St. Lucie County Police arrested two boys Wednesday, ages 17 and 18, after they were accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
The alleged victim told police that she and a 19-year-old friend, a woman, went to a Port St. Lucie home where the 17-year-old boy gave her alcohol and the 18-year-old sexually battered her.
According to the 19-year-old’s statement to police, the girl was on the bedroom floor kissing the 18-year-old and laughing when she asked her to leave the room. She came back to check on her and found the supposed victim having sex with the 17-year-old while the other boy was in the bathroom.
The girl apparently asked her friend to give her privacy and the 19-year-old exited the room. She told police that when she returned again, she witnessed the 18-year-old having sex with the victim.
The two boys supposedly met with police on Wednesday. The 18-year-old allegedly admitted to being at the home at the time of the supposed incident, but denied having sex with the 14-year-old girl. He accused the 17-year-old of having sex with the girl.
The 18-year-old was arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior on a minor age 12 and 16. The 17-year-old was arrested for lewd and lascivious battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
According to an official at the St. Lucie County jail, the 18-year-old was held Thursday in $10,000 bond.
This case is especially interesting due to the fact that someone witnessed the alleged scenarios associated with these boys’ arrests as well as how close in age they are to the victim. In most sex crimes cases, the outcome of the case boils down to “he said, she said” events, but in this case the witness can show another side of the story. The witness’s credibility will undoubtedly be tested, but her statements offer a new view on the alleged crimes.
While lewd and lascivious battery is a sexual offense, it is completely different from sexual battery. Both crimes do involve illegal sexual acts, but they are of quite different degrees and punishable by very different penalties. Sexual battery, depending on the circumstances, is usually a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years or life in prison while lewd and lascivious battery is a second degree felony with consequences being between 15 and 25 years in prison. Sexual battery is usually charged when sexual acts occur between an adult and a child under 12; Florida law does not view minors under the age of 12 as being able to consent to sexual relations. On the contrary, lewd and lascivious battery is charged when the age of the victim makes the sex act illegal, not because the act was forced. For these reasons it is imperative for a sex crimes defense attorney to carefully evaluate the facts and details associated with the case to see what charges can be filed.
Essentially, lewd and lascivious battery is charged when an adult has sex with a teenager between the ages of 12 and 16. Many times these charges are brought about when a victim and the defendant are very close in age, such as an 18-year-old boy engaging in sex with a 14 or 15-year-old girl. While the act isn’t necessarily legal, sometimes the court will be lenient on the defendant when there is a close proximity in age between the victim and the accused.
A lewd and lascivious battery charge should never be taken lightly. If convicted, the accused could face mandatory registration as a sex offender, despite whether the sex in question was consensual. It is of the utmost importance to contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys right away if you suspect you are under investigation or have been arrested for this crime.
If you have been arrested for lewd and lascivious battery in St. Lucie County or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call our Treasure Coast office in Orlando toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
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