A 24-year-old man living on Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida made his first court appearance on Thursday after being charged with three counts of lewd or lascivious exhibition where the victim was 16 or younger and one count of exposing sexual organs in public.
Police apparently tracked the man down based off a tip and two composite sketches.
According to police, there were six alleged flashings that started at the end of September and continued through Oct. 25.
The victims of the first five incidents were between the ages of 11 and 16. The sixth episode involved a 20-year-old woman.
According to News4Jax.com, the man supposedly lured the females to his car before exposing himself.
The man supposedly resides on the base in Mayport but is not in the Navy.
He is being held in the Duval County Jail with bail set at $85,012.
In certain crimes like indecent exposure, it can be difficult to prove a person guilty because there is often no traceable evidence, just evidence the police witnesses provide. Eyewitness identifications are usually not completely reliable, and when the accused is a stranger it can be difficult for a correct identification to be made. It will be interesting to see what strategy the prosecution implements to try and prove this man’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and how the defense chooses to combat those attempts.
The problem with relying on sketches is that eyewitnesses rarely remember a person’s features accurately and may have only seen certain features of the person’s face and body. A trained sketch artist can take a partial description given by an eyewitness and piece together a composite sketch showing what the accused may look like, but the odds of these drawing being accurate are low. According to laboratory tests conducted around the world, police composite sketches either created by a professional police sketch artist or engineered by a computerized system are only about 20 percent accurate, and that is only when a witness describes a face shortly after seeing it. When a witness waits anywhere from a few days to a week to describe facial features, the accuracy rate drops down into the single digits.
Many times the wrong person is arrested for a crime because they have certain features that resemble those similar attributes found from a police sketch. After police release a sketch of an alleged perpetrator, a tipster may call and identify someone they believe the sketch resembles and from there police may or may not make an arrest. It is important to contact a Jacksonville Sex Crimes Defense Attorney immediately if you have been arrested for any involvement in a sex crime. The Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help prepare an alibi for your case and identify weaknesses with witness testimony to show there is too much doubt surrounding the case to uphold a conviction. Sex crimes cases are usually pursued aggressively by the prosecution, so it is best to have an equally determined lawyer on your side to prove your innocence.
If you have been charged with a sex crime you did not commit anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or dial our Jacksonville consultation office statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
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