The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 20-year-old man early Saturday for lewd and lascivious battery on a child under the age of 16 after he was allegedly seen with a 13-year-old girl in his car.
Deputies said they received a phone call about a suspicious car parked in St. Petersburg shortly after 1:45 a.m. When deputies arrived to speak with the driver of the vehicle, they apparently found the 20-year-old man and the teen.
Deputies claim the man admitted to committing a lewd act with the teen in the car and another time in August.
Deputies allege he said he believed the teen was 15 or 16 and he told her he was 18 or 19.
The teen told police she met the man about five weeks ago and he told her that he was 16. She told police that she told the man she was 13.
Detectives claim that the man knew the teen was not 15 or 16. He was booked into the Pinellas County jail with bail set at $40,000.
Lewd and lascivious battery refers to sexual contact with a minor who is under the age of 16. Lewd or lascivious battery is illegal sexual activity regardless of whether the sex in question was consensual. Without effective legal counsel, you could be facing up to 15 years in prison and mandatory registration as a sexual offender for a conviction of lewd and lascivious battery.
Any sex crimes charge is taken very seriously in the state of Florida. However, sex crimes involving children are viewed much more harshly in the eyes of the law and you can rest assured that prosecutors will do everything in their power to obtain a conviction. There is so much at stake in these types of cases that you really have no choice but to retain a strong sex crimes defense lawyer who can help protect your rights and fight for a positive outcome. Our Florida Lewd and Lascivious Conduct Attorneys at Whittel & Melton know what it takes to fight these charges. As former prosecutors, we know first hand what strategies are used in these types of cases and can use this knowledge to mount the strongest possible defense for you.
We urge you to take these charges seriously and refrain from making any statements to police, regardless of your innocence. Despite what they may tell you, police are not on your side when it comes to sex crimes cases. They will side with the alleged victim and twist your words to help paint a picture of what they think happened. Our Florida Lewd and Lascivious Conduct Attorneys at Whittel & Melton know how to protect your rights and make sure your side of the story is heard.
If you are facing charges related to lewd or lascivious battery or a similar charge, you need to contact our Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton right away. Once you retain us as your legal counsel, we can get started on your case immediately. We can answer all of your questions and discuss the exact charges you are facing as well as the potential outcomes. We will also outline all of your legal options so that you can make an educated decision as to how you would like to proceed. Our goal is to fight aggressively for justice and achieve an outcome that you can live with.
Being arrested for a sex crime in no way means you are automatically guilty. We know the various defenses that can apply to these cases, including false allegations, which is why we will craft a personalized defense strategy unique to the charges you are facing. We know how stressful and scary a sex crimes arrest can be, and we will do everything we can to protect your future and your freedom.
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