Hillsborough Co. Man Accused of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Underage Teen
A 30-year-old man was arrested Thursday on his drive home from work after a 16-year-old teen accused the man of sexually assaulting her.
The man supposedly drove the teen to a job interview and after took her to his apartment and forced her to have sex with him. According to police reports, the girl told the man “no” and asked to leave his apartment, but was not permitted to.
After the girl supposedly left the apartment she told her guardian what happened, who then contacted police.
Tampa Bay Online is reporting that during an interview with police following the man’s arrest, police apparently learned the man committed sexual battery on the teen in March 2009.
The man is charged with two counts of sexual battery, two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and false imprisonment. He was taken to the Hillsborough County jail with no bond set.
A person who is 24 years of age or older that engages in sexual activity with a minor between the ages of 16 and 17 commits a felony of the second degree called unlawful sexual activity with a minor. This offense includes any unlawful sexual activity with a child under the age of 18 including molestation and statutory rape. The penalties for this offense in the state of Florida often depend on the age difference between the two individuals when the crime was committed and can reach as high as 15 years in prison for those with certain crimes on their records.
It is essential to be aware that unlawful sexual activity with a minor can be reported by anyone, not just the assumed victim. Many times, accusations are reported by the parents even if the so-called victim does not want to press charges or says the sex was consensual. Despite what the victim claims happened, prosecutors can regularly follow through with filing charges.
There are additional factors that can complicate statutory rape charges including family relationships and the fact that the supposed victim is underage. It is not unlikely in these situations that the accused was unaware that the girl was under the age of 18. In fact, many times the suspected victim’s age is misrepresented to the accused. Despite the circumstances of the case, charges can still be filed.
Defending statutory rape charges involves early intervention. If you are facing budding statutory rape charges, it is vital that you contact a sex crimes defense attorney that has specific experiences in defending sex offenses as well as thriving strategies for defending statutory rape charges.
If you are under investigation or have been arrested for unlawful sexual activity with a minor in Tampa, Pinellas or Hillsborough County or elsewhere in Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call our Tampa office at 813-221-3200 or reach us anytime toll-free at 866-608-5529.