Cape Coral, Florida police arrested a 43-year-old sex offender living in a walk-in closet at the home of a girl under the age of 16 who he allegedly victimized. The family said they were helping the man get back on his feet after serving 10 years in prison for a sexual battery conviction in 2000.
He moved into the closet in November after his release.
According to police reports, the girl became suspicious the man was watching her get dressed and undressed, and on four separate occasions she allegedly awoke to the man standing next to her bed and watching her. He allegedly climbed into her bed and put his arm around the girl. Reports also show that the man evidently stood next to the girl’s bed and rubbed and touched himself until the girl woke up and saw him.
Neighbors claim they had no idea the man was a sex offender.
He was charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition and is being held at the Lee County Jail.
The charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition includes intentionally masturbating, intentionally exposing genitalia in a grotesque fashion or intentionally committing any other sexual act or simulation in the presence of a minor that falls short of actual physical contact. Like any sex crime charge, innocent circumstances can bring forth a prosecution for lewd and lascivious exhibition so it is important to understand illegal defenses to the charge. Consent from the victim cannot be a defense for lewd and lascivious exhibition. Likewise, being unaware of the victim’s age or the victim lying about his or her age cannot be used as a defense when under prosecution for this crime. On a side note, while these defenses are banned from being used at trial, they can have a positive bearing on the outcome of a case.
If you have been arrested for any type of sex crime in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers online or call 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
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