Articles Posted in Sex Crimes in Jacksonville

A Jacksonville man who is a registered sex offender is on the run, possibly still handcuffed.  According to a report in the Florida Times Union, the man was at the Jacksonville Re-Entry Center trying to register as required by Florida law and the police discovered that he had failed to register sometime in the past.  Police arrested and handcuffed the man before letting him go to the restroom.  The man allegedly jumped out of the bathroom window and is still at large.  He was required to register because he had been convicted of Lewd or Lascivious Battery in Duval County. There are now two sex crime warrants outstanding for the man.

In Jacksonville and all over the State of Florida, convicted sex offenders and predators must submit all of their information to a registry.  Of all crimes, sex crimes are the only ones that will follow you visibly in the community for the rest of your life.  If you are adjudicated guilty or receive a withhold of adjudication on a sex crime, you must register in the county where you reside.  This requirement also applies to convictions by a military tribunal, including courts-martial by the Armed Forces of the United States.  Some examples of crimes that require registration are sexual battery, lewd or lascivious molestation or battery, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, sexual performance by a child, possession of computer child pornography, kidnapping a child under 13 and false imprisonment of a child under 13 years of age.

If you are required to register, within 48 hours of being released from custody or from moving into Florida, you have to:

  1. Give your date of birth, social security number, race, sex, height, weight, tattoos, fingerprints, palm prints, etc. to the registration site.
  2. Give you current address.  If you live in a trailer or mobile home, in addition to the address, you must give the vehicle identification number, tag number and color of the vehicle.
  3. If employed, in school or a volunteer, you must tell the registry every place you go pertaining to that work, school or volunteer site.
  4. Any changes to any of the above information must be reported within 48 hours.  Even if you are homeless, you must report where you sleep at night.

If you do not comply with any of these requirements, a Jacksonville warrant will be issued for your arrest under the charge of Failure to Register/Comply with Sex Offender Requirements.  This is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.  If you are even accused of a sex crime, it is of the utmost importance to consult with an Experienced Duval County Sex Crime Attorney immediately.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

While Bill Cosby has certainly been accused by many women of sex charges, only one case to date has been filed. Cosby faces prosecution in Pennsylvania for allegedly giving the woman drugs without her consent and having sexual relations with her. Los Angeles prosecutors have recently decided not to charge the television star in two accusations from two woman in the California city, according to an article in the LA Times.

In one of the cases in California, prosecutors decided there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute this alleged sex crime. In Jacksonville and all of Florida, this alleged crime would most likely be categorized as a Sexual Battery without force. To prove this, the state attorney would have to show that the suspect’s sexual organ penetrated or had union with the victim’s sexual organ. They would also have to prove the victim was physically helpless to resist or that the suspect administered a narcotic or other intoxicant to the victim unknowingly and without her consent that rendered her incapacitated. These Jacksonville sex charges are sometimes hard to prove because the victim admits that he or she was not of sound mind at the time and most likely cannot provide details. Often times, prosecutors will bring a sex case just based on the alleged victim’s word. Sometimes, there is no physical evidence to even prove that a crime was committed at all.  This is a scary prospect because the punishments are so severe if one is convicted of any sex crime in Florida. There are minimum mandatory sentences and a lifetime sentence of becoming a registered sex offender or predator.

The other California case was not brought because of the expiration of the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations is a bar on the prosecution of crimes because of too much time lapsing. In Florida, there are several categories with different time limitations. There is no time limit for the state to prosecute life felonies or capital felonies. These cases consist of murders and certain sex crimes, such as capital sexual battery. A first degree felony must be prosecuted within four years after the offense date. A second and third degree felony in Florida must be commenced within three years. First degree misdemeanors hold a two year time limit and second degree misdemeanors hold a one year time limit.

