Sex Crimes in Pasco County
Any accusation concerning a sexually motivated crime is serious. Although some sex offenses are misdemeanors, most sex offenses are charged as serious felony offenses involving non-consensual sexual activity.
In Florida, felony charges for sex crimes come with the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence or a lifetime of supervision. Even if those consequences are avoided, being labeled as a sexual offender makes it difficult to obtain work or housing. Accusations of sexual violence attract significant attention from the media and the community.
The most common misdemeanor crimes of a sexual nature prosecuted in Pasco County, FL, include unnatural or lascivious acts, indecent exposure of sexual organs, solicitation of a prostitute, or offering to commit prostitution.
Attorneys for Sex Crimes in Pasco County, FL
After an accusation concerning a sexually motivated crime, seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm.
With offices conveniently located in Tampa and New Port Richey, we fight these cases throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.
Once you become aware of the accusation, you should not speak to any law enforcement officer about the accusation until AFTER you have retained counsel. Contact us to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss the accusations against you.
Call (813) 250-0500.
Types of Sex Crimes Prosecuted in Pasco County, FL
The most common types of sex crimes prosecuted in Pasco County, FL, include:
- Prostitution crimes for offering or soliciting;
- Indecent exposure of a sexual organ;
- Unnatural or lascivious acts;
- Sexual cyber harassment under § 784.049; or
- Sexual battery – Chapter 794;
- Kidnapping, false imprisonment, luring or enticing a child – Chapter 787;
- Lewd and lascivious crimes – Chapter 800;
- Sexual performance by a child – § 827.071;
- Child pornography or computer-facilitated offenses under Chapter 847;
- Human trafficking under Chapter 787.
Serious criminal offense requires an aggressive defense. The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm are experienced in protecting clients charges with these types of crimes throughout the courtrooms in New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, FL.
Exposure of Sexual Organs
Under Section 800.03, F.S., Florida law prohibits a person for exposing or exhibiting sexual organs in a vulgar or indecent manner while in public or private view. A mother who is breastfeeding does not violate this section.
The courts in Florida have consistently held that being naked alone is not sufficient to violate s. 800.03, F.S. Instead, the violation is triggered by some “lascivious” exhibition of the sexual organs.
In some jurisdictions in Florida, county ordinances have been enacted that address public nudity. Likewise, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has enacted a rule that specifically prohibits nudity in parks.
For example, Rule 62D-2.014(7)(a), F.A.C., provides that in every area of a park including bathing areas no individual shall expose the human, male or female genitals, pubic area, the entire buttocks or female breast below the top of the nipple, with less than fully opaque covering.
Sexual battery is considered to be the main statute for sexual violence. The statute broadly includes crimes as rape, attempted rape, non-consensual sexual contact. Sexual battery is defined as 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.
Kidnapping, False Imprisonment, Luring or Enticing a Child – Chapter 787
Although crimes for kidnapping and false imprisonment might be unrelated to the crimes of sexual violence, in many cases, sex crimes begin with the victim being kidnapped or falsely imprisoned.
Florida law provides for several types of crimes that are classified as “lewd and lascivious” including battery, exhibition, conduct, and molestation. The severity of the offense depends on the way the criminal act was committed, the age of the perpetrator, and the age of the victim.
The different ways that lewd and lascivious crimes can be charged include:
- Lewd or lascivious molestation –
- intentionally touching in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forcing or enticing a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator. § 800.04(5).
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition –
- intentionally masturbating;
- intentionally exposing the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner; or
- intentionally committing any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim, including, but not limited to:
- sadomasochistic abuse;
- sexual bestiality; or
- the simulation of any act involving sexual activity in the presence of a victim who is less than 16 years of age. § 800.04(7).
- Lewd or lascivious conduct –
- intentionally touching a person less than 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner; or soliciting a person under 16 years of age to commit a lewd or lascivious act. § 800.04(6).
- Lewd or lascivious battery –
- engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of 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. § 800.04(4).
Sexual Performance by a Child – § 827.071
Crimes for sexual performance by a child often cross into other categories of crimes such as sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses, incest, or child pornography. Many of these crimes are with crimes for child pornography or computer-facilitated crimes.
Crimes for sexual performance by a child involve a victim who is less than 18 years of age. On the other hand, lewd or lascivious offenses involve victims who are less than 16 years of age.
Sexual Offender and Sexual Predator Classifications
Under Sections 775.21 and 943.0435, F.S., a conviction for specified sexual crimes requires a defendant to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator if statutory criteria are met.
