A former charter school athletic director has been charged with seven additional sex crimes allegedly discovered by local law enforcement authorities. The defendant was previously charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a twelve year old female victim. During the pendency of the case, a 17 year old female reported that she and the defendant had a unlawful sexual relationship. The defendant now faces 7 more counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. The defendant was arrested in Polk County on the new charges and was extradited to Miami-Dade County. The defendant is currently in custody and being held without bail on the second case. The arraignment on the new case is scheduled for January 5 where the defendant and his Miami criminal lawyer will appear in court.
In the case involving the 12 year old, the defendant is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between the ages of 12 and 16. According to police reports, the defendant used his position as athletic director to coerce the girl to engage in unlawful sexual conduct. The crime of lewd and lascivious battery requires the state to prove that the defendant committed a sexual act with a victim, more specifically, that the defendant's sexual organ penetrated or had union with the sexual organs or the mouth of the victim. Neither the victim's past sexual history or the victim's purported consent is a defense to the sexual offense. Furthermore, the defendant's lack of knowledge of the victim's age, even if misrepresented by the victim, is also not a defense to the crime. The offense itself is a second degree felony punishable up to fifteen years in prison.
In the case involving the 17 year old, the defendant is charged with 7 counts of sexual activity with a minor. To prove the case, the state must show that the victim was 16 or 17 years old; the defendant was 24 years of age or older, and the defendant has sexual activity with the victim as defined above. The charge itself is also a second degree felony punishable up to fifteen years in prison. The defendant's knowledge of victim's age and the victim's prior sexual history are not defenses to the charge. The defendant is currently being held without bond on these charges. The offense itself allows for a bond to be posted. As long as the alleged criminal acts were not committed after the bond was set in the first case, the defendant should be entitled to a bond. If the state or corrections is improperly holding a defendant, an experienced criminal lawyer will demand a bond hearing before the presiding judge.
Although the defendant along with every other defendant charged with a criminal sexual offense is facing serious terms of incarceration, cases involving sex crimes can be effectively defended. As in all cases, the strength of a case will be based on the amount and quality of evidence gathered by law enforcement. Anyone being investigated or arrested for a sexual offense should seek the advice of a qualified lawyer experienced in defending these types of cases. The most damning evidence against a defendant is certainly a inculpatory post-Miranda statement. Anyone involved in a criminal investigation must remember that suspects have the right to remain to remain. The constitutional right should always be invoked at the earliest possible time. A taped or written confession seals a case for the state and allows for the state not to rely so heavily on victim's/witness's credibility. Be aware of your rights.
School Athletic Director in West Kendall is Charged with More Sex Crimes, Miami Herald.com, January 30, 2012.