Palm Bay Man Acquitted After Victim Recants Statement in Front of Jury
The Law Offices of Whittel & Melton understand the delicate character of sex crimes. One of the many challenges associated with sex crimes, such as rape, child molestation or sexual abuse is that no one usually witnesses the alleged crime so the matters are left up to he said, she said events in court. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to defend your side of the story.
A 51-year-old Palm Bay, Florida man, who was originally found guilty by a jury for lewd and lascivious molestation, was acquitted by a judge last week. Specifically, the circuit court judge reversed his ruling on a previously argued Motion for Judgment of Acquittal, after the victim, age 10, allegedly admitted she lied. She had recanted her statement in the presence of the jury during the trial.
A Judgment of Acquittal Notwithstanding the Verdict is an extremely rare ruling in Florida trial courts. Nevertheless, sex crimes cases, as described in the Florida Today, should never be based on a lie. Circuit Court Sr. Judge Johnston clearly could not allow what would have probably been a life-altering sentence for the defendant to occur.
The Assistant State Attorney has reported they will ask for a rehearing on the ruling. Because the court issued a written ruling, it is unlikely that the court will reverse itself.
The man could have been sentenced life in prison.
In a case like this, where the jury has found the accused guilty, it is rare for a judge to acquit afterwards. However, by hiring an experienced Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton, we will work to ensure all of your rights are evoked in the trial court.
An acquittal for a sex crimes charge basically means the case has been dropped. Ultimately, to acquit someone of a sex crime means a judge or jury has made a decision to free the accused. An acquittal can come about after a skilled criminal defense attorney has found a hole or error in the prosecution’s accusation. The State of Florida will always have the burden of proof and it is the job of the defense to hold the State to the utmost standard of the law.
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Brevard County or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers online or reach us toll-free at 866-608-5529.