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From October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida prosecuted more Project Safe Childhood cases than any other district in the country reaching a total of 114 prosecuted child sex cases.
Launched by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2006, Project Safe Childhood combines efforts by local, state and federal law enforcement. Since its launch, child sex exploitation and abuse indictments have supposedly increased by 40 percent. A total of 2, 315 cases were prosecuted nationwide in 2009.
One of the cases that allowed Central Florida to take the top spot involved a Daytona Beach, FL hotelier accused of sexually exploiting a minor. Authorities claim a 57-year-old man and a 20-year-old man lured a 13-year-old boy into the hotel and videotaped him engaging in sexual acts.
One man was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the other seven years followed by 15 years of home confinement.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida has remained a national leader in prosecuting Project Safe Childhood cases. According to a press release, Central Florida ranked first in the nation in 2009 and tied for second place in 2010 for its role in Project Safe Childhood prosecutions.
The efforts made by law enforcement on a local, state and federal level regarding child sex crimes has rapidly increased within the last few years. An influx of law enforcement agency initiatives like Project Safe Childhood have been aggressively put into effect as a means to track, capture and prosecute alleged child sexual predators. It is not uncommon to hear in the news every day of a person being charged with a child sex crime and being labeled a predator. Those accused of child sex crimes are often loathed and shunned by society even if the allegations are false. Due to the vigorous nature of prosecution for child crimes, those falsely accused of sex crimes could be subject to arrest and even prison time even if there is slight evidence to back the charges.
Some common offenses that Project Safe Childhood and similar programs aggressively investigate and prosecute include:
Despite whether prosecutors have enough evidence to prove guilt in child sex cases, charges can still be filed. It is important to understand that if you are under investigation for a child sex crime, it is not in your best interest to try and talk your way out of the situation. If you have been contacted by police for an interview regarding a child sex crime accusation, it is in your best interest to get in touch with the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton. Trying to defend the matter on your own can be detrimental and anything you say to the police can be used against you. We understand how the State attempts to severely prosecute these types of cases and can present your case in an effective and consistent manner.
If you have been accused or arrested for a sex crime involving a child anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or dial us toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
The staff here are extremely friendly and willing to help you! Would work with them anytime and recommend to everyone! Lisa Wahlig
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