A local former church director was recently arrested for a sex charge allegedly involving an underage girl. According to an article from First Coast News, the man was arrested for capital sexual battery, which is punishable by mandatory life in prison if he is convicted as charged. In addition to this life charge, the former director is also charged with showing obscene material to the minor child. This is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Police believe there may be more victims that have yet to come forward. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office interviewed the man and he allegedly admitted to the one minor in this case and alluded to the fact there may be others.
The first, and most serious charge, is capital sexual battery in Jacksonville. If a person is convicted of this charge, the judge would have to sentence that person to life in prison. A judge would have no discretion. Capital sexual battery is when an adult commits a sexual battery on a child under twelve years of age. “Sexual Battery” is defined as any oral, anal or vaginal penetration, or touching of, by sexual organ of the perpetrator or by an object. The other sex charge is showing obscene materials to a minor. A person cannot knowingly sell, rent, loan, give a way, distribute, transmit or show any obscene materials to a minor. “Obscene” is defined as material that the average person would, taken as a whole, appeal to prurient interests, depicts in an offensive way sexual conduct and taken as a whole lacks any serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. “Materials” are any book, magazine, periodical, pamphlet, newspaper, photo, video, etc.
The Sheriff’s office, according to the report, interviewed the man in this case and he allegedly confessed to the crime and possibly admitted to others. When someone is accused of a sex crime in Duval County, the police follow a protocol. A call comes into the police, usually through 911, and a patrol officer goes to the scene. The alleged victim, or victim’s parents, talk to the patrol officer. A sex crime detective is assigned at some point after and a Child Protection Team forensic interview is scheduled. The child is taken to the interview and without the parents being present, the child is interviewed. That forensic interview is usually videotaped.
After the child interview is completed, the detective will attempt to talk to the suspect. If you have been accused of a sex crime, or any crime for that matter, you have a right to remain silent. Exercise that right. As part of police training, police are taught interrogation techniques. They are taught to lie to a potential suspect to attempt to get admissions. Yes, you read that right. Detectives are taught to lie as part of their questioning. When accusations are brought out, you should immediately call an experienced sex crime attorney in your area.
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 Crime Lawyer, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.