Articles Posted in Sex Crimes in Jacksonville

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.

A pastor now living in Kansas is facing life in prison, following his arrest for sexual battery on a child that allegedly occurred more than 20 years ago. The man was arrested after he met with the victim at a Daytona Beach restaurant, according to a report on News4Jax. The defendant did not know police were recording the conversation and then arrested him shortly thereafter, the television station reported. The man, 52, is now charged with capital sexual battery on a victim between under the age of 12. The charge is a first-degree felony and only punishable by life in prison.

Police released very little information on the alleged victim, and have not disclosed whether the defendant was a pastor at the time of the alleged incident in Jacksonville, but said they believe there may be more than one alleged victim, the television station reported. It’s unclear why the defendant went to meet with the alleged victim, but it appears he or she was working with Jacksonville police to get the defendant to say something on tape regarding the incident in this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case. Despite the fact the crime allegedly occurred more than 20 years ago, the state can still pursue charges because of the type of crime. There is no statute of limitations on a capital sexual battery on a child. Prosecuting a case this old will have challenges, which is why the audio recording would be so important to the state. There will not be any physical evidence in this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case, and it is shaping up to be the defendant’s word against the alleged victim’s. That can be the difficulty for the state in proving Jacksonville Sex Crimes, and a significant fear for the defendant. All it takes is an accusation to end up being charged with a crime – one that has no other punishment except for life in prison.

The recording appears to be the key to this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case. Expect the defense to analyze everything on about the recording – including how it was recorded and how the meeting was set up – in an effort to have the recording discarded as evidence. Without it, there is likely very little for the state to go on. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney has represented hundreds of people charged with sex crimes, and understands that people assume those charged are guilty once an accusation is levied. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney is experienced in these cases, and will thoroughly investigate the cases against you or your loved one.

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 Jacksonville man was arrested on a warrant on three St. Johns County Sex Crimes, the last of three men to be arrested involving a Facebook post that included an underage person in a racy video. The man was arrested this month, two months after two St. Johns County men were charged in the case, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The investigation began after school officials called police about the video that was apparently being used to promote one of the three defendants’ rap music songs, the newspaper reported.

The defendant is charged with lewd and lascivious battery by promoting a sex act with a victim less than 16, and with promoting the sexual performance of a child. Both charges are second-degree felonies that carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for each charge. The defendant is also facing a third charge of transmitting pornography by an electronic device. That charge is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison.

The defendant was released shortly after his arrest, posting a $250,000 bond to be released, the newspaper reported. The first two men arrested are still in jail on St. Johns County Sex Crimes charges. One is being held on a $200,000 bond, the second on a $50,000 bond. In order to be released, a defendant will have to pay 10 percent of the bond. So for the $250,000 bond, the defendant would have to pay $25,000 to be released. For the defendant, the first two charges – lewd and lascivious battery by promoting a sex act with a victim less than 16 and promoting the sexual performance of a child – are the main charges to pay attention to. A guilty plea or conviction to either St. Johns County Sex Crimes charge could result in the defendant being classified as a registered sex offender. If a person is required to register as a sex offender, he or she must check in with police at least twice a year, and whenever the person moves residences. And, when that move occurs, neighbors are notified that a sex offender is now living nearby, which can in essence make a sex offense a life sentence. Our St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney knows the ramifications a guilty plea or conviction can have – for many years past a potential prison sentence. Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney can explain those consequences so you or your loved one 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.

Jacksonville police had asked the public’s help in finding a sexual predator that was wanted for not registering with police as required by law. The police got the help they were looking for, as a tip led them to a Jacksonville hotel, where the man was arrested after he tried to run away and more police officers had to be called in as the man was fighting to get free, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union.

The man was charged with failure to register as a sexual predator and with resisting police with violence, the newspaper reported. Both charges are third-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. The man was released from prison this summer after serving 16 years for lewd assault on a minor, the newspaper reported. Depending on the terms of his sentence, the man may also be on some sort of sexual offender probation. If so, he would be facing another charge for violating that probation. The difference in Jacksonville Sex Crimes Cases is that failure to register is its own separate felony charge – and it applies even if someone is no longer on probation.

The failure to register charge is fairly common and is a Jacksonville Sex Crime that often keeps people convicted of sex crimes in the prison system. Once a person is released from prison after serving time for a Jacksonville Sex Crime, he or she must register with police. This entails giving the police the address where the person with be living and, in some cases, determining if the sex offender is even legally allowed to live there. There are requirements sex offenders must meet in terms of how close they live to a school, etc. Registered sex offenders must check in with police at least twice a year, depending on the severity of their crime. They are also required to notify police within 48 hours if they move or change addresses.

