A Duval County teacher was arrested last week in Jacksonville for sex related crimes. According to an article in the Florida Times Union, the male teacher is accused of sending and asking for pictures from underage children. Police report that the educator used social media accounts while pretending to be a fifteen year-old. The alleged victim reported the issue to police when the “fifteen year-old” requested naked pictures from her, an underage girl. Another girl told the first that she also was communicating with the man. The second girl reportedly confronted the man and he allegedly told her he was a teacher. While these sex charges are pending, the man is no longer able to go back to work.
The teacher is charged with two separate crimes. The first is Sexual Performance by a Child, which is a second degree felony. This charge carries up to 15 years in prison and a sexual offender designation. In Jacksonville, “sexual performance” is defined as any performance that includes sexual conduct by a child less than 18 years of age. A “performance” is further defined as any play, motion picture, picture, exhibition, show, image, data, computer depiction, representation or other presentation over a period of time. In order to prove this charge in Duval County, the state attorney’s office has to prove that the teacher, knowing the content, he or she produces, directs or promotes any performance that includes sexual conduct of a child.
The other charge the teacher is facing is Transmission of Material Harmful to Minors by Electronic Device or Equipment. The man has to have actual knowledge or believed the recipient of the communication was a child. Knowing this, the state of Florida has to prove that the teacher believed he was transmitting an image, information or data that is harmful to minors. This charge is one level down from the previous charge. It is considered a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
It is always a serious matter when someone is accused of sex crimes in Jacksonville, but it is particularly terrible when the accused is a teacher. Just based on an accusation, the teacher will lose his job. Even before any plea or conviction. If you are accused, or hear of any possible accusations coming your way, contact an experienced sex crime attorney in Jacksonville as soon as possible.
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.