Man with previous arrests for sex crimes, but no convictions, charged with downtown Jacksonville rape

Media and politicians have strong opinions on a Jacksonville man with a history of sex crimes arrests who is now again accused of a rape in downtown Jacksonville. The popular opinion is to question how the man could be out on the streets to be able to commit another crime, according to a report on News4Jax.com. Alphonso Haynes was arrested last week, accused of abducting a woman in downtown Jacksonville and sexually assaulting her, the television station reported.

Haynes was arrested in on a Duval County Sexual Assault charge in 1998 and also charged in 1999 with armed sexual battery and attempted sexual assault, the television station reported. He was found incompetent to stand trial and was sent to a state-run mental health center, the television station reported. He was eventually released, but it is not clear when or why. Because he was never convicted, he was never classified as a sexual offender. People want to blame the system for allowing Haynes to be out on the street, but it must be understood that the “system” also includes prosecutors who are responsible for getting convictions if people can be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And the state is also responsible for making sure people who are incompetent to stand trial and are sent for mental health counseling do indeed stay there.

In his recent arrest, Haynes is charged with kidnapping with a firearm and sexual battery, the television station reported. The kidnapping charge is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The sexual battery is a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison, meaning Hayes could face up to 45 years in prison. The question here will be if Haynes is found mentally competent to stand trial this time. If not, he will likely be sent to a state hospital for a second time. Sentences in Jacksonville Sex Crimes cases, and all criminal cases, are based on sentencing guidelines. These guidelines are essentially a formula that weighs the crime the person is pleading guilty to or has been convicted of, and takes into consideration the person’s previous criminal record. That criminal record is for convictions or crimes someone has pleaded guilty to. Arrests DO NOT COUNT. Like the arrests or not, Haynes, just as anyone arrested of a Jacksonville Sex Crime or any type of crime, is innocent until proven guilty. So Haynes’s previous arrests on sex crimes would not be a factor in his sentencing guidelines. Now, judges are free to divert from those guidelines – as long as they don’t go above the statutory maximum, and prosecutors will likely argue Haynes’ propensity to commit further sex crimes if the case does indeed end up going for sentencing. What they won’t say is they ultimately bear the brunt of the responsibility for Haynes being back on the street.

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.