June 29, 2012
Whittel & Melton St. Petersburg 727-847-2299 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
A 23-year-old volunteer youth leader with the St. Petersburg Boys & Girls Club was arrested Tuesday for allegedly attempting to seduce a 14-year-old girl through sexually explicit text messages.
The St. Petersburg man faces two felony charges.
St. Petersburg police officers claim the man “groomed” the girl in order to develop a sexual relationship with her during the first week of camp at the club from June 11 to June 15.
Police allege he sent the girl several sexually explicit photos and texts. The girl apparently told a friend about the messages, who later relayed the information to staff member at the Boys & Girls Club.
The staff member passed the information along to club supervisors. The man was immediately dismissed and the girl’s mother was notified as well as police.
The man was a recent volunteer for the summer camp. He apparently passed an FBI background check the organization uses for all employees and volunteers.
Records indicate the only arrests in the man’s past were for traffic violations.
Sexting is a term defined as using a cell phone to send graphic sexual messages or nude or semi-nude photos to someone. While classified as a private matter when two adults consensually engage in this activity, when it involves a minor, it becomes a public matter that can result in felony sex crimes charges. It is considered a serious offense for an adult to attempt to seduce or send vulgar texts or photos to a child. Just like Internet sex crimes, the most common criminal charges linked with sexting in Florida include:
- Solicitation of a Minor
- Traveling to Meet a Minor
- Possession of Child Pornography
- Distribution of Child Pornography
- Transmission of Harmful Material to Minors
It is important to understand the severity of sexting or sexting-related sexual charges. You could be facing state or federal felony charges that will affect you for the rest of your life. Charges associated with sexting can result in severe consequences if you are convicted, including time behind bars and mandatory registration as a sexual offender. In order to avoid unnecessary punishments, it is imperative to contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton.
In sexting and Internet sex crimes, evidence is saved through stored messages and computer memory. Never consent to a search of your property without a valid warrant or without the guidance of your sex crimes defense lawyer. Any evidence obtained by police from an illegal search and seizure can be thrown out, leading to the possibility of your case being dismissed entirely.
If you are currently under investigation, or have been arrested or charged with a sexting-related offense in St. Petersburg or anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call our Pinellas County office at 727-847-2299. You can reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).