Police arrested a Kentucky man this month after he was accused of travelling to St. Johns County on multiple occasions to have sex with a teen he met while playing a video game online. The teen’s parents learned of the relationship with the 37-year-old man and told police, who then launched an investigation, according to a report on First Coast News. The man is charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a person between the ages of 12 and 16, travelling to meet a minor and using a computer or other electronic device to lure a minor for the purpose of sex. All three charges are second-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. Therefore, if the man is convicted of or pleads guilty to all three charges in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case, he could be facing up to 45 years in state prison.
The man was arrested in Kentucky and remains there until a hearing to have him brought to St. Johns County to face charges. This process, known as extradition, involves showing general aspects of the cases to prove there is at least probable cause, and, more than likely, the man will be brought to Florida and appear in court on charges in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case. Typically, charges that involve traveling to meet a minor stems from an uncover sting by police, where a detective is posing as a teen online. These types of operations were made popular by the Dateline NBC To Catch a Predator series and, despite the attention and popularity, people would still continue to get caught. This case is slightly different, as the two allegedly met playing a popular online game, and it was not in a chat room or other area where the two started talking.
There is no indication in any of the media reports that the man knew the age of the girl in this St. Johns County Sex Crimes Case, or if the teen ever told him how old she was. Police will likely gain access to all of the online conversations between the two, and if there is anything in the transcripts that indicates the man knew her true age, that can make the state’s case significantly stronger in terms of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But the case still must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt if it goes to trial. Perhaps more than any other type of crime, people rush to judgment and assume anyone accused of a St. Johns County Sex Crime – especially one involving a minor – is immediately guilty. Our St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney has experience in these types of cases and will fully investigate the case against you or your loved one.
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 St. Johns County Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.