Florida Music Instructor Charged With Lewd and Lascivious Behavior
Many adults engage in inappropriate behavior with young children and teens. This behavior is called lewd and lascivious behavior. It is often sexual in nature and may or may not involve penetration. This behavior is taken very seriously in Florida. Depending on the age of the victim and the actions of the perpetrator, a person can face felony charges and decades in prison.
A popular Florida music teacher was recently charged with lewd and lascivious behavior after allegedly touching a 13-year-old girl inappropriately in his home. The 39-year-old man from Gainesville gained popularity after appearing on the show “Extreme Home Makeover.”
The State Attorney’s Office is currently investigating the complaint. No charges have been filed against the music instructor yet, since authorities must interview the person who filed the complaint, as well as any witnesses. The State Attorney’s Office expects to make a decision about criminal charges within the next 60 days.
According to the 13-year-old female victim, the man allegedly touched her inappropriately between January and October 2018. The incidents happened twice a month. The first incident occurred after the man pushed the girl to the ground. She believes he was intoxicated at the time. The man was arrested for DUI on two occasions: April and June 2018. The girl also alleges that the man forced her to sleep with him in his bed and he would attempt to take off her clothes.
The man was interviewed on June 27. At first, he denied that the victim ever slept in his bed. Later, he admitted that the girl did sleep in his bed. However, he denied ever intentionally touching her. The man’s attorney is denying the charges.
What is Lewd and Lascivious Behavior?
Under Florida Statutes Section 800.04, lewd and lascivious behavior incorporates four categories of behavior: battery, molestation, conduct and exhibition. These acts include having sex with a minor between the age of 12 and 16, encouraging a child under the age of 16 to engage in prostitution, bestiality or sadomasochism, and touching the breasts, buttocks or genitals of a person under the age of 16, even if there is clothing covering the body part. When the offender masturbates or exposes his or her genitals in front of a child, this is considered lewd and lascivious exhibition.
An offender can be charged with a felony of the first, second or third degree. A third-degree felony is the least serious felony. The punishment is five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. A second-degree felony can result in 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation and a fine of $10,000. A first-degree felony is punishable by 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation and a $10,000 fine.
A person convicted of these charges will also be forced to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator for their lifetime.
Seek Help for Your Criminal Defense Case
If you are convicted of a lewd and lascivious behavior charge, your life will change in many ways. You will face prison time as well as lifetime registry as a sex offender. This can affect your employment, housing and social life.
You cannot handle such a situation on your own. Seek legal help from the Dade City criminal defense lawyers at Mander Law Group. Our aggressive defense can help you fight the charges you face. Schedule a free consultation by calling (800) 557-0411 today.