Man Accused of Having Sexual Relationship with Teen
Whittel & Melton, LLC 352-264-7800 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
A 20-year-old Gainesville man accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl he met through his 16-year-old sister was arrested and charged with lewd or lascivious battery on a person under 16 on Friday night.
The man apparently told an officer that he had been released from prison in February and had been dating the girl up until a week and a half ago, when he broke up with her.
According to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report, the girl did not initially tell the man how old she was. The man allegedly told an officer he asked the girl for an ID and said the picture “sort of looked like the girl was wearing a wig.”
The man apparently told the officer he should have verified the girl’s age earlier since she was friends with his younger sister.
As of Sunday night, the man was in the Alachua County jail with bail set at $75,000.
Being accused of improper sexual acts with a minor can result in serious criminal charges. Often, these accusations result in a felony sex crime charge of lewd or lascivious battery. According to Florida law, lewd and lascivious battery can be charged when a person engages in sexual activity with a child between the ages of 12 and 15. Even if the child misrepresented his or her age, ignorance of that age or belief that the child was of age is not considered a valid defense to this sexual offense. Because of the serious nature of this offense, it is vital to discuss your particular case and charges with a Florida Sex Crimes Lawyer immediately.
The penalties associated with a lewd or lascivious battery charge may vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Generally, this crime is classified as a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Additionally, a person accused or convicted of this offense may face mandatory registration as a sex offender for life, which is perhaps the most devastating consequence attached to this crime. Registration as a sex offender can ruin your reputation and seriously limit future opportunities regarding education, housing, loans and employment.
When facing lewd or lascivious battery charges, it is important to exercise your right to legal counsel as soon as possible. In order to increase your chances at avoiding a conviction for this sex crime, you must contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton right away. With an aggressive Florida Sex Crimes Attorney on your side, you can be assured that you rights and interests will be protected from start to finish.
If you have been arrested for lewd or lascivious battery or face similar sex crimes charges in Gainesville or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call our Alachua County office at 352-264-7800. You can reach us statewide and toll-free by dialing 866-608-5529.