The registration laws also require re-registration at designated intervals and provide for public notification of information about sexual predators and sexual offenders as provided in Section 775.21(7)(a), F.S.
The sex offender registration laws are found in the following sections:
- Section 775.21 – 775.25;
- Section 943.043 – 943.0437;
- Section 943.0435(1)(h);
- Section 944.606(1)(f);
- Section 944.606, 944.607;
- Section 985.481 – 985.4815; and
- Section 985.4815(1)(h).
Qualifying convictions triggering registration requirements as a sexual offender or sexual predator include:
- Sexual battery;
- Human trafficking for commercial sexual activity;
- Luring or enticing a child, by a person with a prior sexual conviction;
- Specified violations of kidnapping or falsely imprisoning a minor;
- Sexual misconduct with a mental health patient by an employee; and
- Sexual misconduct with a person having a developmental disability
As explained in s. 943.0435, F.S., the qualifying convictions that trigger the registration requirements for any sexual offender or sexual predator include:
- Sexual misconduct by an employee with a juvenile offender under S. 985.701(1), F.S.;
- Sexual misconduct with a forensic client under S. 916.1075(2), F.S.;
- Racketeering involving a sexual offense under S. 895.03, F.S.;
- Selling or buying a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct under S. 847.0145, F.S.;
- Transmitting material harmful to a minor by an electronic device under S. 847.0138, F.S.;
- Transmitting child pornography by electronic device or equipment under S. 847.0137, F.S.;
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition over the Internet under S. 847.0135(5), F.S.;
- Traveling to meet a minor under S. 847.0135(4), F.S.;
- Soliciting a minor over the Internet under S. 847.0135(3), F.S.;
- Computer pornography involving a minor under S. 847.0135(2), F.S.;
- Providing obscene materials to a minor under S. 847.0133, F.S.;
- Sexual performance by a child under S. 827.071, F.S.;
- Lewd or lascivious offense on an elderly or disabled person under S. 825.1025, F.S.;
- Video voyeurism involving a minor victim under S. 810.145(8), F.S.;
- Lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, or exhibition under S. 800.04, F.S.;
- Unlawful sexual activity with a minor under S. 794.05, F.S.;
- Sexual battery under s. 794.011, F.S.;
- Human trafficking for commercial sexual activity under S. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), and (g), F.S.;
- Luring or enticing a child, by a person with a prior sexual conviction under S. 787.025(2), F.S.;
- Specified violations of kidnapping or falsely imprisoning a minor under ss. 787.01 and 787.02, F.S.;
- Sexual misconduct with a mental health patient by an employee under S. 394.4593(2), F.S.;
- Sexual misconduct with a person having a developmental disability under S. 393.135(2), F.S.;
The sections of Florida law discussing the requirements for sexual offenders in the custody of or under DOC’s supervision, also define the term “sexual offender.”
A person is designated a “sexual predator” if the person was:
- Found to be a sexually violent predator in a civil commitment proceeding;
- Convicted of a qualifying sexual offense committed on or after October 1, 1993, in Florida, or convicted of a similar offense in another jurisdiction, and has a prior conviction for a qualifying sexual offense or a violation of a similar law of another jurisdiction; or
- Convicted of a qualifying capital, life, or first-degree felony sexual offense committed on or after October 1, 1993, in Florida, or convicted of a similar offense in another jurisdiction.
A person is classified as a “sexual offender” if the person:
- On or after July 1, 2007, has been adjudicated delinquent of a qualifying sexual battery or lewd or lascivious offense in Florida or a similar offense in another jurisdiction, committed when the person was 14 years of age or older;
- Was convicted of a qualifying sexual offense in Florida or a similar offense in another jurisdiction
and was released on or after October 1, 1997, from the sanction imposed for that offense; or
- Establishes or maintains a Florida residence and is subject to registration or community or public notification in another jurisdiction or is in the custody or control of, or under the supervision of, another jurisdiction as a result of a conviction for a qualifying sexual offense.
Criminal Statutes of Limitations in Florida for Sexual Battery – Visit the RAINN website to find a list of sexually motivated offenses and the corresponding statute of limitations for each offense. The list was last updated in December of 2017.
Sex Offender Unit of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office – The sex offender unit of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office is responsible for monitoring more than 900 sexual offenders that reside in this county. Every quarter, the unit conducts address verifications at the home of each sexual offender or predator. The unit also investigates violations or complaints.
Pasco Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Unit
Land O’ Lakes Detention Center
20101 Central Blvd, Land O’ Lakes, FL
This article was last updated on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.