If accused or arrested for any sex crime in Jacksonville, it is of the utmost importance to consult with an Experienced Sex Crime Attorney that has not only handled sex cases, but has defended sex charges in trial.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Duval County Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A St. Johns County man was arrested when police say he arrived to meet someone he thought was an underage girl for sex.  Police said the man arranged the meeting online and detectives were waiting for him when he showed up, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man is charged with travelling to meet a minor for sexual activity and unlawful use of a two-way communication device. The travelling to meet a minor charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. The unlawful use of a communications device charge is a third-degree felony with a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Typically, these types of St. Johns County Sex Crimes cases are part of a larger sting by several law enforcement agencies where a couple of dozen men are arrested over several days. These stings were part of the national spotlight after the popular Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator series used hidden cameras to show the men walking up to the houses and being arrested. This St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case, however, is not part of a larger sting and it was not clear in media reports how police learned of the man’s intentions.  In these types of St. Johns County Sex Crimes Cases, the defendants are usually chatting online with an undercover officer, though they think it is a teen on the other end of the computer. Because of that fact, police and prosecutors generally have a word-for-word transcript of who the defendant said – which can typically be read in front to a jury of the St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case ends up in trial.

If a person is convicted of or pleads guilty to this St. Johns County Sex Crimes charge, he would have to register as a sex offender. That requires checking in with police at least twice a year, and notifying police within 48 hours of moving residences. Once a person moves, neighbors are then notified that a sex offender has moved into the neighborhood.  There are lasting consequences for people who plead guilty to or are convicted of a St. Johns County Sex Crime. Our St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney knows all of the ramifications and can explain them to you or your loved one in detail so you can make an informed decision on how to proceed with the case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A female St. Johns County high school teacher has been arrested, accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student in one of her classes.  The investigation began with a tip to school officials last month and the teacher was suspended, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Schools officials handed the investigation over to police, who issued a warrant for the 26-year-old woman’s arrest this month, the newspaper reported. Once the woman learned of the warrant, she turned herself into police and was released from jail on a $10,000 bond, the newspaper reported. The teacher is charged with having unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. The charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. The charge specifically applies to a person over the age of 24 having sexual contact with a person who is 16 or 17 years old.

In addition to the potential prison time, the woman would likely have to register as a sex offender in the State of Florida. That punishment extends well beyond any term behind bars though, traditionally, women charged in these types of St. Johns County Sex Crimes Cases receive a far reduced sentence than men charged with a similar crime. But, someone who pleads guilty to or is convicted of certain serious sex crimes will have to register as a sex offender and check in with police at least twice a year. And, every time a sex offender moves residences, he or she must notify police within 48 hours or face an additional felony charge with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. Once the person moves into an area, neighbors are notified there is now a sex offender living nearby. The notification includes the person’s name and address, along with the charge that the person pleaded guilty to or was convicted of.

St. Johns County Sex Crimes can have lifelong ramifications – more so than most other crimes. Pleading guilty to a sex crime can have long-lasting consequences, and our St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney can explain those consequences to you or your loved one so you can make an informed decision on how to proceed with you case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Days after a school system report named three male former employees accused of having sex with students, one of the men was arrested and charged with a felony.  The former part-time coach is accused with having a months-long sexual relationship with a high school senior and football manager who was 17 at the time the relationship began, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man had already resigned from the coaching position once he was interviewed by school district investigators and allegedly admitted the relationship, the newspaper reported. After the school allegations were made public, the alleged victim gave a sworn statement to prosecutors, which led to the arrest the next day.

The man is charged with unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. This Jacksonville Sex Crimes law is specifically for people 24 years of age or older that are accused of having sexual contact with someone who is 16 or 17 years old. As soon as the man turned himself in to be arrested, he resigned his job as a corrections officer, which he had held for almost five years, the newspaper reported. Police are still investigating allegations against two other former school employees – a former teacher and the former dean of students. Both resigned following the district investigation, the newspaper reported.

Duval County Sex Crimes often have lifelong consequences that defendants must answer for long after any prison sentence is completed. In many Jacksonville Sex Crimes, especially those involving minors, if someone pleads guilty or is convicted, he or she will be classified as a sexual offender. Registered sex offenders are required to check in with police at least twice a year – depending on the severity of the crime they pleaded guilty to or were convicted of. Also, any time a sex offender moves residences, he or she must notify police and then the person’s neighbors are notified with the new address and the charge that caused the person to become a sex offender. There are also restrictions on where some sexual offenders can live, including proximity to schools, parks and other areas children congregate.  Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney knows all of the requirements associated with being named a sexual offender and will thoroughly explain those to you or your loved one so you can determine how to proceed with the case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police and prosecutors statewide are cracking down on sexual offenders and predators who are not complying with registration requirements.  The targeted enforcement, dubbed by the cops as Operation Summer Heat, has already led to 42 arrests, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Of those arrests, five men live in Jacksonville and a sixth is from Clay County, the newspaper reported. All are charged with failure to register as a sex offender, a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison.

