A Jacksonville judge handed down six consecutive life sentences to a man found guilty of knowingly allowing a convicted sexual offender to live in his daughter’s room and ultimately molest her. Christopher Scott Perry was convicted of five counts of principal to Jacksonville sexual battery on a child younger than 12, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Each carried a mandatory life sentence. The jury also convicted Perry of other counts of molestation, child neglect with great bodily harm and conspiracy to commit sexual battery in Duval County. The judge sentenced Perry to the maximum charge on every count, including another life sentence and terms of 30 and 15 years in prison as well.
The consecutive life sentences are obviously more for affect than anything else – one life sentence guarantees a person a life spent in prison in Florida. But the sentences, and the charges themselves, show how the prosecutors, judges and juries feel about a case like this when Perry was not even the one who committed the actual Jacksonville sexual batteries. The charge in a case like this is rare and the state worked out a plea deal and 30-year prison sentence rather than taking Perry’s wife to trial on similar charges. The cases are examples that a person can commit a crime by allowing someone else to commit a crime. But Perry did enough – or didn’t do enough to protect his daughter, depending on your point of view – to end up in prison for the rest of his life. In his case, the state proved to the jury Perry knew the man he let stay in his house, Robert Goenig Young, had been convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old in the 1990s, according to the newspaper report. Young is in jail without bond awaiting a trial. In Perry’s case, the law was applied the same way it would be to someone who served as the lookout for a robbery in Jacksonville or another similar crime. He is not equally responsible as Young, but because of the severity of the crime, he was still facing life in prison. In other cases, people can be charged with conspiracy to a particular crime, such as sexual battery or a murder, if the person is not honest about what they know in the case. Conspiracy can also be charged if someone helps hide evidence in a case.
If you or a loved one is even peripherally involved in a crime, or think police are investigating the involvement, it is crucial to get a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney on board quickly. Even the first conversation with police could be crucial to whether the state has enough to proceed with a case. 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 Duval County Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.