In this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case, it’s unclear whether the man moved or just didn’t register in the first place after being released from prison in July. Jacksonville Sex Crimes have lifelong consequences if a person is convicted. Even though the man has served 16 years in prison, he still has legal obligations afterward. When a person registers as a sex offender, neighbors are notified with the person’s name, address and the charge the person was either convicted of or pleaded guilty to. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney has represented hundreds of people accused of sex crimes and knows the lasting implications of a guilty plea. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney will outline all of the requirements of registrations, along with the potential consequences of taking the case to trial, so you or your loved one can make an informed decision.

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.

All of the men involved in a 2013 Clay County Sex Crimes sting involving minors have now been sentenced after they either pleaded guilty or were found guilty at trial. Sentences range from three years in state prison on up to 10 years, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. As a part of the sting, people the men thought were teens were actually undercover detectives and posted ads on Craiglist and in other areas to arrange meetings, the newspaper reported. The main charge for all of the men involved was traveling to meet a minor for the purpose of engaging in an illegal sex act. The charge is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.

Several of the men were also facing other charges. For example, at least one of the men brought drugs to the encounter he thought was with a teen, so he also pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, the newspaper reported. But in all cases, the most serious was the Clay County Sex Crimes Case. Police agencies conduct similar stings fairly regularly and a media report such as this will surface a couple times a year. These stings were popularized by the Dateline NBC series “To Catch a Predator,” where the men were caught on camera coming to a home to meet what they thought was a teen. Despite the popularity of the series and the inherent risk involved, police continue to catch people when they conduct the stings.

When there are multiple arrests in Clay County Sex Crimes Cases such as these, the sentencing scale is set early in the proceeding. This is not like a Clay County Drug Crimes sweep where prosecutors may be using testimony from one person against another to try to get information on the source of the drugs. All of these men were caught independent of one another, so their testimony is not important to cases other than their own. The result of each case was not published in the newspaper report, but typically in these cases, defendants who enter a plea and accept guilt in a case receive a lighter sentence than those who take a case to trial.

Regardless of the prison sentence, all of the men will have to register as sex offenders following their release from prison. As registered sex offenders, they will be required to check in with police at least twice a year and within 48 hours of moving residences. Once they move, surrounding neighbors will be notified with the sex offender’s name, address and charge he pleaded guilty to or was convicted of. Clay County Sex Crimes have lasting implications, and our Clay County Criminal Defense Attorney will make sure you or your loved one understands all of the implications and can make a decision about whether or not to take the case to 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 Clay County Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police have arrested two men and are seeking one more on child exploitation charges after a sexual video surfaced that had been used to promote a rap song. Two St. Johns County men, ages 18 and 19, are facing felony charges and there is a warrant out for a 21-year-old Jacksonville man, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. St. Johns County school officials alerted police after they learned the video had been posted on Facebook, the newspaper reported.

One man is charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a child between the ages of 12 and 16, along with the use of a child in a sexual performance. Both charges are second-degree felonies with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, so the man is facing up to 30 years behind bars. A second defendant is charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child – another second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. All three of these St .Johns County Sex Crimes charges are very serious, and could lead to the men being classified as sex offenders, if they plead guilty to or are convicted of these charges.

More than any other types of criminal charges, St. Johns County Sex Crimes charges stick with a person long after he or she has done their time in jail or prison. Part of the punishment for sex crimes – particularly those involving children – is that the person register as a sex offender. That includes checking in with police at least twice a year – though it can be more frequent depending on the charge. Being a registered sexual offender also means that whenever the person moves, neighbors in the surrounding area are notified that a sex offender has just moved in. That notification includes the person’s name, address and the charge that made them a sex offender.

In this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case, few details of the video have been released and more of the story will be developed once it is clear what the third person will be charged with. So far, it is clear one man is charged with taking part in the sex act and another is only accused of using the video. While the charges are both second-degree felonies in terms of the statutes, prosecutors and the judge are likely to see the two very differently when it comes to addressing the charges in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case. There are major lasting consequences for pleading guilty in St. Johns County Sex Crimes Cases, and our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney can explain all of them to you or your loved one so you can make an informed decision.

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 Jacksonville man was arrested this month for failing to register as a sexual predator following his release from prison. Police issued a warrant for the man and broadcast his picture and information a week prior to try to get the public’s help in finding him, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man was arrested in a Jacksonville motel and is now in jail facing the charge of failing to register as a sexual predator. That charge is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison.

The man served nearly four years in prison for sexual battery on a child and did not register with police after he was released from prison last year, the newspaper reported. It’s important to note that the five years are likely not the only time the man is now facing. By failing to register he almost certainly also broke the terms of his probation, which could expose him to the maximum sentence of the crime he committed in the first place. For example, if his original charge was a second-degree felony, the maximum sentence would have been 15 years in state prison. In this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case, the man served four. So by violating his probation, he could then be sentenced to the rest of the sentence he has yet to serve – in this case, 11 years. In all other types of criminal charges, that would be the end of the potential punishment.

