Criminal defense against sex crimes charges such as child pornography, prostitution and sexual battery requires an aggressive legal strategy from the outset. Particularly in cases involving solicitation of minors or related sex crimes against children, law enforcement and prosecutors act swiftly and decisively to assemble evidence, level allegations and nail down charges.
A recent law enforcement operation in Florida resulted in the arrests of 32 men, mostly from Tampa and Orlando. The Cyber Crimes Unit of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office spearheaded Operation Summer Nights by posing online as children and parents in a weeklong child solicitation sting. The suspects were apprehended after being lured to a vacation house in Clermont. Other participating agencies included the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Orlando Police Department and other members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The rush to judgment in these cases is apparent in the almost immediate release of booking photos and arrest video, as well as a list of victims’ names, ages and hometowns. In such a situation, an individual who is implicated due to an error or severe misunderstanding should immediately speak with a criminal defense attorney to avoid a devastating hit on their reputation.
Any individual charged with a sex crime must review his or her legal options to avoid or minimize the worst criminal consequences. The risks of a criminal conviction include serious prison time, registration as a sex offender and a lifetime of living down society’s disapproval.