But that may not be all of the possible prison time these men are facing in these Jacksonville Sex Crimes. For example, the sexual offender registration may be part of the probation that has yet to be completed as the original sentence for their Clay County Sex Crime. And that is one more reason Jacksonville Sex Crimes stick with a person for as long as any crime, including murder. In a different scenario, a Jacksonville Drug Crimes Case for example, a person pleads guilty to a third-degree felony with a maximum of five years in prison, and is sentenced to two years in prison followed by a year of probation. If that person completes the prison sentence but then flunks a drug test and violates probation, the can be arrested on that violation. But the most they could be sentenced to is the original maximum minus what they have already served. So, in this example, three more years in prison.

But, in Clay County Sex Crimes Cases, failing to register as a sex offender is its own separate felony. So the person could get five years on this charge alone, and whatever is remaining on the original charge for violation the terms of probation. Once someone pleads guilty to or is convicted of a Jacksonville Sex Crime, he or she must register as a sex offender. That means checking in with police at least twice a year, depending on the severity of the crime the person was charged with, and notifying authorities any time the person moves. There are also restrictions on where certain sex offenders can live, in terms of proximity to schools, playgrounds and other places where children congregate.  Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney knows how severe the consequences can be and will explain them in detail to you or your loved one so you can make an informed decision on how to proceed with your case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A St. Johns County man was arrested this week, the same day a child under the age of 12 told police they were molested by the man.  Detectives interviewed the suspect the same day and then arrested him, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man is now charged with two counts of capital sexual battery on a person under the age of 12. Both counts have a mandatory sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. So, unless the state ends up reducing the charges as part of a plea agreement, the man can only face life in prison if he pleads guilty to or is convicted of either count in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case.

On this serious of a St. Johns County Sex Crimes charge, there is less discretion for the prosecutors compared with other crimes. For example, in cases with a minimum mandatory sentence, the minimum mandatory piece does not come into play until the state files it with the court. So, for example, the state can negotiate a 10-year prison sentence on a case that has a 20-year minimum mandatory sentence, as long as the plea is completed before the case goes to trial. Once a case with a minimum mandatory sentence goes to trial, the judge has no choice but to impose the sentence. So even if the judge would want to issue a three-year sentence, if the minimum mandatory is 20, then 20 years is the minimum.  But, in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case, the charge would have to be reduced to something such as attempted sexual battery for the sentence to be anything less than life. The charge would then be a first-degree felony, which has a maximum sentence of 30 years in state prison.

In this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case, though, it might not make too much of a difference. The defendant in this case is 55, so if he ended up pleading to a lesser charge and getting a 30-year sentence, he’d still be spending most of the rest of his life behind bars. The procedure is similar to St. Johns County Murder Cases. If a person is charged with first-degree murder, he or she can only be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty. That’s while you’ll see many defendants work on a plea to second-degree murder. They may still get a life sentence, but it is not required by law, and for many defendants it is worth the risk over taking the case to trial where the only options are life in prison and death.  Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney represents people charges with all types of crimes, and can explain to you or your loved one the details of which charges carry which sentences so you can make the best decision going forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A man from Jacksonville and another from St. Johns County were arrested last week, caught by undercover detectives who say they men were on their way to a sexual encounter with a child they believed to be under the age of 14.  But the person they were accused of chatting with online and arranging to meet was not a child, but instead law enforcement working on behalf of police to help arrest adults looking for sex with children, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. In all, 22 men were arrested in the sting, including the two with ties to Northeast Florida, the newspaper reported.

The men are charged with travelling to meet a minor to engage in a sex act; using a computer to seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child; and unlawful use of a two-way communications device. Traveling to meet a minor is the most serious of the three charges and is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. The other two charges are both third-degree felonies, punishable by up to five years in state prison.  So each of the men in these Florida Sex Crimes cases are looking at the potential of 25 years in state prison, if they plead guilty or are convicted and the judge chooses to sentence them to the maximum possible and run the sentences consecutively. That’s unlikely to happen, but the men are likely looking at prison time – especially given the recent local history on these types of stings.

