A former teacher a Nease High School has been arrested for two sex crimes in St. Johns County, according to an article in the Florida Times Union. The physical education teacher, who is 28 years-old, is accused of having sexual contact with a 17 year-old student at her home two separate times. Even though the alleged victim is the same person, if the acts happened on two completely separate occasions, the suspect can be charged twice. According to the report, the teacher was fired from her position earlier this month.
This former teacher is facing two counts of “unlawful sexual activity with certain minors”, which is a Florida sex crime. Any person over 24 years-old who has any sexual contact with someone 16 or 17 years-old can be charged with this St. Johns County sex charge. When we hear “sexual activity”, many people think it is intercourse, but the Florida statute is much more broad. Sexual activity includes any oral, anal or vaginal penetration, or union with, the sexual organ of another or any object. “Union with” means just touching.
It is unclear at this point how the allegations came to light. Often times, a parent will look at their teenager’s cell phone and discover inappropriate texts from an adult. The parent will confront the teenager and call the police. Once the police get the alleged victim’s statement, they will turn their attention to the suspect. Often times, they will simply call the accused and ask them to come down to the police station to give their side of the story. Many suspects think that if they have nothing to hide, there is no harm in giving a statement. What they don’t realize is that the majority of times that interview ends in handcuffs.
In this country, you have the absolute right to remain silent. Exercise that right, especially if you are being accused of a sex crime. It does you no good to sit down with detectives. Detectives take interrogation classes where they are taught to lie and deceive a suspect if they think it will elicit a confession. You could inadvertently say something and it is taken out of context by the police and they will use it as some kind of admission. If you are ever contacted by police about a sex crime accusation, or any criminal accusation for that matter, contact a St. Johns County Sex Crime Attorney immediately.
Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. In addition to this long potential prison sentence, a suspect is facing a lifetime sentence of becoming a sex offender in Florida. Even if the contact was consensual and even if the alleged victim doesn’t want to press charges.
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 Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.