November 14, 2011
Juvenile Sex Crimes Lawyer :: Tampa Teen Accused of Lewd and Lascivious Battery after Wesley Chapel Girl Gets Pregnant
Whittel & Melton, LLC 813-221-3200 – Florida Sex Crime Attorneys
A 17-year-old boy was charged with lewd and lascivious battery after a doctor allegedly confirmed he impregnated a 14-year-old girl.
According to a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office report, the girl supposedly visited a physician who verified her pregnancy and notified authorities.
The boy allegedly told officers that he was sexually involved with the girl and was supposedly aware of his unborn child.
The boy was arrested at his home Thursday afternoon. He was taken to the Land O’Lakes Juvenile Assessment Center.
No parent wants to see their son or daughter charged with a sex crime at any age, but unfortunately it is not uncommon for a Florida State Attorney’s Office to prosecute children as sex offenders. Juveniles are not immune to being named as a registered sex offender in the state of Florida. If the sexual allegations warrant registration, then a child can be mandated by the State to register as sexual offender. However, in 2007 the state of Florida enacted what is called the Romeo and Juliet Law, which protects an older person from being placed on the sex offender list if sex with a minor was indeed consensual and the person is no more than four years older than the minor. It is important to note that this law does not make it legal to have sex with a minor, rather prevents the accused from being labeled as a sexual offender.
In many sex crimes cases, the consequences for a teen that is convicted are the same as for an adult. In Florida, a first time offender charged with lewd and lascivious battery could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. To prove the crime of lewd and lascivious battery, which alleges that sexual activity occurred, the prosecution must prove that the victim was older than 12 and younger than 16 at the time of the alleged incident and that sexual penetration occurred between the victim and the defendant. Consent is not an issue in a lewd and lascivious battery charge because it is a crime of illegal sexual activity, despite whether it was consensual or not. The sex act is considered illegal because of the victim’s age, not because there was force involved.
At Whittel & Melton, our attorneys work towards not only defeating the charges, but also obtaining alternative sentencing options for juveniles accused of sex offenses. These programs can include counseling programs, probation, jail tours and goof behavior programs. The best line of defense for your child is early interference, so contact the Florida Juvenile Sex Crimes Lawyers immediately to see what the possibilities are for having your child’s charges reduced or dropped.
If a child in your custody has been arrested for a sex crime anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Juvenile Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call our Tampa office at 813-221-3200 or reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).