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Fort Myers Sex Crime Defense

In Fort Myers, Florida, offenses that involve sexual conduct fall under the broad term of “sex crimes,” which involves charges of child pornography, solicitation, sexual assault, and more.

Child Pornography in Fort Myers

Florida law prohibits a wide range of conduct in connection with child pornography, including possession, distribution, manufacturing, production, and transmission. In fact, it is not uncommon for defendants to face many of these charges for the same incident. For instance, a person may be charged with the production of child pornography and with inducing the sexual performance of a child. However, before a person can be convicted of any of these offenses, prosecutors must demonstrate that the images in the individual’s possession satisfy the definition of child pornography and that the defendant had the requisite intent to commit the offense.

Solicitation Crimes

Another commonly charged sex crime is the solicitation of a prostitute. Those who are accused of this offense can be convicted even if the person solicited was not actually a prostitute, but an undercover police officer. It is not uncommon for these situations to also involve charges of soliciting a minor, especially if the transaction took place over the internet, as law enforcement officers often conduct internet stings to apprehend those involved in computer sex crimes. Unfortunately, defendants who are charged with this offense cannot argue that they did not know that the other party was a minor. It is possible, however, to argue that no actual offer was made or that the defendant was entrapped by police officers.

Fort Myers Child Molestation Law

In Florida, a person can be convicted of child molestation under Fla. Stat. 800.04 if there is evidence that he or she committed a lewd or lascivious act on a minor. In fact, a person can be convicted of this offense even if he or she never actually touched the child but was in his or her presence when the act was committed. However, defendants can avoid conviction if they can prove that the act does not qualify as lewd or lascivious because it was not done to gratify sexual desire or incite lust.

Sexual Assault in Fort Myers

Unlike many other states, Florida does not have a statute that specifically addresses sexual assault. Instead, a person who is accused of sexually assaulting another person is charged under the state’s sexual battery law contained in Fla. Stat. 794.011, which prohibits non-consensual contact between someone’s sexual organ or another object and another person’s mouth, vagina, or anus. Like other crimes, defendants who are accused of this offense have the right to raise a defense, which could include arguing that the alleged victim voluntarily and knowingly consented to the sexual activity or that they were falsely accused. However, they are prohibited from raising defenses that involve references to the victim’s promiscuity.

Lewd and Lascivious Crimes

In Florida, lewd and lascivious conduct is understood to be any action that incites lust or sexual desire. Because this type of conduct is so broadly defined, a variety of different actions can be charged under the state’s lewd and lascivious statutes, including:
  • Lewd or lascivious exhibition, which involves intentionally masturbating, exposing the genitals, or committing a sexual act in the presence of a minor;
  • Lewd or lascivious conduct, which occurs when a person intentionally touches a minor in a lewd manner;
  • Lewd or lascivious battery, which involves engaging in sexual activity with a minor;
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation, which involves the intentional touching of the genitals, buttocks, or breast of a minor;
  • Lewd or lascivious behavior; and
  • Lascivious acts.
Like other offenses involving minors, defendants are not permitted to argue that an alleged victim consented to the activity, although they can provide evidence that their intent was not lascivious in nature.

Sexual Battery in Fort Myers

In Florida, sexual battery is defined as the oral, vaginal, or anal union with or penetration by someone else’s sexual organ or another object. Those who are wrongly accused can argue that the other party knowingly and voluntarily consented to the sexual activity. Furthermore, acts done for a bona fide medical purpose are not considered to be sexual battery.

Indecent Exposure / Exposure of Sexual Organs

Before a person can be convicted of indecent exposure, prosecutors must prove that the accused intentionally exposed him or herself in a public place or on private property in close proximity to others and that he or she did so with lewd intent. Proving that intent was lacking is often a person’s strongest defense, especially if no one witnessed the act.

Voyeurism Law in Fort Myers

Voyeurism involves secretly viewing another person without their knowledge in a public or private space where they had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Like other Florida sex crimes, a person can only be convicted of this offense if he or she had a lewd or lascivious intent at the time of the viewing.

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