Whittel & Melton, LLC 1-866-608-5LAW (5529) – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
A 25-year-old Daytona Beach man was arrested Saturday and is currently being held without bail in the Volusia County Branch Jail after being accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
He faces a charge of lewd and lascivious battery.
According to reports, the girl was confronted by her mother regarding the alleged relationship after the girl’s brother found a cellphone in her bedroom apparently containing sexual messages between the girl and the accused.
The girl apparently agreed to talk to authorities after test results determined she had contracted an STD.
She claims the man became friends with her family last year and that she worked as a baby sitter for him. She apparently told police the man initially paid her, but she stopped taking money from him because she considered him “part of the family.”
The man allegedly provided her with a cellphone after hers was taken away by her father for disciplinary reasons.
The girl claims she loves the man and texted and called him every day.
According to police, the phone contains text messages regarding sexual encounters between the two.
Lewd or lascivious battery is Florida’s term for statutory rape. Florida’s age of consent is 18, and while engaging in sexual activity with someone under this age is not always considered illegal, there are legal parameters set in place to limit who can have sex with minors younger than 18. With that said, it is considered illegal for an adult to engage in or encourage sexual activity with a person between the ages of 12 and 16. This crime is classified as a second-degree felony carrying consequences of as much as 15 years in prison.
Due to the fact that lewd and lascivious battery cases often involve sexual activities between teenagers and adults, it is not uncommon for these cases to yield electronic evidence. Text messages, e-mails, picture and video messages are often recovered as evidence in lewd and lascivious battery cases. Text messages are easily obtained by law enforcement – all they must do is obtain them from the alleged victim or issue a subpoena to the cellular provider. Even deleted messages can be recovered and fuel police to make an arrest, resulting in sexually motivated charges.
If you have been charged with a sex crime, despite the specific circumstances, the most important thing to remember is to not make any statements or decisions regarding your case until you have spoken with a criminal defense lawyer. An examination into the facts of your case may reveal options that you were not aware existed.
If you or someone you know has been charged with lewd and lascivious battery in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or reach us statewide and toll-free by dialing 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
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