A man is in jail in Gainesville, Florida after a Florida football player intervened in an alleged sexual assault on an intoxicated woman. According to an article on KTLA 5 news, the football player was working security at a local bar and noticed the man and woman touching near a dumpster. Both parties appeared drunk and when the man started touching the woman sexually, security pulled the man away and the police were called. The woman was allegedly unable to hold her head up and had trouble standing. The accused man was charged with sexual battery and has a $500,000 bond.
Sexual battery when a victim is physically incapacitated or unable to resist is one of the most serious sex crimes in Jacksonville and all of Florida. It can be charged as a first degree felony, which is punishable by up to thirty years in prison. Florida statutes define a “physically helpless” victim as one who is unconscious, asleep, or is physically unable to consent. Being drunk or intoxicated on drugs can be considered physically helpless in this case. In any rape allegation, it usually comes down to a he said/she said. A woman saying she did not consent to sexual contact can be enough to prosecute a sexual battery. Even if she did not physically resist. Even if she did not initially report the alleged assault. Even if the two were seen together, happy, just before the alleged rape. In many cases, there is no physical evidence to substantiate the claim. If the alleged victim seems credible to the prosecutor, that is enough to move forward. In the Gainesville case, the security reportedly took cell phone video of the contact between the parties at the dumpster. If there is video evidence of sexual contact, the issue will come down to whether or not the woman consented or had the ability to consent.
The extremely high bond, half a million dollars, is not abnormal when there are accusations of sexual misconduct. In Duval County and around Florida, bonds for sex cases are far higher than any others, including some murders and violent crimes. The mere suggestion or allegation of illegal sexual contact can lead to being arrested and put in jail on a bond so high you cannot meet it or you could have no bond. Just based on a person’s word. That is why it is so important to consult with an experienced Duval County Sex Crime Attorney the minute there is any word of sexual misconduct.
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 Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.