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.