Two family members accused of allowing a convicted sex offender to live in their home and abuse their young daughter are now scheduled to go to trial at the same time as the alleged abuser. The state plans to seat one jury for Christopher Perry, 41, charged with five counts of sexual battery in Jacksonville and one count each of molestation and of selling, distributing or showing obscene material to a minor, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. A second jury will be assembled to decide the fate of Robert Goeing Young, 52, and Patricia A. Woloszynowski, 63, both charged with Jacksonville child neglect and several counts of being principals to Young’s crimes.
The dynamic of the three trials going on at once is interesting, but not surprising in a sex case involving a child victim. Much of this is likely being done in the interest of the child victim in the case. The state doesn’t want her to have to testify in court more than once, which is understandable. But having all three trials at the same time could also be trouble for the defendants in this Jacksonville sex crimes case – particularly Young and Woloszynowski. If Young and Woloszynowski were tried separately from Perry, the jury would obviously learn about the details of Perry’s crimes – it would be impossible for a jury to be asked to convict someone without at least that basic knowledge. But that’s also much different than sitting through Perry’s entire trial – when the state is putting its best case forward on how to convict Perry. Logistically, it’s been done before. In 2010, three brothers accused of shooting into a home and killing and eight-year-old girl were tried simultaneously with two juries – one for two of the brothers and the other for the third. One of the juries was deadlocked, so a mistrial was declared, according to a Times-Union report. In that case, the judge sealed the verdicts of the first two brothers, and they were read at the end of the second trial for the third brother.
The dynamics in this Jacksonville sex crimes case are a little different. One man, Perry, is accused of committing the actual assault and the other two are essentially charged with letting it happen. There are several key questions that haven’t been answered in media reports that will likely surface in the trial: What did Young and Woloszynowski know about Perry’s criminal past – if anything? Were they aware the assaults were occurring and just chose to ignore them? Were they actively encouraging the sexual encounters between Perry and the girl? The case brings up interesting issues in terms of how criminally responsible someone can be found for a crime that someone else physically committed. Two others in the case pleaded guilty to charges similar to Young and Woloszynowski. They are clearly rolling the dice and would likely get more time if they are convicted at trial. Sometimes those calculated chances can be worth taking, and our Jacksonville sex crimes attorney has represented hundreds of clients charges with all types of sexual offenses.
If you or a loved one needs a sex crimes attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA 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.