A 45-year-old former Hernando County, Florida detention officer was acquitted of rape in Pasco County, Florida on Wednesday.
The man was arrested in 2009 on a sexual battery charge involving a 39-year-old woman. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the woman told police the man invited her to his home and sexually assaulted her.
The man’s trial began Monday in Pasco County. The jury deliberated for four hours before coming back with the not guilty verdict.
The man was also accused of having sex with a minor in 2009. He was charged with two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, but according to court records the charges were eventually dropped.
The man was working at the Hernando County Jail at the time of his arrest. He worked as a corrections officer for 13 years in Hernando, Sumter and Pasco county jails.
If convicted, the man faced a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. While the man does have his freedom, rape accusations do carry negative connotations and can severely tarnish a reputation. Due to heavy and biased media coverage, those accused of rape can suffer severe damage to their personal life, finances and career even if they are later acquitted of charges.
When someone makes a rape accusation, law enforcement officers will investigate the concern which can result in the arrest of the person accused of rape. Whether the person accused will be arrested depends on circumstances unique to a particular case. It is important to consult with an experienced sex crimes defense attorney if you were arrested because of a rape accusation. A sex crimes criminal defense lawyer can thoroughly investigate every detail of the case, something police do not always do, and review if there was probable cause for your arrest.
The majority of sexual battery, sexual assault or rape cases occur in private. After police learn of a rape allegation they do not expect an accuser to produce eyewitnesses or physical evidence. Instead, police rely on investigation strategies to tempt the accused into making incriminating statements. If police are asking you to answer questions or are investigating a rape accusation that involves you, it can be expected that an arrest will follow. It is crucial to consult with the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton during this time. Our attorneys can help you survive these investigations, which could possibly result in avoiding arrest entirely.
If you or a loved one has been arrested because of a rape accusation throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call our Pasco County Office in Tampa at (813) 221-3200 or reach us statewide and toll-free at 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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