Sexual Battery Arrest In Okaloosa County Or Walton County

Info, Penalties & Defense Strategies

Florida Statute 794.011(1)(h) defines sexual battery 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.”

The elements of sexual battery vary based on the age of the victim, whether or not injury to the victim’s sexual organ is alleged, whether or not threat or physical force was used to coerce the victim, whether or not the alleged perpetrator was in a position of familial or custodial authority, whether or not the victim was mentally handicapped or physically incapacitated, and the consent of the victim (in cases with victims that are 18 years or older).

In any case, the consistent element is whether;

(1) the defendant committed an act on the victim where the sexual organ of the defendant or victim penetrated or had union with the anus, vagina, or mouth of the defendant or victim; or
(2) defendant committed an act upon or with the victim where the anus or vagina of either the victim or defendant was penetrated by an object. The element of “union” is defined as meaning contact. The term “object” includes a finger.

The Penalties For Sexual Battery In Okaloosa County & Walton County

The penalties for sexual battery vary based on the circumstances and age of the victim:

  • A person 18 years of age or older that commits or attempts to commit sexual battery upon a person 12 years old or younger and in doing so injures the organs of the person has committed a capital felony punishable by up to life in prison.
  • A person that is younger than 18 that commits or attempts to commit sexual battery upon a person 12 years old or younger and in doing so injures the organs of the person has committed a life felony punishable by up to lifetime incarceration and/or probation and up to a $15,000 fine.
  • A person who commits sexual battery on a person 12 years of age or older without the person’s consent, and in the process used or threatened to use a deadly weapon or uses physical force likely to cause serious personal injury commits a life felony punishable by incarceration up to life imprisonment and up to $15,000 in fines.
  • A person 18 years or older who commits sexual battery on a person 12 years or older but younger than 18 without that person’s consent while
    (1) the victim is physically helpless to resist;
    (2) the offender coerces the victim by threatening force;
    (3) the offender coerces the victim by threatening to retaliate;
    (4) the offender, without the victim’s knowledge or consent, administers a substance that renders the victim mentally or physically incapacitated;
    (5) the victim is mentally handicapped and the offender has knowledge of this handicap;
    (6) the victim is physically incapacitated;
    (7) the offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or probation officer and such person is acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender is in a position of control and/or authority, such person commits a first degree felony punishable by up to life imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • A person 18 years or older who commits sexual battery on a person 18 years of age or older without that person’s consent while
    (1) the victim is physically helpless to resist;
    (2) the offender coerces the victim by threatening force;
    (3) the offender coerces the victim by threatening to retaliate;
    (4) the offender, without the victim’s knowledge or consent, administers a substance that renders the victim mentally or physically incapacitated;
    (5) the victim is mentally handicapped and the offender has knowledge of this handicap;
    (6) the victim is physically incapacitated;
    (7) the offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or probation officer and such person is acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender is in a position of control and/or authority, such person commits a first degree felony punishable by up to 30-years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • A person younger than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery on a person 12 years or older without that person’s consent while
    (1) the victim is physically helpless to resist;
    (2) the offender coerces the victim by threatening force;
    (3) the offender coerces the victim by threatening to retaliate;
    (4) the offender, without the victim’s knowledge or consent, administers a substance that renders the victim mentally or physically incapacitated;
    (5) the victim is mentally handicapped and the offender has knowledge of this handicap;
    (6) the victim is physically incapacitated;
    (7) the offender is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or probation officer and such person is acting in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender is in a position of control and/or authority, such person commits a first degree felony punishable by up to 30-years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery on a person aged 12 years or older but younger than 18 without that person’s consent and in the process does not use physical force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a first degree felony punishable by up to 30-years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery on a person aged 18 years or older without that person’s consent and in the process does not use physical force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a second degree felony punishable by up to 15-years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • A person younger than 18 years of age who commits sexual battery on a person aged 12 years or older but younger than 18 without that person’s consent and in the process does not use physical force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a second degree felony punishable by up to 15-years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
  • A person in a position of familial or custodial authority who solicits a person in their care to commit sexual battery commits a third degree felony punishable by up to 5-years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • A person in a position of familial or custodial authority who engages in sexual battery with a person under their care while the person is 12 years old or older but younger than 18 commits a first degree felony punishable by up to life imprisonment and up to $15,000 in fines.
  • A person in a position of familial or custodial authority who engages in sexual battery with a person under their care while the person is younger than 12 years of age commits a life felony punishable by up to life imprisonment and up to $15,000 in fines. If such an act injures the organs of the victim, the offender has committed a capital felony.

Florida Statute 794.0115 provides additional penalties for sexual battery if the offender has previous convictions specific sexual offenses or;

(1) caused serious personal injury to the victim as a result of the offense;
(2) used or threatened to use a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense;
(3) victimized more than one person during the course of the criminal episode; or
(4) committed sexual battery while under the jurisdiction of any court for a felony.

Under such circumstances, the offender would be designated a dangerous sexual felony offender and sentenced from a minimum mandatory term of 50 years imprisonment up to life imprisonment.

An offender designated a dangerous sexual felony offender is not eligible for gain time. In addition, Florida requires lifetime sexual offender registration, which carries a set of onerous regulations and penalties for violations.

Defending Against Sexual Battery Charges

Numerous defenses are available to the crime of sexual battery.

However, specific defenses are not available. Depending on the circumstances alleged, consent may or may not be a defense.

Consent does not mean the failure of the victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.

In cases of an underaged victim, the victim’s misrepresentation of his or her age and/or the offender’s good faith belief in the victim being of age is not a defense to sexual battery.

In cases of sexual battery by a person in some form of authority, it is not a defense that the offender was not actually in authority if the circumstances were such as to lead the victim to reasonably believe that the offender was in a position of authority.

If it can be proven that the victim was not the age he or she was alleged to be at the time of the offense, such a defense would exist.

If an offender is alleged to have used a deadly weapon, such a weapon must be used or threatened in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

The laws of Florida are especially severe when it comes to sexually based crimes.

I am a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney with experience dealing with sexual battery charges.

Call me for a free consultation to discuss your options if you or a family member has been charged with sexual battery in Walton County, Okaloosa County or Santa Rosa County.