June 15, 2011
St. Petersburg, Florida police arrested a registered sex offender after they allegedly saw him in the front lawn of a teen boy’s home that he was supposedly trying to solicit.
According to police, the 53-year-old man supposedly met a 13-year-old boy last weekend and exchanged phone numbers and e-mail addresses. The man allegedly sent text messages, photos and emails to the boy trying to get them to meet.
Police reports indicate that the boy’s father found the emails and messages and contacted the police Tuesday night.
An officer came to the boy’s home to talk with the father and supposedly witnessed a man in the front yard walking in the direction of another home. The father evidently showed the pictures and messages to the officer who believed the man in the photos to be the person he saw in the front yard before he interviewed the father.
The man was arrested shortly after midnight and charged with aggravated stalking of a child.
The man was convicted of a sex offense in Ohio in 1984.
It doesn’t take a Harvard law graduate to appreciate how damning evidence of pictures, emails and text messages can be in any sex case. Juries are especially affected by visual evidence and in cases like this, the defendant’s attorney will need to work especially hard on the admissibility of those photos, text messages and emails.
This case could be a bit sticky because of the man’s prior conviction of a sex crime. In Florida, as well as other states, a person charged with a sex crime has the right to defend themselves from charges brought against them through legal representation. With technology in the present time being quiet advanced through smart phones, lap tops and all kinds of other electronics, technological programs can provide the proof needed to determine the origin of evidence of the alleged messages sent by the man accused.
People can use technology negatively and gain access to a person’s electronic devices and accounts which can cause a lot of personal damage. Inappropriate uses of devices by others can lead to your arrest whether you were involved or not. It is extremely important in this day and age to remain in guardianship of your mobile phone and other electronic equipment. The world of technology is tricky and can be dangerous so always keep your passwords and usernames private. It is always a good idea to change your private information every few months.
If you have been arrested for a sex crime involving the use of the Internet or electronic equipment anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers online or call us at our Tampa/St. Petersburg office at 813-221-3200 or reach us toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).