Unlike some states, Florida law does not recognize rape as its own criminal offense. Instead, rape is included as an additional type of sexual battery offense. As such, the prosecution must prove that sexual battery occurred, or that elements of a sexual battery existed, in order to prove an accusation of rape.
Examples of these elements included the unwanted sexual penetration of the victim by the accused individual with a foreign object, including a sexual organ. It is important to note that, like in many states, there is an age limit to consent. For Florida residents, this means that if a victim is younger than 12 years old, then lack of consent does not have to be proven. If an individual is discovered to have sexually penetrated so young an individual, then that individual will likely be convicted of sexual battery.
There are many different factors that go into determining the penalties of a rape, and most of these factors depend on the age of the victim or the circumstances surrounding the rape, such as use of a weapon or excessive force. For example, if someone older than 18 is convicted of sexual battery against a victim younger than 12, then the convicted individual could be facing the death penalty.
At its minimum, a sexual battery conviction on a victim who is older than 12 is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It is considered a second-degree felony, but additional circumstances could lead to a first-degree felony charge, for which the penalties could be even greater. If you are facing rape or sexual battery charges in Florida, it is imperative that you take legal action in your defense. The consequences of a conviction are simply too serious to ignore.