June 27, 2012
Whittel & Melton Ocala 352-369-5334 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
A 66-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after being found guilty of child molestation in late April.
The man was accused of forcing a girl to engage in sexual acts with him in Anthony, Florida in 2008.
The girl’s uncle allegedly became suspicious of the man and contacted the Sheriff’s Office to investigate the matter. The girl apparently confirmed the suspicions during interviews with police.
The man was charged and eventually convicted of sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation of a child younger than 12.
He was sentenced to life in prison for the first charge and 30 years for the second.
Before his sentence was read out loud, the man apparently told the judge that he was not guilty of the charges and that they were based on hearsay.
Prosecutors claim the man was offered a plea deal of 30 years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty, but the man turned the offer down.
The man allegedly told the judge he plans to appeal his sentence.
Child molestation cases are extremely sensitive and require a strong defense as those accused of this sex offense have a lot at stake. While every person is entitled to a fair trial, often child molestation accusations carry a presumption of guilt from judges, jury members and prosecutors. The Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand that you are probably frightened and confused by the charges stacked against you. By building the strongest defense possible, we can set out to demonstrate your innocence in court.
Many child molestation cases involve false allegations. In fact, many innocent people are accused of child sex crimes due to false statements made by children, jealous family members or even scorned ex-lovers and spouses. Often the first step in defending child molestation charges is to challenge the credibility of the accuser. A thorough investigation often yields that the accuser has some motivation behind hurting or damaging the reputation of the accused. It may also be found that the accuser has a history of not telling the truth. Even if you are certain of your innocence, child molestation accusations can result in devastating consequences. A conviction can lead to a lifetime behind bars and mandatory registration as a sex offender.
Unfortunately these cases often revolve around one person’s word against another’s, usually an adult’s word against a child’s. Children can be easily influenced by adults and often do not fully comprehend the impact of their statements. Once child molestation accusations have been made against you, it is best to obtain legal counsel before attempting to explain your side of the story to law enforcement. The Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can make sure your rights are protected during this exceptionally difficult time.
If you have been accused, arrested or are under investigation for child molestation in Ocala or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call our Marion County office at 352-369-5334. You can reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).