St. Johns County Ex-Officer Sentenced to Life in Prison for Sexual Battery on Minor

A former Vero Beach police officer was sentenced to three life terms in prison Tuesday after being convicted of three counts of lewd and lascivious sexual battery on a minor.

The 55-year-old man was found guilty in December following a two-day trial in St. Johns County.

Deputies began investigating the man after a teen boy came forward claiming the man had sex with him in July 2007.

Prosecutors believe the man targeted teen boys and showed them pornographic films and provided them with alcohol. They claim he sexually battered a 14-year-old boy in three separate incidents.

According to detectives, the former Vero Beach police officer was arrested in 1988 after being accused of similar crimes from numerous victims, however, he was acquitted on those charges.

Prosecutors anticipate that the man’s defense lawyers will appeal the conviction and sentence.

Different from most other crimes, sex offenses carry a stigma that can easily destroy a person’s reputation, personal relationships and future employment opportunities. A person convicted of any type of sex crime stands to lose everything. In most cases, aside from serving a lengthy prison sentence, the person must also register as a sex offender, making their private information, like their name, photo and address readily available to the public.

If you have been convicted of a sex crime, it is important to understand that you have the right to appeal your case. In an appeal, a higher court will review various aspects of your case, specifically looking for any mistakes in procedure, improper sentencing or any violations of your rights. An appeal could lead to your case being dismissed entirely or result in your case being sent for re-trial. A Florida Sex Crimes Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you weigh your options and determine if a successful appeal is likely for your unique situation.

If you or someone you love has been convicted of a sex crime anywhere in the state of Florida and is interested in filing an appeal, contact a Florida Sex Crimes Lawyer at Whittel & Melton online or call us statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529. We understand what a sex crimes conviction can do to your future, which is why you can rest assured we will stop at nothing to obtain a successful outcome.

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