University of Florida Student Accused of Having Sexual Relationship with a Juvenile
Whittel & Melton, LLC 352-264-7800 – Florida Sex Crime Attorneys
A 22-year-old UF student is accused of traveling to Lakeland, Florida several times last year to engage in a five-month sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl he met online.
The mother of the teen girl apparently contacted deputies on Dec. 20 after she overheard her daughter on the phone with an older man talking about sex.
The girl claims she met the man online and that he visited her one to two times a month between June and November.
Deputies allegedly found sexually explicit conversations between the girl and the man on her computer.
Deputies searched the man’s home and during questioning, he allegedly shared he believed the girl he visited was 16.
Polk County deputies claim this is not the first relationship this man has had with an underage girl.
According to an arrest report, the man is on probation from a 2010 arrest in Polk County where he was accused of driving from Lakeland to Brandon to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex. However, he never actually had sex with the minor and later pleaded guilty to a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The man allegedly admitted to authorities that he knew his probation prohibited him from contacting minors.
In both cases, the man apparently told the girls he was younger than he actually was.
The man, who studies engineering at UF, was charged with lewd and lascivious battery.
He was transported to the Polk County Jail without bail.
Any type of sex crime allegation that involves lewd acts with a juvenile can carry significant consequences. In addition to the heavy fines and potential prison sentences involved, you will have to register as a sexual offender if convicted. Sexually motivated crimes can have a devastating impact on all aspects of your life and follow you into your future, so it is important to consult with proper legal counsel before attempting to handle the situation on your own.
The consequences of a lewd and lascivious battery conviction may vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Generally, committing this crime is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Perhaps the most shattering sentence attached to this crime is the mandatory registration as a sex offender for life, which can limit future opportunities in education, personal finance, employment and housing.
The Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you fight a lewd and lascivious battery charge by providing you with the aggressive legal representation needed to avoid a sex crime conviction. It is essential to recognize that you are entitled to legal counsel in criminal sex crimes cases, so you must exercise your rights in order to fight a felony conviction.
If you have been accused of lewd and lascivious battery anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call our Gainesville office at 352-264-7800 or dial us statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529.