Child sexual abuse and sexual assault don't just affect the victim - these crimes affect entire families. If your family has recently been affected by sexual violence, you may be wondering:
- Will the perpetrator be prosecuted?
- How can the organization that enabled the abuse be held accountable?
- How can a civil sexual abuse lawsuit help our family?
Our Florida sexual abuse lawyers make it our mission to help the families devastated by sexual violence find justice.
Any and all parties responsible for committing and enabling sexual abuse must be held liable for the harm they've caused.
"Trustworthy & Thorough" Brian took the time to keep me in the loop.
For victims of sexual crimes, seeing their offender brought to justice is one of the most important aspects of the healing process. If you or a loved one has recently been traumatized after surviving one of these crimes, you may be wondering how the criminal justice system will handle your case.
Florida's Sexual Abuse & Assault Laws
It’s good to be aware of your state’s criminal laws, but also be aware that civil courts are also available to help survivors of sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Our experienced Florida sexual assault victims’ rights lawyers help these survivors secure financial support through the civil court system.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault or child sexual abuse, there are services available in Florida to help. To find 24-hour counseling, legal advocacy and other services, reach out to a rape crisis center in your area today. You can find a rape crisis center near you at the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence.
Pursuing Civil Justice
Filing a civil sexual abuse lawsuit provides support for families affected by sexual abuse and sexual assault in several ways, including:
- Holding the perpetrator financially liable for the harm they've caused
- Holding third parties liable for enabling, covering up, or failing to report abuse
- Provides financial support for personal and financial difficulties related to the abuse
From Pensacola and Jacksonville to Orlando, Tampa and Miami, you can learn more about how a civil sexual abuse lawsuit can help your family find justice in a free consultation.
Computer Pornography/Traveling To Meet Minors
This charge can either be a second degree or third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime:
If a person uses a device capable of storing electronic data or transmission to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a person believed to be a child to engage in unlawful sexual activity, or attempts to get consent from the parent of that child for the child to engage in such activity, he or she could be charged with a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
If the person travels any distance in an attempt to engage in unlawful sexual activity with a child after using an electronic device or transmission to conduct any of the acts outlined in the previous section, he or she may be found guilty of a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Lewd Or Lascivious Offenses Committed On Or In The Presence Of An Elderly Person Or Disabled Person
Unlawful sexual activity involving disabled and elderly people are grouped into three types of lewd and lascivious offenses:
An individual commits lewd and lascivious battery upon an elderly or disabled person when he or she encourages, forces, or entices an elderly or disabled person to engage in any type of sexual activity when the individual knows or reasonably knows that the elderly or disabled person is incapable of giving consent or has refused to give consent.
This crime is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
A person can be convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation if the person intentionally touches the private parts or the clothing covering them, of an elderly or disabled person when the victim is incapable of consent or has refused to give consent.
This crime is a third-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Someone can be found guilty of lewd or lascivious exhibition if while in the presence of an elderly or disabled person, he or she intentionally masturbates, exposes themselves, or intentionally commits any other lewd or lascivious act which does not involve physical or sexual contact with the elderly or disabled person.
This crime is also a third-degree felony.
Lewd Or Lascivious Offenses Committed On Or In The Presence Of Persons Under 16
Unlawful sexual conduct involving minors under 16 years of age is handled similarly to such conduct involving elderly and disabled people:
A person can be found guilty of lewd or lascivious battery by:
- Engaging in sexual activity with someone between 12-15 years old
- Encouraging, forcing, or enticing someone younger than 16 to engage in any type of sexual activity
A person can be convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation by intentionally touching the private parts or clothing covering the private parts of a minor under age 16, or forces or entices a minor under 16 to touch the person’s private parts. If the offender is over 18 years old and commits this crime against a victim younger than 12 years old, the offender could face life in prison.
This crime can also be charged as a second-degree felony if the offender is younger than 18 years of age and the victim is younger than 12 years of age, or if the offender is 18 years or older and the victim is between 12-15 years old.
A person commits lewd or lascivious conduct if he or she intentionally touches a person younger than 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner or solicits a person younger than 16 years of age to commit such a lewd or lascivious act.
If the offender is over 18 years old, this crime will be charged as a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If the offender is younger than 18, the crime will be charged as a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
A person who intentionally masturbates, exposes their genitals, or commits any other sexual act which does not involve physical contact while in the presence of a minor under 16 years old can be found guilty of lewd or lascivious exhibition.
Florida 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; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.” This crime has some of the most severe punishments, which depend on circumstances:
- A person over 18 years old who commits sexual battery and injures the sexual organs of a child under 12 years old is guilty of a capital felony, punishable by the death penalty.
- A person under 18 years old who commits sexual battery and injures the sexual organs of a child under 12 is guilty of a life felony
- A person who commits sexual battery upon someone over 12 years old and uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or uses physical force during the crime is guilty of a life felony
- A person over 18 years old who commits sexual battery upon a person between 12-17 years olf without their consent is guilty of a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison
- An adult who commits sexual battery against another adult is guilty of a first-degree felony
- A person younger than 18 years old who commits sexual battery upon someone older than 12 years old without their consent is guilty of a first-degree felony
Unlawful Sexual Activity With Certain Minors
If a person 24 years of age or older engages in sexual activity with someone who is 16 or 17 years of age, that person is guilty of a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. This can be applied as a statutory offense, which means the adult could face charges even if the minor willingly engaged in the sexual activity.