But this is where the difference lies between Jacksonville Sex Crimes and all other types of crimes. There is a specific and separate charge for failing to register as a sexual offender or predator. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has strict guidelines that sexual offenders and predators must adhere to when it comes to registration. Those deemed to be sexual predators must register with police within 48 hours of release from prison. They also must check in with authorities at least twice a year and notify police within two days of moving residences. And when a sexual offender or predator moves, neighbors are notified that he or she has moved to the area, with information that includes his or her name, address and the type of crime they pleaded guilty to or were convicted of. The implications following a Jacksonville Sex Crime conviction are more severe than even someone convicted of murder, and can make it extremely difficult for a person to recover and get his or her life back together. That can be true even after a Jacksonville Sex Crime accusation – even without the restrictions that come with a conviction. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney has represented hundreds of people accused of sex crimes and knows the severe consequences a conviction can bring. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will investigate the case against you or your loved one and explain the implications so you 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.

Police arrested a Kentucky man this month after he was accused of travelling to St. Johns County on multiple occasions to have sex with a teen he met while playing a video game online. The teen’s parents learned of the relationship with the 37-year-old man and told police, who then launched an investigation, according to a report on First Coast News. The man is charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a person between the ages of 12 and 16, travelling to meet a minor and using a computer or other electronic device to lure a minor for the purpose of sex. All three charges are second-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. Therefore, if the man is convicted of or pleads guilty to all three charges in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case, he could be facing up to 45 years in state prison.

The man was arrested in Kentucky and remains there until a hearing to have him brought to St. Johns County to face charges. This process, known as extradition, involves showing general aspects of the cases to prove there is at least probable cause, and, more than likely, the man will be brought to Florida and appear in court on charges in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case. Typically, charges that involve traveling to meet a minor stems from an uncover sting by police, where a detective is posing as a teen online. These types of operations were made popular by the Dateline NBC To Catch a Predator series and, despite the attention and popularity, people would still continue to get caught. This case is slightly different, as the two allegedly met playing a popular online game, and it was not in a chat room or other area where the two started talking.

There is no indication in any of the media reports that the man knew the age of the girl in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case, or if the teen ever told him how old she was. Police will likely gain access to all of the online conversations between the two, and if there is anything in the transcripts that indicates the man knew her true age, that can make the state’s case significantly stronger in terms of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But the case still must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt if it goes to trial. Perhaps more than any other type of crime, people rush to judgment and assume anyone accused of a St. Johns County Sex Crime – especially one involving a minor – is immediately guilty. Our St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney has experience in these types of cases and will fully investigate the case against you or your loved one.

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 Palatka police detective was arrested this month, caught in an undercover prostitution sting in St. Johns County. Police used Internet ads and discussions to have conversations with both men and women looking to either pay for or be paid for sex, directing the people to a St. Augustine Beach motel, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The sting was conducted after hotels in the area said prostitution was being arranged online and then carried out in their businesses, the newspaper reported.

The detective was arrested at the hotel and charged with solicitation to commit prostitution. This St. Johns County Sex Crime does not carry much in terms of an actual punishment – it’s a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a jail sentence is highly unlikely. But the charge is highly embarrassing, especially for someone in law enforcement, and the detective has already resigned from his position in the police department, the newspaper reported. These types of stings in St. Johns County Sex Crimes Cases are used occasionally and usually result in a dozen or so arrests. In this sting, 14 people were arrested over four days, the newspaper reported. Often times, there’s one person – a teacher, a coach or, in this case, a police officer, that is caught in the sting and ends up being the headline. With many of these discussions and negotiations for sex starting online – and traceable by police – there is generally plenty of evidence available for the state in such cases. Years ago, when police would focus on one-on-one discussions, maybe in a city park, for example, the charges would end up being dropped months later – after the arrests were all over the media and the careers and lives of those arrested were severely affected.

This operation included police posing as solicitors looking for a prostitute and police posting an advertisement that appeared to be taken out by a prostitute, so they sought johns and prostitutes in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes investigation. These are generally conducted after a series of complaints, and are publicized to serve as a reminder that police are watching – even though the penalties are not severe in terms of incarceration. Many St. Johns County Misdemeanor Cases can be resolved with the judge withholding adjudication if certain conditions are met, meaning the conviction or plea would not be a part of the person’s criminal record. Misdemeanor cases can be just as damaging to a career and personal life as a felony that carries a 15-year prison sentence. Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney will investigate your case and look for options that have the least long-term impact so you or your loved one can get past the arrest and move on.

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 Misdemeanor Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.