In many states, most sex crimes are given their own classification, treated as separate crimes. This is not the case with Florida law, where many different sex-related crimes all fall under the umbrella of sexual battery. Previously independent crimes such as rape and sodomy are examples of the types of offenses that fall under sexual battery laws. As a result of this, the statutes, defenses and requirements are the same for many sex crimes in Florida.
For someone to be convicted of a sex crime, the prosecution must prove at least one of the following elements:
- The victim's mouth was penetrated by the defendant, either with a sexual organ or foreign object.
- The victim's vagina was penetrated by the defendant, either with a sexual organ or foreign object.
- The victim's anus was penetrated by the defendant, either with a sexual organ or foreign object.
This information is important to note, because it means that even if the prosecution is able to prove that unwanted physical contact was made, if there were no elements of penetration, then the law will likely not charge the act as sexual battery. Of course, there is more to proving sexual battery than sexual penetration. The prosecution must also assert that the penetration was not consensual; either the victim refused to give consent, or withdrew consent during the act.
Naturally, the prosecution will do everything in its power to establish that such penetration occurred if you are accused of a sex crime in Florida, so it is in your best interests to consult with an attorney to establish a defense case and prove that you did not penetrate the victim. A conviction could land you up to 15 years in prison or even see you facing the death penalty depending on the circumstances.