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Florida Statute 800.04: Lewd or Lascivious Battery

Summary

A person commits lewd or lascivious battery by:

  • Engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years or older but less than 16 years or age; or
  • Encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity.

Elements

To prove lewd or lascivious battery has occurred, the state must prove:

  • The victim was 12 years or older, but less than 16 years old.
  • The offender either:
    • Committed an act upon or with the victim in which the offenders sexual organ penetrated or had union with the victim’s anus, vagina, or mouth, or the victim’s sexual organ penetrated or had union with the offender’s anus, vagina, or mouth.
    • Committed an act upon the victim which the anus or the vagina of the victim was penetrated by an object.
    • Encouraged, forced, or enticed the victim to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any act involving sexual activity.

Example

While at a party, Sarah, a 15 year old girl, had been drinking for the first time. After spending a couple hours with Sarah, Matt, an 18 year old man who graduated high school last year and was unaware of Sarah’s age, led her into the bedroom. Sarah, not showing any resistance towards Matt, engaged in vaginal sex with him. Multiple eyewitnesses saw Matt lead Sarah into the bedroom, and word got back to Sarah’s parents about what happened that night. Enraged, her parents decided to call the police to file a report. After determining that Matt did in fact have sex with Sarah, he was charged with a second degree felony and required to register as a sex offender.

Maximum Penalty

Lewd or Lascivious battery is classified as a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of no more than $10,000. However, if the offender has been charged with a violation in the past, the crime is classified as a first degree felony, and punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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