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Top Statuary Rape Defense Attorney Jason Cromey, Esq. on:
Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors: F.S. 794.05
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Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors - There are various forms of sexual abuse in Florida, depending on the age of the child victim, the age of defendant, the relationship between the victim and the defendant, and the form of sexual contact between the victim and the defendant.
§ 794.05, Florida Statutes, defines a certain type of sex crime involving victims who are 16 or 17 years old and a defendant who is 24 years old or older. This crime, known as Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors, is a second-degree felony and carries a possible punishment of up to fifteen (15) years in state prison.
In order to prove this crime the government must establish:
- the alleged victim was 16 or 17 years old;
- the defendant was 24 years of age or older;
- the defendant committed an act with the victim in which the sexual organ of the defendant or victim penetrated or had union with the mouth, vagina, or anus of the either the victim or the defendant or the defendant committed an act with the victim in which the anus or vagina of the victim or defendant was penetrated by an object.
This crime, like all statutory rape in Florida, does not allow a defendant to argue that they did not know the age of the victim. For example, if you are out at a club and a 17 year girl with a fake ID winds up taking an interest in you, the fact that you thought she was 21 when you two later slept together will not constitute a defense to this charge.
However, at sentencing you can attempt to avoid a prison sentence by explaining to the judge that she was a willing participant in the crime, also known as a “downward departure” sentence. Another defense to the charge is proof that the victim was emancipated (or legally declared no longer a child)
All statutory rape cases like these can present complicated issues and, if convicted, may likely result in you being designated a sex offender or sex predator. Often times proving to the court that you are not a child molester or at risk of reoffending will require the use of psychiatrist, psychologists, and polygraph examinations. Based upon the severity of the charges and complexity of the issues, it is important to hire a seasoned and experience criminal attorney.