Lewd or Lascivious Molestation


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against
Lewd or Lascivious Molestation
allegations.

Lewd or Lascivious Molestation allegations alone with no corroboration can be enough to ruin a person's life and to tear a family apart.  People tend to believe molestation allegations without hearing any evidence whatsoever, and even when the listed victim has given many inconsistent statements or is too young to comprehend the difference between a truth and a lie, or when they are so young that they are extremely impressionable.  Molestation allegations often arise during a time when parents are separated or divorced or there is some other incentive for one adult to make the accusation against another family member adult.  There are studies that show that children can be convinced by an adult that an event actually happened when it, in fact, did not.  The sentence for a Lewd or Lascivious Molestation conviction is extremely severe.  Not only is prison likely, but you would have to register as a sex offender or sex predator as well. If you have been accused of lewd or lascivious molestation, give us a call right away to discuss your case.

What is "Lewd or Lascivious Molestation?"

Lewd or Lascivious Molestation is defined in Florida Statute Section 800.04(5).  To prove Lewd or Lascivious Molestation, the State must prove:
  • The victim was either:
    • 12 years of age or older, but less than 16 years of age, or
    • was less than 12 years of age, and
  • you, either:
    • intentionally touched in a lewd or lascivious manner the:
      • breasts,
      • genitals,
      • genital area,
      • buttocks,
      • clothing covering the breasts,
      • clothing covering the genitals,
      • clothing covering the genital area,
      • clothing covering the buttocks,
of the victim, or
    • intentionally forced or enticed the victim to touch the
      • breasts,
      • genitals,
      • genital area,
      • buttocks,
      • clothing covering the breasts,
      • clothing covering the genitals,
      • clothing covering the genital area,
      • clothing covering the buttocks,

of you, and

  • you were either:
    • 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense, or
    • less than 18 years of age at the time of the offense. 

What does "lewd or lascivious" mean?

"Lewd" and "Lascivious" mean the same thing and mean a wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual intent on the part of the person doing an act.

What if I just touched the listed victim on the buttocks over the clothes?

The State would have to prove that when you touched the child on the buttocks, you had a lewd or lascivious intent.  So, a baseball coach patting a player on butt after he hits a home run should not qualify because of the lack of evidence of lewd or lascivious intent, however, intent is a jury question, so the prudent course of action is to not touch any child in any manner that could be construed as sexual in nature, whether over there clothes or under, including the breasts, buttocks, genitals and genital area. 

What if the listed victim consented or has been sexually active?

Neither the listed victim's consent or lack of chastity are defenses to Lewd or Lascivious Molestation.  So even if the victim had been sexually promiscuous and fully consented to the sexual contact, you could not raise this as a defense and would be guilty if the State could prove the elements listed above.

What if the listed victim said she was 18 years or older?

Even if the listed victim told  you that he or she was 18 years old or older and consented to the sexual contact, you would be guilty of lewd or lascivious molestation, if the victim was under 18.  Your lack of knowledge of the age of the victim is not a defense.  The victim's misrepresentation of his or her age is not a defense.  And your true belief that the victim was 18 years old or older is not a defense to molestation.

What are the potential sentences for Lewd or Lascivious Molestation?

The potential sentence for a Lewd or Lascivious Molestation conviction depend on your age and the age of the listed victim.

If you are 18 years old or older and the victim is less than 12

Life in prison

If you are less than 18 years old and the victim is less than 12

Up to 15 years in prison

If you are 18 years old or older and the victim is 12 or older, but less than 16

Up to 15 years in prison

If you are less than 18 and the victim is 12 or older, but less than 16

Up to 5 years in prison

What are the possible defenses to Lewd or Lascivious Molestation?

The most common defense to lewd or lascivious molestation allegation is that the the allegations are untrue.  Many of these allegations arise years and even decades after the alleged conduct.  Many involve allegations of sexual contact when the listed victim was a child and years later claims sexual abuse through revelation of repressed memories.  These repressed memories can be extremely unreliable.  Many listed victims are manipulated by family members, law enforcement, and counselors once an initial allegation is made.

Some common things that we often do are to have our clients take a confidential polygraph examination that may help in negotiations with the State in an effort for them to drop the charges, obtain child sexual abuse experts to testify how false accusations of molestation occur, investigate how the initial allegation came to light and whether the child was instructed on what to say and how, and many other things that can help in convincing the State that the act did not occur, or in defending you in court. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Lewd or Lascivious Molestation,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)
 
or

407-228-2019 (Orlando). 

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