Ex-Deputy Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen in Mall Restroom Heads to Trial in January
Whittel & Melton, LLC 866-608-5529 – Florida Sex Crime Attorneys
The trial for a former Collier County sheriff’s deputy charged with lewd and lascivious battery of a person between 12 and 16 has been set for Jan. 9.
The 52-year-old ex-deputy is accused of forcing a 15-year-old boy to engage in sex acts in a Coastland Center Mall bathroom in Naples, FL.
The 12-year veteran was allegedly fired from his position after his April 2010 arrest.
According to police reports, a Subway manager supposedly spotted the man in the restroom located in the mall’s food court twice staring at boys and men using the urinals. The manager allegedly notified the janitor who claims he witnessed the man peering into boy’s bathroom stalls. A security officer was finally notified of the man’s alleged loitering.
The man was tracked down by a Naples police officer and the mall’s director of security.
The boy supposedly told police the man molested him, forced him to fondle him in the bathroom, forcibly performed a sex act on him in the restroom and threatened him.
Police claim that mall security cameras show the man following the boy into the restroom several times as well as loitering in the food court near the restroom.
The man is currently free on $35,000 bond and also faces charges of official misconduct involving falsifying public records.
Lewd and lascivious battery, also referred to as statutory rape in Florida, entails sexual activity involving a child over the age of 12, but younger than 16. This criminal offense is classified as a second-degree felony carrying consequences of up to 15 years in prison. A minimum prison sentence can be imposed under Florida’s sentencing guidelines even if the accused if a first-time offender. However, mitigating circumstances can persuade the court from enforcing the minimum prison sentence of 7 ½ years if evidence involving the following scenarios can be demonstrated:
- The alleged victim provoked, initiated or willingly participated in the sexual incident
- The accused suffers from a mental disorder and is open to treatment
- The accused is a youthful offender
While some defenses to lewd and lascivious battery may seem natural, certain arguments are actually prohibited from being used as defenses. Since this offense involves a minor, the State of Florida has confirmed that consent is unrelated to the charge. Ignorance of the supposed victim’s age will not shield the accused from a lewd and lascivious battery conviction. In fact, even if the accused is the same age as the supposed victim, he or she can still be convicted of lewd and lascivious battery.
A conviction stemming from sexual activity with a juvenile can carry heavy penalties and classify you as a sexual predator or sexual offender for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, most sexual allegations are based upon the testimony of one person’s side of the story. With that said, it is extremely crucial to scrutinize the accuser and determine any possible intentions that may exist for making a fabricated claim of lewd and lascivious battery. The Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to defending those wrongfully accused of sexually motivated crimes. We can assist you with your defense and stand ready to take your case to trial.
If you or someone you love has been accused of lewd and lascivious battery throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or dial us toll-free at 866-608-5529.