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Local resident arrested for lewd and lascivious molestation

Posted on October 22, 2010 3:00 AM EST

The Hialeah Police Department arrested a middle aged man for committing a sex crime against a minor. The police report indicated that the assault occurred in a public park and was committed against a 14 year-old boy. The defendant appeared with his Miami criminal lawyer from the public defender's office at his initial bond hearing. The judge presiding over the bond hearing set bail at $10,000.00. The bail amount is the standard bond for a second degree felony. The prosecution did not seek to have the bond increased as the defendant has no prior record for having committed a sexual offense.

The defendant was arrested for the charge of lewd and lascivious molestation and lewd and lascivious conduct which are second degree felony punishable up to 15 years in prison. Under the State of Florida Sentencing Guidelines, the charges are both level 7 offenses which carry a 21 month sentence at the bottom of the guidelines. The defendant is accused of forcing himself on the boy by kissing him and forcing him to fondle him. There is no indication that there were any other eyewitnesses to the incident. The boy and his father flagged down a Miami-Dade school police officer who eventually stopped and arrested the suspect.

To prove the charge of lewd and lascivious molestation, the prosecution has to prove that the defendant intentionally touched the victim in a lewd and lascivious manner, the breast, genitals, etc., or the clothes covering them. The victim also has to be under the age of sixteen for the offense to have been committed. Similarly, the offense of lewd and lascivious conduct requires to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed an intentional touching in a lewd or lascivious manner and the victim is under the age of 16.

The resolution of this case will be determined by two factors. The first will depend on the strength of the victim's testimony. Second, the parents of the victim will have to decide whether to have their child testify or work out a plea to avoid additional emotional harm to the child. Even if the defense attorney representing the defendant can obtain a probationary plea, the defendant will be deemed a sexual offender by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Being designated a sexual offender is problematic for a variety of reasons. The consequences that will result include restrictions on where a sexual offender can live and the quarterly reporting requirements. If the case is weak enough the attorney should attempt to charge bargain the case in an effort to prevent the defendant from being categorized as a sexual offender.

Man Accused of Molesting Boy at Hialeah Park, CBS4.com, October 21, 2010.
Categories: Sex Offenses