Sexual Assault At University Of Florida
The University Police Department has stepped up patrols after a UF student claims a Hispanic man raped her in a dormitory.
UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan reiterated that patrols were increased to enhance students’ sense of safety and the timely warning’s call for people with knowledge to come forward. “We also encourage anyone who is a victim of violence to report it immediately and seek support,” she wrote in a statement.
The incident wasn’t reported to police until Saturday despite happening Wednesday, Roldan said. Roldan couldn’t name which residence hall the rape occurred in and which bar the victim had departed from.
Sex Crime Defenses
Basically, sexual battery in Florida is any unconsented sexual contact. The state has the burden of proof to establish both these elements. A Tampa rape & sexual battery attorney can challenge either element.
In this context, consent is usually a present, voluntary, and affirmative agreement to engage in certain sex acts. A present agreement is often the critical component. Morally, if a woman agrees to go to a man’s room, that doesn’t mean she consents to sex. However, in criminal court, that fact suggests consent. The suggestion is even stronger if the two people were intimate in public, in any way.
Not all circumstantial evidence is available. Under Florida’s rape shield law, a Tampa criminal defense attorney cannot use prior consent to establish present consent.
Capacity is significant as well. Certain drugs are incapacitating as a matter of law. The same thing is true if the alleged victim was physically restrained or the defendant had some power over the alleged victim (e.g. doctor and patient or an underage alleged victim). Almost all acquaintance rapes involve alcohol. This substance may or may not be incapacitating.
On a related note, consent is a legal concept and not a medical concept. A rape kit might prove the two people had extremely rough sex. That doesn’t mean the alleged victim didn’t consent.
But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, prosecutors must establish sexual contact. That’s not always easy to do, mostly because the burden of proof (beyond any reasonable doubt) is so high. As mentioned, in most cases, the alleged victim and defendant were both drinking. Alcohol inhibits memory. Delayed reports, like the one in the above case, also create proof problems and witness credibility issues.
Sex Crime Collateral Consequences
Sex crime registration and, for college students, higher education obstacles are the two most common sexual assault consequences. Immigration and deportation issues are a close third.
Florida’s sex crime registration requirements are quite harsh. Most defendants must add their names to a public register. They must also include personal information, like their date of birth, residence address, business address, vehicle information, and email address. Most registrants must update this information within forty-eight hours. Failure to register or update information could be a felony.
Defendants may petition for removal from the sex offender list. However, they must wait twenty-five years to file this motion. During that time, they usually cannot pick up any additional felony or misdemeanor charges.
Sex crimes also have consequences for college students. Campuses often try to discipline these defendants. This discipline could be anything from a slap on the wrist to expulsion. Technically, a criminal conviction doesn’t affect student aid applications. However, some scholarships, especially private scholarships, have special rules. Furthermore, a criminal conviction often forces a student to go to the end of the line, where there’s less money available.
In terms of immigration, most sex crimes are crimes of violence which could be the basis of a deportation proceeding.
Connect With a Savvy Hillsborough County Attorney
A criminal charge is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. Our main office is conveniently located near the Tampa International Airport.