Clay County Police conducted a recent sting, or set-up, that has led to multiple sex related charges and arrests, according to an article in The Florida Times Union. Eleven total men were arrested at the beginning of March, some of them involved in law enforcement. The charges range from soliciting for prostitution to battery on a law enforcement officer. Contrary to what was reported in the newspaper, it appears that none of the men were arrested on any sex crimes related to children. All of the arrests occurred on Black Creek bike trail in Fleming Island.
The majority of the arrests were solicitation for prostitution, which is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida. The men are accused of asking an undercover police officer to engage in an “indecent or obscene” act for some compensation. It is an interesting charge because all of men, according to the reports, asked the officer to engage in sex but offered no money. It is common for the police, vice units usually, to set up these stings. Often times, these stings take place in public parks where men sometimes meet. When the police get enough complaints about this activity, the result is the implementation of these stings. Even though the men were there for consensual adult sex, the prostitution charge can ruin their lives, both with family and with work.
One man was charged with Simple Battery in Clay County. Battery, according to Florida Statute, is defined as intentionally touching someone against their will or intentionally causing someone bodily harm. The man allegedly touched the undercover officers genitals while engaged in conversation in the park.
One man was not only charged with soliciting for prostitution, but racked up battery on a law enforcement and resisting an officer with violence charges. While related, these Clay County felonies are separate violent crimes. Resisting an officer with violence is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. You can be arrested for this charge if you knowingly and willfully resist or oppose a law enforcement officer with violence. Battery on a law enforcement officer is a simple battery that is elevated to a third degree felony because the alleged victim in a police officer. A “law enforcement” officer includes police officers, correctional officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
When charged with any crime, particularly with crimes related to sex, it is imperative that you talk to an experienced Clay County sex crimes lawyer immediately.
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 Crime Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.