August 13, 2012
Whittel & Melton 727-847-2299 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
New Port Richey, Florida – The number of reported sex crimes in Pasco County this year has increased at an alarming rate compared to 2011, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Chris Nocco recently released crime statistics for the county comparing the first six months of 2012 with the same period in 2011. While most of the categories documented a decrease in crime, the number of forcible rapes apparently rose by 60 percent and the number of forcible fondling cases, which covers child molestation, nearly tripled.
From January through June of this year, there were 111 total sex crimes reported. In 2011, there were 136 sex crimes reported for the entire year.
So, why has the number of sex crimes in Pasco County spiked?
According to report, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has no explanation.
According to a sheriff’s spokesman, sex crimes can be hard to prevent due to the fact that most victims know their attacker.
Nocco said that the department offers self-defense classes to women and has reached out to local women’s groups to educate them about ways to stay safe.
Nocco has not added any more detectives to the sex crimes unit. He said that while the hardest part of most criminal cases is identifying the perpetrator, in the majority of the county’s sex crimes cases detectives know who the suspect is and do a wonderful job of making arrests and clearing cases.
While the number of sex crimes may be on the rise, overall, crime in Pasco County is down by 8.5 percent. Burglaries are down 10 percent and larcenies, the most common crimes, are down 11 percent.
The high number of sex crimes allegedly committed has also resulted in an increased number of registered sex offenders in Florida. While the number of offenders has risen across the United States, this overall increase across the nation of 23 percent compares little to the whopping 74 percent increase of registered sex offenders in Florida.
While some may view these arrests as a positive sign that detectives are taking a proactive stance against sex crimes and sex offenders, the increase in crimes is not a good thing. Florida had 33,280 registered sex offenders in 2006. This number soared to 57,896 in 2011. These numbers have resulted in Florida having the highest amount of sex offenders by population: 307 registered sex offenders per 100,000 residents.
Sex crimes are investigated aggressively by law enforcement throughout the state of Florida. In fact, officers will pursue these investigations through any means possible and the State will prosecute and punish these crimes quite vigorously. Anyone can be accused of a sex crime, and regardless of whether you are innocent, you will likely face negative stereotyping and a tarnished reputation among family members, friends, neighbors and peers. Regardless of where you live, how much money you make or what your profession is, if you are accused of committing a sex crime you may feel confused and completely hopeless. While in a court of law you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, in the court of public opinion, you may be labeled a sexual offender without any evidence stacked against you.
Sex crimes allegations have the ability to damage a person’s life before charges are even filed. If you are facing charges related to sexual misconduct, you need the help of a sex crimes defense lawyer that can give your case the specialized attention it needs. The Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand how these cases are built and can defend your rights. We can make sure you fully understand the charges you are up against and the options available to you. We represent those accused of sex crimes throughout Pasco County, including the cities of New Port Richey, Port Richey, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Land O’Lakes, Hudson, Holiday, Lutz, Trinity and Wesley Chapel.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime in Pasco County or elsewhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call our New Port Richey office at 727-847-2299 or reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).