These undercover operations are not uncommon, and there appears to be no shortage of men who end up getting charged in similar stings. They were initially made popular on national television with Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” series, when camera crews and detectives would set up in different cities and essentially reel would-be predators in. Police record all of the internet chats and discussions, so there is often a lengthy paper trail when the men appear in court – a paper trail that doesn’t sound good at all when read before a jury.  On top of any prison time, all of the defendants in these Florida Sex Crimes cases are also likely looking at having to register as a sex offender. That requires checking in with police at least twice a year and notifying police whenever the person changes residences. An when a sex offender moves, immediate neighbors are notified of his or her presence in the neighborhood – with the address and a description of the charge he or she was convicted of or pleaded guilty to.  Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney is well-versed in the consequences of defendants being classified as a sex offender and can explain the policies and procedures so you or your loved one can make an informed decision going forward with you case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police arrested and charged a man this month with a sexual battery that started more than 50 years ago.  An investigation began in December after a person called police to report the man, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man is charged with capital sexual battery, a life felony that carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The charges stem from when the defendant was 22 and the alleged victim was 6, according to the newspaper report. Police allege the abuse was ongoing from 1964 to 1971, and the person who reported the crime said the defendant is around young children and the caller feared it could happen again, the newspaper reported.

The relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim was not reported and the gender of the victim was redacted form the police report, the newspaper reported. In many Jacksonville Criminal Cases, there is what’s called a statute of limitations, meaning the state must file charges within a certain amount of time for the charges to be valid. However, in capital sexual battery cases like this one, there is no statute of limitations, so the charges can always be filed – even 50 years later, as was the case here.

In this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case, the detectives investigating the case did what’s called a controlled phone call between the alleged victim and defendant. In these calls, detectives are on the line monitoring the call and what is said, though the suspect does not know the call is being recorded by police. And while the newspaper story says the conversation was redacted from the police report, in all likelihood there is some form of confession on the tape from the defendant. The state would likely need a confession to even file charges in a 50-year-old case that almost certainly has no physical evidence at all. The phone call itself will be a key piece of evidence for the defense, and will almost certainly be the centerpiece of the state’s case – if it is allowed into evidence. There could be many issues with the recording the defense could argue, including entrapment.  In many Jacksonville Sex Crimes Cases involving a child, the state will agree to a plea deal to keep a child from having to take the stand as part of the case. Most of the cases involving children, though are not life felonies like this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case. Unless the state offers a plea to something that’s a reduced charge, it seems highly unlikely a 72-year-old man will plead guilty to a charge with a mandatory life sentence.  Despite the immediate rush to judgment on Jacksonville Sex Crimes Cases, everyone has the right to a trial before a jury of his or her peers. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney has represented hundreds of people charges with sex crimes and will review the case at hand and work with you on making an informed decision on how to proceed.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A man convicted of a sex crime in South Carolina pleaded guilty to failing to properly register when he moved to Florida. The man now faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in South Carolina in 1998. He moved to Jacksonville from Maryland and, when he did, used a false address when applying for a Florida identification card, the newspaper reported.

In Florida, it is a third-degree felony when a sex offender does not register with police as required by the terms of a person’s conviction. In cases that cross state lines, police and prosecutors may decide to prosecute the case in federal court, rather than in state court. In this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case, the decision was federal court. The punishment in federal court for this offense – a maximum of 10 years in prison – is double the five-year maximum sentence the suspect was facing for a third-degree felony. The charge was initially filed in state court, and then dropped when the federal case concluded. Once a person is convicted of a sex crime, there are very strict laws governing the person and his or her registration after any prison time has been served. Depending on the crime the person was convicted of or pleaded guilty to, the person must check in with police at least twice a year. There are also restrictions on where the person can live, including how close they can live to a school, playground or where children congregate.

Unlike other crimes where this would be a violation of probation, failure to register as a sex offender is a separate felony crime. In this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case, the man told police he moved to Jacksonville in June, got an ID with a fake address in August and was arrested at his actual address in September, the newspaper reported. If he were to have registered, as required, nearby residents would have been notified that a sex offender was now in the neighborhood. The notification would include his name, address and the charge he pleaded guilty to or was convicted of that qualified him as a sex offender. People who are convicted of or plead guilty to sex crimes have consequences that last longer than the actual prison sentence. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney is experienced in representing people charged with sex crimes. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney can explain in detail the lifelong consequences of a plea or conviction so you or your loved one can make an informed decision going forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.