Sexual Battery


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against
Sexual Battery
allegations.

Sexual Battery (commonly referred to as "Rape") allegations alone with no corroboration can be enough to ruin a person's life.  People tend to believe rape allegations without hearing any evidence whatsoever, and even when the listed victim has given many inconsistent statements.  The sentence for a Sexual Battery conviction is extremely severe.  Give the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers of SLG Law a call to discuss your sexual battery case.

What is Sexual Battery?

Sexual Battery is defined in Florida Statute Section 794.011.  There are several different forms of Sexual Battery: 

Sexual Battery - Victim Less Than 12 Years of Age

To prove Sexual Battery - Victim Less Than 12 Years of Age,
the State must prove:
  • The victim was less than 12 years of age, and
  • you committed an act upon or with the victim in which the your sexual organ penetrated or had union with the anus, vagina, or mouth of the victim, or
  • you committed an act upon the victim in which the anus or vagina of the victim was penetrated by an object, or
  • you injured the sexual organ of the victim in an attempt to commit an act upon or with the victim in which your sexual organ  would have penetrated or would have had union with the anus, vagina, or mouth of  the victim, or the victim would have penetrated or would have had union with your anus, vagina, or mouth.
  • you injured the sexual organ of the victim in an attempt to commit an act upon the victim in which the anus or vagina of the victim would be penetrated by an object. 
  • The jury must also determine whether you were 18 years of age or older at the time of the sexual battery.

Sexual Battery - Victim 12 Years of Age or Older - Great Force
  • The victim was 12 years of age or older, and
  • you committed an act upon or with the victim in which your sexual organ penetrated or had union with the anus, vagina or mouth of the victim, or the victim's sexual organ penetrated or had union with your anus, vagina, or mouth, or
  • you committed an act upon the victim in which the anus or vagina of the victim was penetrated by an object, and
  • you, in the process:
  • used or threatened to use a deadly weapon, or
  • used actual physical force likely to cause serious personal injury, and
  • the  act was done without the consent of the victim. 

Sexual Battery - Victim 12 Years of Age or Older - Specified Circumstances

To prove the crime of Sexual Battery - Victim 12 Years of Age or Older - Specified Circumstances, the State must prove:
  • The victim was 12 years of age or older, and
  • you committed an act upon or with the victim in which your sexual organ penetrated or had union with the anus, vagina, or mouth of the victim, or the victim's sexual organ penetrated or had union with your anus, vagina, or mouth, or
  • you committed an act upon the victim in which the anus or vagina of the victim was penetrated by an object, and
  • the victim was physically helpless to resist, or
  • you coerced the victim to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury and the victim reasonably believed you had the present ability to execute the threat, or
  • you coerced the victim to submit by threat of retaliation against the victim or any other person and the victim reasonably believed that you had the ability to execute the threat in the future. 

Sexual Battery - Person 12 Years of Age or Older

To prove the crime of Sexual Battery - Person 12 Years of Age or Older, the State must prove:
  • The victim was 12 years of age or older, and
  • you committed an act upon or with the victim in which your sexual organ penetrated or had union with the anus, vagina, or mouth of the victim, or
  • you committed an act upon the victim in which the anus or vagina of the victim was penetrated by an object, and
  • the act was committed without the consent of the victim. 


What does "sexual battery" mean?

"Sexual Battery" means 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; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

What does "union" mean?

"Union" means contact.
What does "consent" mean?

"Consent" means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission.  Consent does not mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.

What if the listed victim had a mental disability?

If the victim has a mental defect, the jury can conclude that the victim is not capable of giving intelligent, knowing and voluntary consent.  Therefore, even if an adult with a mental disability consented to sexual contact, you could be convicted of sexual battery if a jury determines that consent was not intelligent, knowing and voluntary. 

"Mentally defective" means that a person suffers from a mental disease or defect that renders that person temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct.

What if the listed victim was drunk or stoned, but said yes?

If the victim is mentally incapacitated, then the jury can conclude that he or she does not have the ability to voluntarily consent to sexual contact and therefore the sexual contact is sexual battery.  A common example of this is where the victim gets highly intoxicated and engages in sexual activity with someone.  That person is at risk of being convicted of sexual battery if that person claims the next day that they were too incapacitated to consent. 

