If you have been accused of a Sexual Battery allegation in Fort Walton Beach, you need to know two things: 1) Do NOT speak to law enforcement, and 2) Contact an experienced Sexual Battery defense attorney as soon as possible. By following these two rules, you give yourself the best chance at a successful defense. Sexual Battery, Child Over 12 but Less than 18, by a Person in Familial or Custodial Authority is one of the most serious offenses under Florida law and you are facing a lengthy prison sentence and harsh sexual offender sanctions if convicted.

My name is Tim Flaherty. I have been defending clients accused of sexual battery in Fort Walton Beach since 2001. I know what is at stake if you have been accused of this crime. Call my office today at (850) 243-6097 to discuss the facts of your case and to find out what I can do to protect your future.

Sexual Battery, Child Over 12 but Less than 18, by Person in Familial or Custodial Authority Under Florida Law

defense attorney sex crimesThe general definition of sexual battery is “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object without consent.”

Sexual Battery, Child Over 12 but Less than 18, by Person in Familial or Custodial Authority is defined in Florida Statute 794.011(8)(b). It states, “Without regard to the willingness or consent of the victim, which is not a defense to prosecution under this subsection, a person who is in a position of familial or custodial authority to a person less than 18 years of age and engages in any act with that person while the person is 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age which constitutes sexual battery, commits a felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life.”

If you are convicted, you could be sentenced to LIFE in prison. The stakes do not get any higher than that.

In order for you to be convicted of this charge, the prosecuting attorney must prove ALL of the following elements:

  1. The victim was at least 12 years old but younger than 18;
  2. The defendant had a position of familial authority or custodial authority over the victim; and
  3. The defendant committed an act in which either:
    • The sexual organ of the defendant or the victim would penetrate or have union with the anus, vagina, or mouth of the victim or defendant; or
    • The anus or vagina of the victim would be penetrated by an object.

Who is Considered to Be a Person in Familial or Custodial Authority?

Examples of custodians include parents, step parents, foster parents, priests, sports coaches, babysitters, day care workers, etc. Anyone who acts in any capacity of authority over a child could qualify as familial or custodial under this charge.

Defending Your Sexual Battery by a Person in Familial or Custodial Authority Case in Fort Walton Beach

Under Florida law, consent is NEVER a defense to sexual battery where the victim is under the age of 18. However, there are other defenses and strategies an experienced criminal attorney should know to raise in your case. Before choosing an attorney it is important to do your research and make sure that the defense attorney you choose has experience defending these complex sexual battery cases.

In order to prepare the best defense possible for you, I will take depositions of all of individuals involved in your case and look for discrepancies in their testimony. I will also look at whether you actually qualify as a person in custodial or familial authority under Florida statue and current case law. I will analyze law enforcement’s every move to see if there is evidence that was obtained illegally, and if there was, file a motion in court to throw the case out.

If the best way to defend you is a jury trial, I will be ready. In fact, I will start preparing for that possibility from day one.

Have You Been Arrested For a Sex Crime in Florida?

If you've been arrested for a sex crime in Fort Walton Beach, call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 243-6097 for a free, confidential case review.

Tim Flaherty
Connect with me
Florida Criminal Defense Attorney