August 17, 2012
Whittel & Melton 1-866-608-5LAW (5529) – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
A Belle Glade, Florida pastor, believed to have downed a handful of pills last week in court after a jury convicted him of molesting a 15-year-old boy and videotaping several teens having sex, actually swallowed breath mints, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office toxicology report.
The 64-year-old man apparently refused to tell deputies what he had swallowed; leading the courtroom to believe the man was attempting suicide. Police allege the man promised he would be dead by nightfall.
The man is still alive and in jail awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 5.
The man was arrested in 2009 after a videotape, apparently stolen from the man’s home, surfaced revealing teenagers engaged in sexual activity.
Authorities allege that the man persuaded a teenage football player into letting him perform sex acts on him in exchange for helping him become a football star.
The man was free on bond before jurors convicted him last week. He allegedly pulled the mints out of his pocket and tried to swallow them at the exact time the judge ordered him to remain in jail until his sentencing date.
The man was placed on high suicide watch at the Palm Beach County jail over the weekend. He faces an 80-year prison sentence.
Sex crimes are generally highly emotional subjects, and it is not uncommon for juries in these trials to side with the alleged victim. A sex crime conviction can be devastating to a person’s life. Convictions usually carry lengthy prison sentences and upon release, a person must register as a sex offender. Their name, picture and address will be made available to the public through the Internet, which can ultimately impact where they live and whether or not they can gain employment.
The penalties associated with a sex crime conviction are quite serious and can follow a person for the rest of his or her life. For this reason alone, it is imperative for those accused to seek the help of a sex crimes defense lawyer regardless of innocence. Prosecutors often seek the maximum sentences for these crimes even with slight evidence, and without representation, people stand little chance of avoiding a conviction.
Once a person has been convicted of a sex crime, the decision can be very difficult to reverse. This does not mean there is no hope of obtaining post-conviction relief. An appeal may very well be available to you, and the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can advise you on your options.
If you or someone you love has been unfairly accused or convicted of a sex crime in Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).