February 2, 2012
Tampa Sex Crimes Lawyers Whittel & Melton :: Valrico Couple Accused of Multiple Sex Crimes Involving Young Girl
1-866-608-5LAW (5529) – Florida Sex Crime Attorneys
A Valrico couple was arrested Tuesday evening for allegedly possessing 22 images of a young girl involved in sexual conduct. The couple, a 45-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man, is accused of luring a girl under the age of 12 to perform sexual acts in their home.
Four images of the girl allegedly depict the child engaging in sexual activity. Three images apparently show the woman forcing the girl or enticing her to touch her in a lewd or lascivious manner. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, six images portray the couple posing with the girl holding or using an adult sex toy.
According to an arrest report, the alleged incidents took place in November.
The woman is accused of having sex with the girl in the photos. The man is accused of posing nude in four of the images.
The woman faces 22 counts of using a child in a sexual performance, three counts of lewd or lascivious molestation with a defendant under 18, six counts of attempted capital sexual battery, three counts of lewd molestation and two counts of child abuse. She remained in the Hillsborough County jail Wednesday night without bail.
The man was charged with 22 counts of possession of child pornography, four counts of using a child in a sexual performance and two counts of child abuse. He was being held Wednesday night with bail set at $199,000.
An alleged witness tipped deputies off about the couple’s alleged behavior by giving them a flash drive containing the images apparently found on their laptop computer.
Both the man and woman have previous arrests in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Records indicate the man has been convicted of grand theft twice and felony petty theft once. The woman was convicted of DUI with property damage or personal injury and was later arrested on a probation violation charge.
Any type of sexual allegation can negatively impact a person’s life, but being accused of a sex crime involving a child can be a nightmare. The penalties for sex offenses involving a child in the State of Florida are extremely harsh. In many cases, once a person is arrested for a sex crime involving a minor they may be denied bond. Often, early intervention by a Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorney can play a pivotal role in securing your freedom. After being accused of a child sex crime it is absolutely essential to consult with a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney; acting quickly could help you avoid a lengthy prison sentence and lifetime registration as a sexual offender.
Under Florida law, sexual performance by a minor is referred to as child pornography. Any material uncovered in your possession that displays a minor engaging in sexual conduct is a serious crime with extreme consequences. A first-time conviction for a sexual performance by a minor charge carries penalties of 15 years in prison and mandatory registration as a sexual offender, predator or both. It is important to understand that police have incredible resources that can support their investigations into any computer-related crime such as child pornography. For that reason, it is vital for a Florida Sex Crimes Attorney to employ those same methods. At Whittel & Melton, our attorneys use technological resources combined with forensic and computer experts to ensure that all evidence used by the prosecution is thoroughly examined in order to effectively construct any potential defenses against any type of child pornography charge.
In order to best protect yourself and your rights, you should never speak to an investigator, police or FBI agents before talking to a Florida Sex Crimes Lawyer. Even if you have nothing to hide, words can be taken out of context and used against you by police and prosecutors at trial.
If you are accused of child pornography, or are under investigation for a child sex crime of any kind anywhere in Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers 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).