West Palm Beach Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting 14-Year-Old Girl
A 34-year-old West Palm Beach man was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual battery last month, nearly nine months after he was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl left in his care.
Why such a long delay? A spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office claims that long-awaited forensic evidence finally came through, backing up the child’s story of sexual assault.
Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies allege that on Sept. 17, the accused brought pizza for him and he girl to a Royal Palm Beach home, then bribed the girl to drink so much wine that she threw up and passed out.
The man apparently offered to pay the girl $10 for each glass of chardonnay she could drink, according to a statement the girl gave to deputies the day of the attack. Police then allege that once the girl became ill, the man carried her to her bedroom and sexually assaulted her.
The girl apparently woke up when she felt a cold towel on her stomach, but she pretended to be asleep.
The 14-year-old girl was taken to Butterfly House, a sexual-assault response center in Wellington. Police searched the home where the alleged attack occurred and found a $20 bill on the floor next to the girl’s mattress, along with the shirt and other clothes she had been wearing.
Once the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office forensic report was finally completed, nine months after the alleged attack, the man was arrested. Police claim the forensic evidence backs up the teen girl’s story. Police say the girl’s shirt had sperm cells on it, and DNA testing allegedly shows the accused is the source of the sperm.
The man is being held without bond at the Palm Beach County Jail.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says the delay between the girl’s interview and the accused’s arrest only occurred to build a strong case against the man. Once an arrest is made, police have 20 days to put together a case and present evidence to the state attorney’s office. So, if there is not enough evidence available within that time frame, all charges can be dropped.
Being accused of a sex crime in Palm Beach County is a serious matter. Not only does the state of Florida have some of the strictest penalties for those convicted of sex crimes, but you will be labeled a registered sex offender possibly for the rest of your life. This means that anyone can access your name, picture and other information from the state’s web site. Even after you have served your prison sentence and fulfilled any other requirements, you will still be left to face the burden of being a convicted sex offender.
If you have been accused of sexual assault, you must act fast and make sure you do not speak to any law enforcement without the presence of a Florida Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton. Don’t risk your future, contact us today online or call 866-608-5529 for an immediate free consultation regarding the allegations against you.