A Freeport man will serve 25 years in prison after he pleaded no contest Thursday to one count of lewd or lascivious molestation on a victim less than 12 years old.
The Walton County judge immediately sentenced the 24-year-old man to the minimum mandatory prison term. The man must serve his full sentence, and he will not be eligible for early release.
After his prison sentence is completed, the man will be on sex offender probation for the rest of his life and must wear an electronic monitor, according to the State Attorney’s Office. He also is designated as a sexual predator and can have no contact with the victim or any minors.
The man was charged in December 2016 after a 5-year-old child disclosed to her mother that the man had taken her to his room and touched her inappropriately. The mother immediately called law enforcement.
The man apparently admitted to some of the allegations and DNA evidence collected at the scene matched his DNA.
Anytime someone is charged with a criminal offense, they will usually plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” A “guilty” plea is entered if they believe they committed the crime. A “not guilty” plea is entered if they believe they are innocent of the charges. In some cases, a person will plead “no contest,” which basically means you are not going to fight the charges against you, but you are not admitting guilt.
A “no contest” plea has the same legal consequences as a guilty plea. In certain cases, a plea of no contest can be more beneficial than a guilty plea, it all just depends on the facts of the case.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a sex crime in Florida and is considering a no contest plea, it is important to retain legal help right away so that you can weigh your options. These case can be complex, so it always best to have someone fighting on your side so that you can achieve the best possible result for your specific case.
The staff was very attentive and answered all my questions regarding my criminal case. I was very pleased with the outcome and professionalism. Crystal Vasquez
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