June 19, 2012
Whittel & Melton Orlando 1-866-608-5LAW (5529) – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
A 46-year-old teacher at a Winter Park Christian school, and an Episcopalian priest assisting a church in Winter Springs and the father of two children was arrested Friday after he allegedly went to meet what he believed was a minor for sex.
Deputies claim the man spent the last month talking to someone online he thought was a child.
According to a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the man apparently contacted an OCSO detective posing as a child on May 17 and began sending messages via e-mail for a month. Detectives allege he planned to meet the child for sex in Winter Springs.
He was arrested at 9:30 a.m. The school where the man works as well as the Department of Children and Families were notified of his arrest.
Under the state of Florida’s Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act, it is considered illegal for an adult to travel any distance to meet with a minor under the age of 18 for sexual purposes. Traveling to meet a minor is considered a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. Law enforcement and prosecutors alike take these charges quite seriously, and any individual believed to have traveled across state or county lines with the intentions of engaging in sexual activity with a child could be facing charges in multiple jurisdictions. Furthermore, any person convicted of this sexual offense will be forced to register as a sex offender which can permanently damage your reputation and affect where you live, where you can work and whether you can see your children.
If you have been arrested for an Internet sex crime, you will likely face many challenges regardless of your innocence. Sex crimes accusations can instantly coerce law enforcement, family members, co-workers and the media to label you as a sexual predator. Sex crimes charges require a strong defense that is both compelling and assertive. The Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to aggressively advocating for your rights and a favorable resolution.
If you have been questioned, arrested, or charged with traveling to meet a minor or any other Internet sex crime within the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).