July 23, 2012
Whittel & Melton (813) 221-3200 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
A Plant City high school English teacher in the International Baccalaureate program was arrested last Monday for allegedly having sex with a female student after school in a vacant classroom during the spring semester.
The girl was apparently involved in one of the after-school activities sponsored by the man.
The 32-year-old teacher faces a first-degree felony sexual battery charge and second-degree felony charges of traveling to meet a minor after using a computer and prohibited use of a computer service or device.
Police claim the pair had plans to meet again in July for sex. The man allegedly attempted to arrange a meeting for sex with the girl via text message.
He apparently arrived at the girl’s home and was confronted by her father, who notified police.
The man has been teaching since 2006.
The man has never had any prior allegations against him, according to a Hillsborough County School District spokeswoman.
Sexual battery offenses committed by family members or other adults in an authoritative role on minors are taken very seriously in Florida. Florida law regards sex with a minor as unlawful, and despite whether the juvenile consented to the sexual act in question, consent cannot be recognized as a defense. A person in custodial authority may be classified as a teacher, coach, babysitter, guidance counselor, clergy member and even a parent or relative. Virtually anyone can be charged with a sex crime, even those we least expect.
Under Florida law, there are many instances that can lead to someone being charged with the crime of sexual battery. The stigma attached to allegations of sexual battery can cause you to be shunned by friends, family, members of your community and colleagues. Unfortunately, these situations can escalate quickly. When facing a sex crime accusation, the best thing that you can do is enlist the help of a sex crimes defense lawyer who can address all of your concerns and do their best to protect your reputation and keep your good name out of the media.
Sex crimes are often prosecuted based on slight evidence and hearsay. In many cases, charges develop due to false accusations driven by anger, jealousy or revenge. Regardless of the facts specific to your case, the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton will work aggressively to have the charges against you reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed. As trial lawyers, we are prepared to fight for your innocence and professional reputation both inside and outside the courtroom.
If you are an educator facing sexual battery charges anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or reach us in Hillsborough County by dialing (813) 221-3200. You can reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).