News4Jax.com is reporting that a former Chippendales dancer was arrested on Jacksonville Beach recently after allegedly fondling several girls.
Aside from murder, sex crimes in Jacksonville are the most serious a person can face. In Florida, the penalties typically run from five years in prison to life in prison.
Jacksonville sex crimes attorneys have defended alleged rapists as well as teens accused of statutory rape and people who are charged with possessing child pornography. The variation in these cases makes this area of law complex and one that shouldn't be left to the average lawyer.
In this case, a 39-year-old former Chippendales dancer who lives on Jacksonville Beach was arrested after two teen girls said he grabbed them while they were at the beach recently. He now faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation and battery on a juvenile.
The girls said they began talking with the man while sunbathing near the Jacksonville Beach pier. He later allegedly followed them into the water and told them he would teach them how to surf.
Police say that he allegedly grabbed them around their waists and touched them against their will. Authorities say it began as touching and progressed to grabbing and forceful actions.
The girls allegedly told police that they could tell he was aroused when he was touching them and once they broke free they called police. The defendant allegedly also text messaged pictures of his genitalia to the girls, though they immediately deleted the photos.
Teenagers often lack the ability to determine consequences and reason, which can cause them to make up false allegations for which they don't realize the severe penalties that can befall a person. If the defendant didn't give a statement to police and they can't confirm the touching took place if it was under water, it may be a tough case to prove.
Plus, there is no proof the man sent inappropriate text messages since they were allegedly deleted, which gives the girls less credibility. But if there is a history of a text message exchange, that means the girls gave him their phone number, which shows they were at least entertaining the idea of talking with this defendant.
It may end up being unclear exactly what happened and if anything illegal did occur. But on the face of it, it looks like a man --regardless of his former job title or history -- was arrested for talking with some teenagers on the beach.
Should a 39-year-old man be talking with 15-year-old girls on a beach? It's probably not the best decision, but it certainly isn't illegal. In cases of this nature, with such steep penalties on the line, police and prosecutors must be diligent to discover the facts and not just the assumptions.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.
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