After weeks of suspicion, Jacksonville police arrested a 24-year-old man they say is the serial flasher that had been exposing himself to girls and women across town, First Coast News reports.
Composites sketches had been plastered all over the news as the incidents escalated and the suspect confessed to police, the television station reported. He is accused of driving up to girls or women in his black Volkswagen, talking to them and exposing himself while masturbating.
So far, he's charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition in Jacksonville and one count of exposure of sexual organs - but count on that number going up. Police said they know of at least six cases and top brass said at a news conference last week they wouldn't be at all surprised if more victims come forward.
Sex crimes in Jacksonville, Clay County and Nassau County are extremely serious and, once a person is accused, the court of public opinion has already made up its collective mind: guilty as charged, lock he or she up and throw away the key. Period.
Not so fast.
Our justice system provides everyone charges with a crime - yes, even sex crimes - with a right to be represented by a criminal defense attorney and, if necessary, to take the case to trial. Sex crimes in Florida in particular can be a life sentence - with a conviction placing someone behind virtual bars forever. Sex crimes are the only crimes that, if you are convicted, allow the state to broadcast your history every time you move to a new neighborhood, alerting everyone in a certain geographic radius.
Florida's laws required many people convicted of sex crimes to register as a sexual offender or predator. Those laws are complex and our Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers know the ins and outs - and how to manage the consequences and stigma that sex crimes accusations bring.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem & Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.
For more information on this Jacksonville sex crime, see: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/breaking/article/224196/17/Man-Arrested-Confesses-to-Being-Area-Flasher