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College student arrested on robbery and sex offenses

Posted on June 29, 2010 3:00 AM EST

A college student was arrested on charges related to the robbery and sexual assault of three young women in the West Kendall area. Benjamin Marcus Raucher was charged with armed robbery with deadly weapon, sexual battery, strong arm robbery, burglary of an occupied conveyance, burglary to a dwelling and several counts of simple battery. He is currently being held in the Miami-Dade County jail without a bond. He has not been formally charged at this point in the case, but is being held without bail after the bond hearing judge found probable cause on the armed robbery and the sexual battery charge. He is currently represented by a Miami criminal lawyer from the public defender's office.

One of the cases alleges that the defendant approached a 19 year old woman as she was walking down the road on SW 56th Street and 118th Avenue. Raucher committed a strong arm robbery when he took the victim's purse by force. He also attempted to steal the women's necklace and ripped off her shirt in the process. The second case alleges that the defendant approached a woman as she was pulling into her driveway. As she exited her vehicle, he demanded her valuables. After turning over her property, the defendant fondled her and fled the scene. The third incident occurred in the area of SW 112th Avenue and SW 88th Street. The defendant approached another young female and held her at knife point. He again took the victim's property, fondled her and fled on foot.

Assuming the state attorney's office has sufficient evidence to proceed in the cases, the defendant is facing a significant prison sentence. Because he is 22 years-old, he can avail himself of the youthful offender statute prescribed by Florida law. The youthful offender statute provides that a defendant that is younger than 21 when sentence is imposed can take advantage of the statute. The court has the ability to deviate from the standard guidelines and can sentence a defendant to probation, community control or incarceration not to exceed 6 years. However, the court does not have the ability to sentence a defendant as a youthful offender if he or she is charged with a capital or life offense. For example, armed robbery is a 1st degree felony punishable up to life in prison while armed kidnapping is a life felony. A judge could sentence a defendant as a youthful offender to the former charge, but not the latter charge.

Another interesting provision of the youthful offender statute involves community control and probation violations. As stated earlier, a judge can sentence a defendant to probation or community control under the statute. In a typical case, a judge can sentence a defendant to a guideline sentence in the even the court finds a defendant violated the terms of his supervision. This applies to both technical and substantive violations. A technical violation consists of failing to report, failing to do community service hours, or failing to pay restitution. A substantive violation occurs when a defendant picks up a new misdemeanor or felony cases. In youth offender cases, the judge can sentence a defendant within the guidelines for a substantive violation, but can only sentence a defendant up to six years on a technical violation.

Police Arrest Man Who robbed and Fondled Women in West Kendall, The Miami Herald.com, June 29, 2010.
Categories: Violent Crimes