The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 36-year-old priest after he supposedly grabbed an undercover officer inappropriately, exposed himself and told the cop he wanted to perform a sex act on him at Venice beach, Florida. He was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with exposing his sexual organs and battery.
A Diocese spokesman said the priest is on administrative leave until the charges are settled.
It is unknown if the priest has retained an attorney at this time.
Deputies said they were conducting the undercover operation on the beach because they had previous complaints about lewd activity. No doubt the occupation of the defendant in this matter will be pre-trial evidentiary issue for the court. It would seem plausible that potential jurors may have pre existing opinions about the sexual behavior of Catholic priests which could impose a problem for them to view this case impartially.
In any case that involves the exposure of sexual organs, to obtain a conviction prosecutors must prove that the accused exposed his or her sexual organs in a public place or on the private premises of another party where he or she could be seen by others and that the exposure was meant to be vulgar, indecent or lewd in manner and was intended for those purposes. The maximum penalty for exposing sexual organs is one year in jail. This crime is a misdemeanor and if convicted you are not required to register as a sexual offender, unlike most sex crimes convictions.
It is possible to lower the offense or have the charges dropped if it can be proved that the person’s intent was not vulgar, indecent or lewd and lascivious in manner. In relation to this, proving mere nudity alone is not sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction for indecent exposure. As with any sex crime charge it is important to not delay in retaining counsel. Many times sex crimes cases end on a more positive note when a lawyer is hired early on to protect your best interests and legal rights from start to finish.
If you have been charged with a sex crime as the result of an undercover investigation, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers online or call us toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
I have been to this office three different times and have not one complaint! Always prompt and on point. I wouldn't pick any other office! Rosemary Sanchez
Send us an email using the form below.
Boca Raton Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
3700 Airport Rd., Suite 401
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Naples Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
2390 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 102
Naples, FL 34103
Tampa/St. Petersburg Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
200 Central Ave., Suite 400
Tampa, FL 33629
Spring Hill Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
11020 Northcliffe Blvd
Spring Hill, FL 34608
Gainesville Consultation Location:Whittel & Melton, LLC
2441 NW 43rd Street
Gainesville, FL 32606
Toll Free Florida Statewide:Whittel & Melton, LLC
The information on this Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys & Lawyers / Law Firm website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.