Florida Laws are Tough on Sex Offenders

Florida residents, through their elected officials,  have enacted some of the nation’s toughest penalties for those convicted of sex crimes.  According to News4Jax.com, 47 year old Elmer Bowman, after being convicted of kidnapping, torturing and raping a young woman, who, according to law enforcement was a prostitute, may be sentenced to life in prison along with the added chemical castration the prosecution is seeking.  The state attorney’s office has given Bowman the flexiblity of voluntarily submitting to a physical castration as opposed to the chemical castration.  The State of Florida does not blind the convicted voyeur, does not cut the hand off of the convicted thief, does not cut off the feet of those who flee from police; however, in certain sex crimes, the body parts of the convicted male are subject to chemical destruction or physical removal.  There is no mention of any such punishment for female sex offenders.  For anyone with a background in ranching or raising horses what happens here is essentially “gelding a stallion.”  The gelding is a stallion who has lost the privilege (think testicles) of being a stallion.  Think Sharia law.

Florida Statute 794.0235

Under the above statute a Judge may sentence the convicted sexual batterer to chemical castration.  For a defendant with a prior sexual battery conviction, upon conviction for a subsequent or new sexual battery, the court “shall sentence the defendant to be treated with medroxprogesterone acetate (MPA).”  This “treatment” is to be administered by the capable hands of the Florida Department of Corrections.  Amazingly, under Florida Statute 794.0235(5)(b), should a defendant,  court ordered to be “treated” with castration, who refuses such “treatment” would be guilty of a new second degree felony and could face up to fifteen more years in prison.  The prosecutor here is seeking life in prison.  A “lifer” facing 15 more years verses facing castration may make a decision where suddenly the prosecutor has no real leverage.  The marginal cost of the 15 years is not a deterrent to a defendant who knows he will not serve the time verses what he gets to keep.

Medroxyprogesterone Acetate

According to Wikipedia, this drug was developed in 1956.  It is used to treat women for menopausal symptoms, contraception, cancer prevention, treatment of endometriosis, dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea.  Also,according to Wikipedia,  “In males, MPA has been used to control inappropriate sexual behavior to chemically castrate convicted sex offenders.” That is the only mention of the drug’s use with men.   Since the statute mentions no female health concerns a court would have to address, it appears the Florida Legislature has enacted a law, although gender nuetral as read, applies to “men only” and possibly invites equal protection constitutional challenges.

If you or a family member is facing a potential charge for a Florida Sex Crime you should seek the counsel of an attorney who is experienced in such matters. Under Florida Law many sex offenders are punished just as severely as murderers.  Our firm has defended almost any type of sex case imaginable.  In many cases, it is one person’s word against another.  If you think you may have a pending problem, call The Forbess Law  firm in North Florida at 904-634-0900 and speak to an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes attorney.

Additional Sources

Rapist sentenced to life in prison, News4Jax.com, march 4, 2014




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