A jury has decided to acquit a Boynton Beach cop who allegedly threatened to kill a woman’s family if she did not perform a sexual act. Had the policeman been convicted of the sex crime, he would have faced up to life in prison. Throughout the proceedings the policeman insisted that he was innocent because the sex on the hood of his cruiser was consensual. When the sex was over the woman alleged that the cop was holding a handgun and threatened her and her family’s life if she said anything about the assault. The jury felt that the prosecution failed to prove the policeman’s guilt, thus he has been freed and can try to regain another police officer position.
What Does it Mean to Give Consent?
The defense in this case insisted the defendant was innocent because the woman provided consent. In Florida, for a person to give consent, he or she must not be forced into submission. If an alleged victim does not or cannot offer physical resistance against the alleged offender, this does not mean the victim provided consent. The jury in this case found that there was enough evidence to suggest the woman provided the policeman with consent.
Evidence Used in a Sex Crime
In this case, the police reviewed the radio communications between the policeman and precinct as well as a used condom that was found in a field. The defense used a photo of the woman posing in a risqué manner on a police cruiser to suggest that she had always had a fantasy of having sex on a cop car.
As in most criminal cases, evidence plays a major role when a jury determines whether a person is guilty or innocent. The rules of evidence that address a sexual battery allows for the testimony of the victim to not have to be corroborated by the prosecution. In addition, Florida tries to prevent prior sexual activity to be allowed as evidence unless certain situations are met. One example is when evidence of other sexual intercourse was used to show that the defendant was not the source of the harm (i.e. Pregnancy or disease). In this case, the risqué photo was admitted because it did not relate to the victim’s past sexual history, but instead to what the defense argued was a fantasy. The defense attorneys argued that the young woman craved sex on the patrol car “perhaps to be cool”. Clearly, the defense attorneys had effectively discredited the young women enough to raise doubt in the minds of the jurors.
In cases where there is a question of a victim’s consent, any evidence that relates to a victim’s mental defect or incapacity is admissible to demonstrate that the victim did not knowingly consent to the act.
Pending Rape Charges
If you have recently been charged with a sex crime, you need an attorney who has experience working on sex crimes cases. Our lawyers at Moses & Rooth have worked on other Florida sex crimes cases. They will listen to your side of the story and vigorously work to obtain the necessary evidence needed to prepare a strong defense. Contact our firm at 407-377-0150 for your initial consultation.