the Jimmy Ryce law, finding hundreds of sex offenders released under the Ryce law had gone on to hurt others, including women and children, many times horrifically. Victims of the repeat offenders include a great-grandmother who was raped and shot in her own bed, and an elderly woman who was sexually assaulted and had her throat slit by a rapist who was released three months earlier.

The current state of civil commitment centers in Florida is unfortunately not the best place for someone accused of a sex crime, whether or not the convicted is actually has a sexual control issue. The Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC) , located in Arcadia, has been criticized because treatment is lacking (less than 5 hours per week), it lacks security (several incidents of murder on site, riots requiring hundreds of officers to control), there is no method of restoring civil liberties (the program has no release stage), being underfunded, understaffed and located in an old condemned correctional facility.

Civil commitment is indefinite, meaning that one may be confined as long as the State deems necessary, which is not always the case. Sex crimes already have harsh punishments and are prosecuted with a heavy hand, whether there is enough evidence to convict the accused or not. Now, due to this investigation’s findings, civil commitment will now be a first choice sentence and will probably be a longer sentence that may severely hinder one’s ability to fix the mistakes in one’s life if convicted of a sex crime. One should contact an experienced attorney immediately to be advised of one’s rights immediately following. Remember:

– If one is awaiting a commitment determination trial, one must be able to prove that one is able to control one’s sexual behavior.
– If one has already been committed, one must attempt to prove that one has had sufficient treatment to be released.

One needs to understand the options one has and that one has access to an experienced attorney who can help ensure one does not stagnate in of a civil commitment program. One in a situation such as this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney to fight the 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.

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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.

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Kaitlyn Hunt, a Florida teen who was accused of unlawfully having sex with a minor has been offered a new plea deal that would spare her jail time and registration as a sex offender but adds a felony count to her charges. Hunt was arrested for two counts of lewd and lascivious sexual battery against a female minor when she was 18 after having sexual intercourse with her then 14-year-old and thus underage girlfriend she met at Sebastian River High School in 2012. Though Hunt has argued the sex was consensual, Florida law considers it a felony offense to have sex with a person under the age of 16 who is considered not legally able to offer consent.
Under the new plea deal, Hunt would plead no contest to two counts of battery and one felony count of interference with child custody. Under this plea, Hunt would not only escape jail time, but would not have to register as a sex offender or wear an ankle bracelet. In exchange, the now 19-year-old would be subject to a curfew, have to perform 150 hours of community service and serve probation.

A plea bargain or plea deal is an agreement in criminal cases between the prosecutor and the accused whereby the accused in return for admitting guilt of a criminal charge, in return for some reduction in punishment from the prosecutor, either in the form of a lighter punishment for the original charge, or a less serious charge with lighter consequences than what was originally charged. In this case, however, the detriment of taking a plea bargain is much worse psychologically for Hunt than standing her ground in trial for her beliefs.

Often, the accused will choose a plea deal in order to receive a less severe sentence
because of hedging the amount of time served for the crime, rather than betting their freedom on a gamble, the risk they take if they were to go to trial and be convicted.

In this case, the State has offered Hunt a plea of no contest to a felony charge of interfering with child custody. A charge of interfering with child custody, a felony charge, is a very serious charge to bring against someone, particularly of Hunt’s young age, as this particular charge cannot be expunged under Florida statute.

Florida’s juveniles want to do what they want to do and sometimes will be charged with sexual battery charges because of them are registered in the system and have records as sex offenders. This can be damaging to many of Jacksonville’s youth in finding careers, particularly for those juveniles whose charges were pursued by a disapproving society who did not like the decisions that the youth made, because they were contrary to their own notions and ideologies, rather than that juvenile actually being guilty of any crime. In this case, it seems now that Hunt will want to reject any plea from the State, in order to prove the point that the State cannot silence certain ideological communities.

As this case, and many others like it show, plea bargaining is an effective but not always best option for the accused in a criminal suit. Some crimes may be too serious, and therefore require a trial. Others are clear cut cases of police misconduct or cases of tampered evidence that can and should be suppressed. However, many State attorneys will attempt to rush a plea agreement before the truth of one’s innocence or the invalidity of the evidence comes to light.

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.

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