Sex Crime or Misconstrued Intentions?
On September 17, 2013 two 17-year-old boys were charged with off-campus sex crimes against female students in California just outside of Los Angeles. All of the female victims were minors younger than the age of 17 and attend the same high school as the two boys. One boy appeared in Juvenile Court on Tuesday September 16, 2013 and faced sex-related charges with six female victims. Authorities would not disclose any information about his charges other than at least one charge is classified as a serious or violent felony. The other boy faced two counts of rape by force of fear, two counts of lewd acts on a child under age 14, three counts of false imprisonment, and one count of dissuading a witness, who was one of the alleged rape victims. The allegations against the clients are that each boy had consensual sex with another minor. http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/17/justice/california-high-school-football-sex-case/index.html?hpt=ju_c2.
The foregoing sex crimes are unfortunately commonplace in Florida; however, it is not always what you might think. In some cases, horrible crimes are committed with unwilling participants; but in other cases, the opposite is true and you have young men being accused of crimes based upon false allegations or a misinterpretation of a sexual situation. These cases are extremely difficult to prosecute or defend because of the ‘he said’ ‘she said’ mess. It is hard to tell which side is telling the truth and which side is misconstruing facts. There is an extreme difference between consensual sex between two individuals versus forcible rape or other sex crimes. It is important for those being charged with sex crimes and those who are victims of a sex crime to understand the difference between consent and confusion. Although the meaning of consent is obvious, some people are still uncertain about the definition. The definition can be found in the Florida Statute 800.04 (1) (b) ‘consent’ as (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0800/Sections/0800.04.html): intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent, and does not include submission by coercion. A sex crime charge could be as simple as a man and woman in the heat of the moment, and although the woman says ‘wait’ or ‘no’ continues to allow the sexual relations. This could create a serious miscommunication between the man and women that results in an arrest for a sex crime charge! Sometimes the lines between yes and no are not very obvious. If you have any questions about consent in the state of Florida, contact our sex crimes attorneys.