Defending a Sexual Battery Case
Florida news outlets are reporting about a group of men who allegedly participated in the drugging and sexual assault of a teenage girl over the period of one week. The men, ranging in ages from 18 to 42, are facing a variety of serious charges. As in many sexually-related crimes, their names have been splashed across newspapers and news stories. The public takes a harsh view in these situations, even before the justice system makes a determination of guilt or innocence. The assistance of an experienced lawyer is vital to fighting the negative implications of these types of criminal charges.
The Miami Herald is reporting that a 16-year-old girl left her high school and entered a waiting vehicle. Officials assert that she was taken to various locations throughout the county, where she was allegedly administered drugs and forced to have sexual relations with numerous men. As stated in the report, she was given cocaine and marijuana, along with ecstasy pills. According to the police report, the teen was told that she had to make more than $1,000 by having sex with men for money. While under the influence of the drugs, she was allegedly forced to perform sexual acts with up to eight men at the same time.
The suspects, including a father and son, are facing charges of sexual battery and supplying controlled substances to a minor. Two of the men are also accused of planning the abduction. Though several of the men asserted their innocence during initial hearings, the state lawyer reportedly made a statement to assert her personal feelings about the case, calling it “nauseating…horrifying and unspeakable.”
The Law In Florida
Florida’s sexual battery laws are broad and encompass several types of sexual activities to include rape, sexual assault and sodomy. When prosecuting these cases, the state must prove a number of elements, including:
- Oral, vaginal or anal penetration with an animate or inanimate object; or
- Union of the defendant’s sexual organ with the victim’s mouth, vagina or anus
- For victims over the age of twelve, absence of voluntary consent; or
- Withdrawal of previous consent.
When establishing penalties for sexual battery convictions, the legislature considered the ages of the victim and the perpetrator.
- If the victim is under 12 years old and the perpetrator is over 18, it is a capital felony with a possible death sentence of life imprisonment.
- If the victim is over the age of 12 years old, the charge is at least a second degree felony, with up to 15 years of imprisonment.
- The charge may rise to a first degree felony with proof of threat or physical incapacity (which may include the influence of drugs or alcohol)
The successful defense of a sexual battery case revolves around the act and consent. A capable defense lawyer can raise reasonable doubt that the sexual act occurred. He or she may also successfully assert that the victim voluntarily consented to the sexual activity. These defenses can prove challenging, so individuals faced with these charges should act quickly to secure legal representation.
If you or a loved one is facing sexual battery charges within the state of Florida, Miami lawyers Mycki Ratzan and Jude Faccidomo can provide you with an aggressive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.