What if I'm accused of slipping something in someone's drink and then we had sex?

If the person was mentally incapacitated without his or her consent, then he or she is not capable of giving intelligent, knowing and willing consent. So, even if the person said the word "yes" at the time, it would still constitute sexual battery if that person had been drugged without his or her consent. 

"Mentally incapacitated" means that a person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his or her conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicating substance administered to that person without his or her consent, or due to any other act committed upon that person without his or her consent. 

What is a "deadly weapon?"

A "deadly weapon" is a weapon used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. 

What is "serious personal injury?"

"Serious personal injury" means great bodily harm or pain, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. 

What does "physically helpless" mean?

"Physical helpless" means that a person is unconscious, asleep, or for any other reason physically unable to communicate unwillingness to act.

What does "physically incapacitated" mean?

"Physically incapacitated" means that a person is bodily impaired or handicapped and substantially limited in his or her ability to resist or flee an act. 

What if I touched my child's privates because he or she had a rash or injury?

Any act done for a bona fide medical purpose is not sexual battery.  Of course, whether your actions are considered by law enforcement, a judge, and/or a jury as bona fide medical purpose will be an issue if any sexual battery allegations are made.

What are the potential sentences for Sexual Battery?


If you were 18 years or older and victim 12 or older, but less than 18

Up to 30 years in prison

If you were 18 or older and victim was 18 or older

Up to 15 years in prison

If you were under 18 and victim was 12 or older

Up to 15 years in prison

If you were 18 or older and the victim was less than 12
(injures victim's sexual organs)

Life in prison

If you were under 18 years and the victim was less than 12
(injures victim's sexual organs)

Life in prison

If you were 18 or older and victim was less than 12
(Great force used)

Life in prison

If you were 18 years or older and victim was 12 or older, but less than 18
(Specified Circumstances)

Up to life in prison

If you were 18 or older and victim was less than 18
(Specified Circumstances)

Up to 30 years

If you were less than 18 and victim was 12 or older
(Specified Circumstances)

Up to 30 years

If the victim is 12 or older
(Specified Circumstances with a Prior Conviction)

Up to life in prison

If the victim was 12 or older
(Prior Conviction)


Up to 30 years in prison

What are "Specified Circumstances?"

The "specified circumstances" mentioned above are:
  • The victim was physically helpless to resist.
  • The victim was coerced to submit by threatening to use force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury on the victim and the victim reasonably believes that the offender has the present ability to execute the threat.
  • The victim was coerced to submit by threat to retaliate against the victim, or any other person, and the victim reasonably believed that the offender had the ability to execute the threat in the future.
  • You administered, without the prior knowledge or consent of the victim, administered or had knowledge of someone else administering to the victim any narcotic, anesthetic, or other intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitates the victim.
  • The victim was mentally defective and the offender has reason to believe this or has actual knowledge of this fact.
  • The victim was physically incapacitated.
  • You were a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer, or in a position of control or authority in a probation, community control, controlled release, detention, custodial, or similar setting, and you acted in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that you were in a position of control or authority as an agent or employee of the government.

What if the listed victim was a family member?

There are special laws relating to a person in a position of custodial or familial authority being involved in a sexual battery (as defined above).
  • If you are charged with soliciting the person who you had custodial or familial authority over to engage in any act that would constitute sexual battery, you would be facing up to 5 years in prison.
  • If you are charged with engaging in any act of sexual battery with a person who you had custodial or familial authority over who was 12 or older, but less than 18, you would be facing up to life in prison.
  • If you are charged with engaging in any act of sexual battery with a person you had custodial or familial authority over who was less than 12 years old, or if you injured that person's sexual organs, you would be facing life in prison. 

It is not a defense that the listed victim consented to the sexual act if you were a person who had custodial or familial authority. 


What are the possible defenses to Sexual Battery?

The most common defense to a Sexual Battery allegation is that the sexual contact was consensual.  Sexual Battery allegations often arise when two people meet in a social setting, drink or use drugs to excess, and engage in sexual contact while both are impaired by alcohol or drugs.  The issue then becomes whether the listed victim consented and whether that consent was intelligent, knowing and voluntary. The State must prove that the sexual contact was without consent.  So, in this example, the State would have to prove that the listed victim was so intoxicated that he or she was incapable of giving intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Sexual Battery,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!
Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)  

 
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