Personal Trainer Accused of Sexual Battery on 11 Women
A Tampa Bay area fitness coach is accused of sexual battery and battery on three different women at two different gyms stemming from alleged incidents occurring over the past year. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said they are investigating eight other reports from females supposedly involving the exercise trainer and more calls from other women are evidently pouring in.
The 39-year-old personal trainer was charged with sexual battery on July 1; he posted bail and was released. According to police, a second woman made a claim against the man so they issued a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested Wednesday at a hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas by U.S. Marshals.
According to reports, the man allegedly met women online through Match.com pretending to be someone else and told them about a personal trainer who worked with his sister, which is how several women came to hire the man as their exercise coach. The man supposedly said he was an ex-University of Florida football player and is accused of going by other alias’ as well.
The alleged victims of supposed groping and sexual battery range in age from their 20s to their 50s.
Since the man’s arrest has been publicized in Tampa by newspapers and TV stations, the sheriff’s office says it has seen a steady stream of new complaints.
Many sexual battery charges arise from he said, she said events, which can leave the accused in a bind. When a slew of accusations file in, it can be difficult to determine what is credible and what is not, especially when media frenzy drives in more complaints. An aggressive and knowledgeable Sexual Battery Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can attack these allegations and shed light on false incriminating statements.
The credibility of a victim’s testimony in a sexual battery case is one of the most critical factors surrounding the outcome of the case. More specifically, in any Florida sex crimes case and in particularly sexual battery cases, a Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer must question the supposed victim and determine the accuracy of his or her statements. However, the job of the defense must be treaded carefully because there are some boundaries that cannot bear weight on the jury’s decision. Even though it seems logical that the jury would need to know whether or not a victim has made false accusations about sexual battery in the past, it is a general rule in Florida that the defense cannot bring up a victim’s previous flawed behavior as evidence.
While the defense is limited in how it can combat a victim’s credibility, a sex crimes defense attorney can alert jurors that the victim has prior convictions for a crime that involved deceit. The defense can also spotlight any facts that could show a trend that the victim has a motive to be dishonest or biased against the accused. If the victim has made prior false accusations of sexual battery against the accused or has made multiple false accusations against others in the past, this evidence could be admissible to show the victim is biased towards the accused and has a motive for dishonesty.
If you have been wrongfully accused of sexual battery in the Tampa Bay area or anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call our Tampa office at 813-221-3200 or reach us toll-free at 866-608-5529.