A grandmother was sentenced to 14 years on prison after pleading guilty to child neglect in Jacksonville, one of several family members charged after her granddaughter was molested by a known sex offender. Patricia Woloszynowski, 63, was the third person to be sentenced - and the third who was not directly involved in the molesting the pre-teen girl, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union.
Robert Young, 53, was found guilty of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor and will be sentenced next week. Woloszynowski owns a home on Jacksonville's Westside and was living there with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, the newspaper reported. The family then allowed Young, convicted on sexual battery on a child in 1991, to live in the home and sleep in the same bed as the granddaughter. The girl's father has already received six life sentences and her mother was sentenced to 30 years. Prosecutors said the family ignored the abuse because they were unemployed and Young was paying their bills and driving them around in his car, the newspaper reported.
This Duval County Child Neglect case is an example of how a person does not have to commit the actual crime in question to be found guilty of another crime. Family members were charged with various counts of Jacksonville sexual battery, molestation and child neglect and child abuse for ignoring the molestation and allowing it to happen. They were responsible for the well-being of the child and failed in that responsibility, according to the state.
In some ways, the law is similar to the felony murder law in the state of Florida. Florida law allows for someone to be charged with murder if they are committing a felony when someone is killed. For example, if someone robs a gas station and the clerk dies of a heart attack, the armed robber could then be charged with murder. The same is true in the case where the family members turned a blind eye to Young's molestation. Woloszynowski was originally charged with five counts of Duval County sexual battery on a defendant younger than 12 and one count each of lewd or lascivious molestation and child neglect, but worked a deal to plead only to the child neglect charge. The judge reluctantly allowed the plea because of her age and the fact she did not have a criminal record, the newspaper reported.
And the case shows that what some people may see only as an immoral act can also be interpreted as an illegal act by the criminal justice system. And penalties can be severe, regardless if you are the person who committed the actual crime. If you suspect police want to talk to you about an indirect role you may have in any crime, you should contact a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney immediately.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Duval County or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a Free Consultation. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.