A Fort White, Florida man was arrested on Friday by the Columbia County Sherriff’s Office and charged with sexual battery on a child under the age of 12 years old.
Deputies said a relative allegedly walked in on the 34-year-old Fort White man performing a sex act on a child.
According to the Gainesville Sun, this same relative supposedly confronted the man and called local authorities.
By the time deputies arrived, the man had fled the scene. A K9 team from the Florida Department of Corrections tracked him down in a nearby wooded area.
Investigators are looking into whether he was involved with sex crimes involving other children.
The Fort White man was transported to Columbia County jail with bond set at $1 million.
Sexual battery is more commonly referred to as rape and in the state of Florida its definition is a nonconsensual sexual act such as intercourse. A sexual battery charge is quite severe and can land the accused with a felony and a mandatory term of incarceration in state prison up to life as well as registration as a sex offender.
Florida state law makes it a capital offense for any person over the age of 18 to sexually batter any person under the age of 12, which is what the man in this case is accused of. It is also a capital offense to injure the sexual organs of the victim during a sexual battery attempt. Consent does not factor into a defense for this type of crime because a person under the age of 12 is not perceived in the eyes of the court as able to agree to the terms of sexual activity. The only available sentence for this crime is life in prison without the likelihood of parole. Due to the seriousness of the crime, there is usually no bond available for the accused awaiting trial because sexual battery is viewed as a “dangerous crime.”
If you have been arrested for any sexual battery charge anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys or call 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
The staff was very attentive and answered all my questions regarding my criminal case. I was very pleased with the outcome and professionalism. Crystal Vasquez
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